Public libraries are more than just books

I love going to the library, though lately I’ve been checking out more audio books than bound books. With travel and time spent in cars, I’m at least able to listen to stories. Though the area public libraries always have a wonderful selection of books, audio books, DVDs, and magazines, the option to be able to get passes to various local museums has always been an added bonus.

The passes offered at various libraries are on a first-come, first-served basis. Getting a pass isn’t guaranteed so make sure you stop by your local library in plenty of time before your museum visit. Each pass has slightly different benefits, but each museum pass does offer a discount to the user and most attending family members. Keep in mind these passes are available only to the specific library and not interchangeable like other library services. That would be just one more reason to sign up for a local library card.

The Saranac Lake Free Library has patron passes available for The Wild Center (good for two adults and two children) as well as passes for Burlington’s ECHO Leahy Center (reduced fee) and Blue Mountain Lake’s Adirondack Experience (reduced admission). Lake Placid Public Library’s patron passes are for The Wild Center, ECHO, Fort Ticonderoga, Adirondack Experience.

Tupper Lake’s Goff-Nelsen Library offers discounted museum passes for The Wild Center, ECHO and Adirondack Experience.

Wilmington’s E. M. Cooper Memorial Public Library offers passes to The Wild Center and ECHO.

Getting a library card was a rite of passage for each of my children. It held the same level of importance to receiving a driver’s permit or opening a saving account. The library card gave them the first opportunity to borrow something and to have to be responsible for it. They had to pay their own late fees and remember to return books in a timely fashion.

The perks of having a library card are too numerous to mention in this short column. So if you need to get out of the heat, check out your local library. Enjoy!

Diane Chase is the author of the “Adirondack Family Activities” guidebook series, “Adirondack Family Time: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities.” For more family-friendly activities go to www.adirondackfamilytime.com.