Library patrons can check out more than books and DVDs at the Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library thanks to a new partnership with the Hopkinsville-Christian County YMCA.

As of Monday, library members can check out a one-time, free pass to attend a fitness class at the local YMCA, 7805 Eagle Way.

Sheryl Ellis, executive director of the Hopkinsville YMCA, said five "Check Out a Class" passes will be available for checkout each month at the library, 1101 Bethel St. The passes are good for one visit to any of the 32 group exercise classes that focus on cardio, strength and overall fitness training.

"We hope this program will provide the community the opportunity to give the YMCA classes a try and then potentially transfer into a permanent membership," said DeeAnna Sova, executive director of the Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library. "HCCPL and the YMCA share many of the same patrons. By creating this partnership, we both hope to reach a broader consumer base that may not be aware of what the other organization may offer. The YMCA team and I believe there are more opportunities that will provide future partnerships throughout the year.”

Ellis said Sova approached her with the idea after she attended a training and found other libraries and YMCAs were participating in this type of partnership. The local partnership is similar but with a few tweaks.

Each person can only check out one pass per 12-month period, and the pass does not have to be returned to the library like a book rental, Ellis noted.

"They get a coupon that they will bring to the Y to retrieve," she said. "When they check it out, they don't have to use it that day. They can look and see which class they'd like to use it for and then come and drop it off. The coupon stays at the Y once they use it so they don't have to take it back to the library."

Some of the classes include yoga, Zumba, water aerobics, cycling and barre, to name a few, and some classes are restricted to certain age groups. A complete list can be found online at www.hopkinsvilleymca.org/main/class-schedule/

Ellis said because there is only a handful of passes, she expects them to go fast each month. If the passes are gone, patrons might be put on a waiting list for the next month.

Both directors hope the passes will get more people through their doors.

"For us, we hope they will attend the class, like it and join and then participate in other things we offer," Ellis said. "For the library, they hope to offer something new for their patrons to experience."

Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or zalleyne@kentuckynewera.com.

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