As someone who loves to read and loves to travel, this is right up my alley.

In Michigan, there's an incredibly long list of things you can enjoy for free or at a discounted price. All you need is a library card.

It's all part of the Michigan Activity Pass program. The Michigan Activity Program, or MAP, is a, "statewide collaborative effort between Michigan’s public libraries and participating destinations" according to their Facebook page.

Here's how it works:

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All you need to do, once you have a library card, is to go online to MAP's website and enter your location. MAP will then list all of the participating locations closest to you. You can also set the search parameters to include a larger radius if you feel like exploring other parts of Michigan. Library card holders are allowed one pass per card every seven days.

Now, the MAP website lists about 400 locations that are currently participating. Places like museums, state parks, preserves and more. You can see the full list here. But, let's look at just SW Michigan.

I entered my zip code with a 25 mile radius as the search parameters. Locally, there are 10 different places participating with the Michigan Activity Pass program. Here are just a few:

  1. Gilmore Car Musem
  2. Kalamazoo Nature Center
  3. Yankee Springs State Recreation Area
  4. Allegan Old Jail Museum

Now, you will need to confirm your home library in order to reserve a pass. Once you do that you'll be able to see which passes are free or just offered at a discounted price. Since I've yet to procure my own library card, I wasn't able to dig deeper than the initial search.

I don't know if this program will encourage people to do more reading, since reading overall is rumored to be on the decline. However, what a brilliant way to remind everyone that their local libraries are still there. Whether you're looking for books, movies, or need access to the internet I feel like a lot of people forget how useful of a resource a library can be.

For those in Kalamazoo who want to take advantage of the Michigan Activity Pass program you can contact the Kalamazoo Public Library here to inquire about getting your very own library card.

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