METRO DETROIT — Residents with library cards can use them to get free passes to local attractions through the Michigan Activity Pass program that kicked off in May.
Sue Todd, librarian at the Eastpointe Memorial Library, said the program can help people gain free entry to attractions like the Michigan Military Technical & Historical Museum, Arts & Scraps, the Michigan Science Center and state parks.
The program has been around for several years in different incarnations, she said, though this year the passes are found entirely online. In past years, there were physical cards that visitors could “check out” to get a pass, but now they use their library card numbers to check out the passes on a website, Todd said.
“We don’t physically see them anymore — everything is done on the computer through our website,” Todd said. “When you go to our website, we have a link. You click on the link, and you have to put in a ZIP code, and then once you do that, it gives you museums and other area attractions within 50 miles.”
From there, a person can type in the date to go to that attraction, and the site will show if any passes are available, she said, or if the person has already used up the available passes for that day.
Roseville Public Library Director Jackie Harvey said that once someone finds an available pass, the person just has to type in their name, phone number and library card number to get it. Harvey said that even if a pass was requested for a specific day, it should still work for the following week.
Each venue has its own rules regarding the passes, she added. Some are simply free for one person, while others will reduce the price or let children in free with an adult.
After getting a pass, the person must then print it and bring it to the venue. Harvey said the library staff members are able to help someone find a pass and print it.
“We will often look up the website of an activity so we can verify what’s going on that day — if they have anything going on,” Harvey said. “That’s the help we can give people.”
Both library websites have access to the Michigan Activity Pass page. Visit www.rosevillelibrary.org for the Roseville Public Library. Eastpointe residents can go to www.cityofeast pointe.net and look under the “Departments” menu for the library site. The page allows people to look up nearby attractions that qualify.
Todd said that even if people are unable to get a pass for the attraction they want for a specific day, the program can serve as a good way for people to discover other things to do in the area.
“For instance, there’s a Michigan Transit Museum that I don’t think most people would have thought about, but because it’s listed here, they might consider going,” Todd said. “You have to be open-minded.”
Harvey said the program has been a good way to get people into the library, or at the least, to sign up for a library card.
“Maybe they’re only in the library once to get that card, but at least they know we’re here and available,” she said.
Harvey said the pass program runs year-round, from May 24 one year to May 23 the next. The summer months typically are the busiest, so she suggested looking into getting passes in the morning hours some time in advance.
The Eastpointe Memorial Library is located at 15875 Oak St. in Eastpointe, while the Roseville Public Library is next to City Hall at 29777 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville.