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May 14, 2014

Michigan Activity Pass offers library patrons discounts at venues

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER — Looking for something fun to do this summer that doesn’t break the bank?

The Michigan Activity Pass, presented by The Library Network, begins its second year May 24. The yearlong program is a partnership between Michigan’s nearly 400 public libraries, including the Rochester Hills Public Library, and close to 100 arts and cultural organizations.

Jim Flury, technical services manager for The Library Network, said the program serves as a supplement to the learning experience in libraries, offering passes at free or reduced cost to arts and cultural venues, which organizers hope will encourage a return trip to the library to learn more.

“We went live with this program last year, with about 60 cultural partners from every corner of the state, and it proved to be very popular. So this year, we had a goal to expand the number of partnerships with our cultural institutions and we were able to succeed there. We have close to 100 cultural partners that will be involved in the program when we renew on May 24 of this year,” Flury said.

To participate, all people need is a valid library card. Then, beginning May 24, people can visit www.michiganactivitypass.info to search venues and print out a pass to the venue of their choice. Each library has five passes available per venue, per week. Each pass lasts seven days from when it’s checked out.

“Once you pull up your list of venues that are within the X number of miles that you’ve designated, you can click on that venue to see the details about exactly what that particular institution is, as well what are they offering, in terms of their participation in the program. Some offer a two-for-one admission — others a discount in their shop. It varies. The cultural partner determines their own offering in terms of what works best for them,” Flury explained.

For example, patrons can explore Meadow Brook Hall — the historic home built by Matilda Dodge Wilson that was constructed in the 1920s — for $5 off tour admission for up to four people.

There are a wide variety of cultural venues participating this year, Flury said.

“The Michigan Science Center is a new venue for this year, and the DIA is a returning partner — we’re glad to have them. There are some really cool things if people check the website. There really is something there for everybody.”

Ginger Olson, head of circulation services at the Rochester Hills Public Library, said the library has been involved in the program since its inception.

“We’ve been involved in it because it encourages people to use other forms of entertainment and ways to get knowledge, besides just the library,” she said.

For a list of the participating organizations and more information about the Michigan Activity Pass, visit http://michiganactivitypass.info or call the Rochester Hills Public Library at (248) 656-2900.

The Michigan Activity Pass project is supported in part by the Library of Michigan with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.