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Library system offers zoo pass, other nontraditional items
Toys available at East Hall location
Kameron Kirkland, 9, plays with an adaptive toy Thursday at the East Hall library branch. The East Hall library is the only one in Hall County that has the toys, which can be checked out for up to 30 days. The toys are just some of the nontraditional items Hall County libraries have available. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Along with books and movies, a free trip to the zoo is now in circulation at Hall County's libraries.

It's one of many nontraditional items on loan, including a pass to state parks, educational toys and even a device that measures energy use.

The Hall County Library System is participating in a statewide partnership with Zoo Atlanta that allows families to check out a DVD about the zoo and receive free admission for two adults and two children, which would otherwise cost $73.96
"I think it'll be very popular here," Library Director Adrian Mixson said. "This is a substantial savings for a family."

One Zoo Atlanta Family Pass is available at each library branch. The pass may be checked out once per year per household.

"You can check it out and turn it in the same day and we'll stamp it," Mixson said.

The program was originally launched in 2009 for branches of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. The program was so successful that the zoo partnered with Georgia Public Library Service to offer it in all 159 Georgia counties.

"As one of the state's largest living science labs, Zoo Atlanta is a resource for all of Georgia, not just Atlanta," said Raymond B. King, president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta, in a news release.

For those hoping to get a closer look at native wildlife, a pass to Georgia State Parks is available.

"You can use it to get into any park in the state for free," Mixson said.

And at the East Hall library branch you can check out toys. The special needs library there offers videos for the visually impaired and an entire collection of toys specifically designed to help those with developmental disabilities learn motor skills.

"They're really popular with our school system and they bring their challenged children over to use that library," Mixson said.

Another item on the shelves is a kilowatt meter.

"That helps you test your electrical consumption and see if you may have some issues," Mixson said. "You can plug your electrical devices, such as a refrigerator, into it to determine how much it costs in energy to operate. This was done with the Governor's Office to promote energy conservation."

For more information about library services and items available for checkout, call 770-532-3311 or visit