Share your input on Buncombe’s 15-year library master plan

Photo courtesy of Buncombe County

Change is a comin’ to the Buncombe County library systemapproximately $81 million worth, based on a new 15-year master plan that’s currently in the community feedback phase.  

Let’s dig into the major details of these proposed changes, and how you can get involved in the input process. 

A hub and what?

The library system’s current model is “hub-and-spoke,” meaning that the majority of the County’s services are available at downtown Asheville’s Pack Memorial Library, while a collection of smaller, surrounding branches provide more basic services for Buncombe residents. 

In contrast, the proposed regional branch model would transition library services to a more evenly distributed, larger + comprehensive network of branches. This move would help the county save on operating costs, and would also improve the overall accessibility of the library system, especially for the 34% of residents who report that lack of parking is what keeps them from using the library. 

A visual of the regional branch model. | Screen grab courtesy of Buncombe County Libraries Facilities Master Plan

The plan’s major recs 

  • Relocating the Pack Memorial library to a new 65,000 sq ft building in downtown Asheville, and using the space for administrative + technical services, free parking, and potentially affordable housing units
  • The creation of 2 new 20,000 sq ft regional branches in Weaverville and between Black Mountain + Swannanoa.
  • The creation of 3 additional vending or locker locations to increase accessibility of library materials. 
  • The expansion of the Skyland/South Buncombe, West Asheville, and Enka Candler libraries to at least 20,000 sq ft.
  • The closure of the Oakley/South Asheville, Black Mountain, and Swannanoa libraries.

Share your input 

The county is asking for feedback on this plan through September via 3 virtual sessions that are open to the public. Feedback can also be submitted via email. The sessions take place: 

  • Wed., Sept. 15, 12-1 p.m. (bilingual version) 
  • Mon., Sept. 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Thurs., Sept. 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m.