Library Corner: GCLD saved Black Friday and now maybe New Years |

Library Corner: GCLD saved Black Friday and now maybe New Years

Polly Gallagher
Grand County Library District

The New York Public Library (NYPL) had a phenomenal ad in the New York Times on Black Friday. Although NYPL offered 100 percent off all books with free renewals, Grand County Library District ups the ante.

I admit. I have a problem. I love Black Friday! Not for the shopping, but for the people-watching. And, yes, I drag my family along for the “fun.” I recognize that I have a 13-year-old son, and the excitement of spending not just Friday, but also Saturday, touring the malls of Denver wanes quickly after his hour in the Lego store. So, how did Grand County Library District save the day? They sent us to Mysterious Mansion and then on to Cuba.

I was doing a quick check on my library account online, when the banner across the top of the page changed to Grand Access, and I clicked out of curiosity for what was available. It turns out Grand County Library District doesn’t just have membership passes for checkout for our local museums in Fraser, Hot Sulphur, Kremmling, and Grand Lake, but also passes for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Butterfly Pavilion. My son is a science junkie, so, I figured, “Hey, we can take an hour-long break as we travelled from Cherry Creek up to Flat Irons, right?”

No, we couldn’t take a one-hour break. We took a four-hour break; we only left because the museum was closing. My library card allowed me to check out a membership pass for seven people to enter the museum free of charge, and the current special exhibits were free, as well. We headed directly up to the third floor and spent the afternoon figuring out the brain teasers and puzzles in the Mysterious Mansion. How do you put together unusual shaped blocks to form a square? Convert 16 straws into 10 by only removing four? Fit misshapen blocks into a closed box? It was a day filled with challenge, design, retry, redesign, repeat. We didn’t realize that two and a half hours had passed until we noticed Grammy was asleep on the bench in the middle of the exhibit!

After completing the mid-level puzzle challenge to become puzzle masters, we then headed to the second exhibit. Oh, wait! No, you always must exit through the gift shop! I didn’t mention that our handy dandy GCLD pass also included 10 percent off for a variety of stocking stuffers (it was Black Friday, after all). And then, we went on to Cuba.

Recreating a street in Havana, we wandered through a variety of shops and stalls highlighting the cars, cigars, geography, and religions of Cuba. We took a break at a café table in the square and listened to the live Cuban Jazz concert. As we exited the “island,” we ogled at marine life in the underwater reef.

I got my stocking stuffers discounted, my kids laughed and solved problems together, and Grammy even got a nap.

So, what shall we do for winter break? Head to outer space with Virtual Reality in Kremmling, visit the Kauffman House, or maybe cozy up with Loving Vincent on Kanopy. I’m not sure yet, but all of these would be options available from my 100 percent free Grand County Library card.

For more information on where to go to check out museum passes: This is an example of just one of the resources and programs that offers boundless opportunities through donations on Colorado Gives Day.

Polly Gallagher is director of public services for the Grand County Library District.

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