Alameda County Library will co-pilot the museum pass reservation system with the Contra Costa County Library, which recently launched an initial version of the product branded Discover & Go.
The path-breaking system will allow library cardholders residing in either county to reserve and print free and discounted museum passes to participating museums and cultural venues. Patrons will not be required to come into a library to pick up or return their pass, and as passes will expire automatically, requiring minimal or no staff involvement, no fines or fees will be charged.
While museum pass reservation systems are available for circulating physical passes, no other libraries currently provide the ability to print virtual passes and no vendors offer products that allow for multiple library systems to access a single system for reserving and printing passes online. Exhibit-related recommended reading lists hand-selected by library staff will be available to patrons.
The virtual pass technology will allow libraries to meet the terms and conditions set by participating organizations, ensuring equitable access to their passes, and give museums the ability to target particular populations; e.g., by age or geographic area.
To make access to the program equitable, only a virtual, printable pass will be offered, ensuring that first-come, first-served is not limited to those who can physically make it into a library location. Customers without Internet access can reserve a pass by telephone or in person, and staff can print the pass for the customer if requested.
Contra Costa County Library’s mission is bringing people and ideas together, and serves more than 902,000 residents of urban, suburban and rural communities through 26 community libraries, three Library-a-Go-Go book dispensers, and online library services available 24/7 at www.ccclib.org. The library circulates almost 7 million items annually and receives more than 3 million virtual visits to its website each year.