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Last week Tina talked about our partnerships with the Fremont Public Schools. This week I’d like to focus on our newest partnership with the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. It’s called Gorillas on the Line… Answer the Call.

There are about 4,500 gorillas left in Africa and their decline is mainly due to habitat loss caused by the mining of a valuable metal called coltan, which is used in many of our small electronic devices like cell phones. About 80 percent of the world’s supply of coltan is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home of the critically endangered Eastern gorilla. In order to reach these rare minerals, trees are being cut down and earth is dug up, destroying gorilla habitats in the process.

Keene Memorial Library is proud to partner with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and other zoos across the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones and other small electronic devices. The library is providing a local drop-off spot here in Fremont. The phones will be collected at the Keene Memorial Library drop site now through April 26 or at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium through April 30. (The library will transport all locally donated items to the zoo by the April 30 deadline.) The zoo will ship all donated items to Eco-Cell.

Old cell phones, smartphones, iPods, iPads, tablets, adapters, chargers, MP3 players, handheld gaming systems and the accessories that come with are being accepted. By taking the small step of recycling old electronics, the public can help protect gorilla habitat in Africa by reducing the need for coltan.

Nationwide, we hope to collect at least 10,000 phones and electronics for recycling.

Laura England-Biggs is the Youth Services Librarian at Keene Memorial Library. She is temporarily filling in for Director Tina Walker.

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