Reserve Zoo visit with library card

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Outdoors

You can check out the Zoo, but you can’t check out the red pandas! Last week, Knox County Public Library announced a new partnership with Zoo Knoxville to provide free admission for cardholders. With an adult library card in good standing, a patron can now check out a pass to Zoo Knoxville. To access the pass, cardholders should go here.


The Library is launching the new offering, called the Read City Explorer Pass, with the Zoo which is providing 20 passes per week for a household of up to two adults and six children. The passes to the Zoo may be checked out twice a year per card holder. Patrons can reserve a pass up to six weeks in advance.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this service to families. Like checking out a book, being able to check out an experience such as a trip to the Zoo can be enlightening and educational for children and families,” commented Mayor Glenn Jacobs, “It’s important that we can expose our families to all the great assets in our community. We are looking forward to this great partnership with Zoo Knoxville.”

“Partnering with the Knox County Public Library to offer the Explorer Pass is one of our core programs to provide affordable access to Knox County residents,” said Zoo Knoxville CEO Lisa New. “As a non-profit, we rely on the city of Knoxville and Knox County, our members, Circle of Friends donors and visitors who buy tickets to support our day-to-day operations caring for the animals and our zoo, but their generous support also makes programs like this possible.  I hope they are as proud as I am to launch Knoxville’s cultural passport program today.”

In the ensuing weeks, the Library will announce more cultural partners in the program. The program will include passes to area museums, historic homes, and other educational attractions.

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library. She’s set to be a regular Wednesday feature for KnoxTNToday.com.

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