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SLO County library card now checks out free passes to CA cultural destinations

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Kathryn Whitney/California Academy of Sciences
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The California Academy of Sciences is one of the institutions participating in the 'Discover and Go' program.

If you’re someone who enjoys museums and aquariums, you may be interested in a new program from San Luis Obispo County public libraries. It offers free and low cost admission to 40 cultural institutions on the Central Coast and in Northern California.

Besides local places like the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum, options include San Francisco’s de Young Museum, the Exploratorium and the Sacramento Children’s Museum.

"I think that libraries have always been a cultural hub for their communities...and we tried to find a way to make it easy for people in San Luis Obispo to access great cultural institutions," said Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, the coordinating librarian for youth services with the county library system. “We joined this program, ‘Discover and Go,’ and it allows people to download museum passes for free—digital museum passes for free—and then use them by just using their library card.”

Kensinger-Klopfer said the program is aimed at adults, but some of the tickets provide admission for an accompanying child or even a whole family. Public library systems around the state offer the program, and at least for San Luis Obispo County residents, many of the destinations are beyond the Central Coast.

“A lot of them are kind of far away,” said Kensinger-Klopfe. “For example, the Cartoon Art Museum is in San Francisco, but we're having a display on manga through that museum, at the San Luis Obispo Library in October, in connection with our Comic-Con. So even if the museums are far away, we might still have a local tie.”

Each partner institution has different rules for how often you can get free passes. Some are once a year, some are twice a month. And more Central Coast destinations will be added in the coming months. More information can be found on the County of San Luis Obispo Public Library’s website.