The Zoo Library Uses Hands-On Approach to Teach Conservation

The Zoo Library is a hands-on, interactive conservation program with live animals serving schools, hospitals, libraries, senior centers, child care facilities, and community outreach programs in metro Atlanta.


Local high school English teacher Holly Isserstedt and her husband Paul Suarez founded The Zoo Library when they saw an increasing need to put more interactive experiences in the classroom to promote project based learning and real world application.


“What better way to to do this than with live animals.” Said Isserstedt. “As parents, we want the next gen-eration of children to learn more about our precious natural environments, eco-systems and protection and conservation for animals. One way of doing this is to educate students on proper habitats, safe handling, care and respect for all species. By caring for animals, children learn responsibility, compassion and the precious connection among all living things.”


The Zoo Library crew includes pigmy hedgehogs, lop rabbits, a Russian tortoise, various snakes, hissing cockroaches, a panther chameleon, tarantula, moon jellyfish, monarch butterflies, crested gecko and more.


In addition to the hands-on interaction with animals, programs can also include crafts, games, Q&A sessions and photo sessions depending on the client’s request.


“We want our clients to see how fascinating and unique animals are and the many ways they enrich our lives and our planet. “Said Isserstedt. “We love to see how much joy our animals elicit. Often, this is the first time one of our clients has ever handled animals. I love the immediacy of the interactive experience which is especially rewarding with special needs children, seniors and those who are critically ill.”


The Zoo Library will have their lop rabbits at Farmhouse 17, 141 S. Peachtree Street in downtown Nor-cross, April 8 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for a fun Easter event where you can find out more about the program. Photo sessions will also be available for $25, which includes 3 digital files.


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–Dean Hesse