Last week, the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MELSA) began a pilot program to provide library card holders with access to free or discounted tickets to 15 cultural sites around the Twin Cities Metro area. The program will take full effect in September.
In 2012, MELSA ended a similar program despite the fact that it drew more than 160,000 participants every year. Now, reviving the program will allow community members to explore places like the Bell Museum of Natural History and the Ordway Center for less money than it would otherwise cost.
According to Sally Lederer, MELSA’s communications manager, the new program has one significant advantage over its prior incarnation — whereas library card holders previously needed to reserve their first-come, first-serve discounts in person, the new program allows them to reserve tickets online. Each reservation will include two tickets, and users can book up to two reservations at once.
MELSA’s new program represents an exciting example of teamwork between different city cultural centers, and we commend both its organizers and its participating institutions. Furthermore, we encourage county residents to take advantage of the opportunities the program offers.
Library cards are free, so the program is open to everyone — moreover, now that tickets are available online, discounts are more readily accessible to people whose schedules don’t allow them to wait in person at a library. This means the program has the opportunity to meaningfully benefit the wage-earners and taxpayers who support the public institutions that make the Metro such a vibrant cultural center.