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Zoo Atlanta library program spreads statewide

The Georgia Public Library Service and Zoo Atlanta have formed a partnership that will allow library card holders statewide free admission to the zoo. The launch of the program was publicized Wednesday on the steps of the state capitol.

Marcus Margerum, vice president of marketing and sales at Zoo Atlanta, explained at the announcement that anyone with a valid Georgia public library card can check out a Zoo Atlanta Family Pass DVD and upon its return, receive a receipt for free zoo admission for two adults and two children, an $80 value.

One DVD is available for checkout in each participating library for up to seven days. There will be no holds or waiting lists and families can take advantage of the program one time per year, per card and per household.

“I’ve been in this job for eight months and I’m often asked what the best thing is about working in a zoo,” said Raymond King, president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta. “If you can walk out in the park and see kids and families and the expressions on their faces, you realize why you’re there. We want to be accessible to every family in the state.”

The program was initially launched in 2009 in branches of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. Margerum said public response was so strong that it made sense to expand the initiative to the state’s 400 public libraries in 159 counties.

Dr. Lamar Veatch, Georgia’s state librarian, called Zoo Atlanta “one of the great treasures of Georgia” and stressed the value of their collaboration “In this era of constant budget cutting, partnerships are very important,” Veatch said.

The Zoo Atlanta Family Pass DVD provides a history of the zoo as well as some glimpses into its future offerings. Yes, that refers to pandas.

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