Five things to check out from the library besides books

Buncombe County’s 13 library branches boast way more than just books.

East Asheville Library

The East Asheville library.

Photo courtesy of Buncombe County

Did you know February is National Library Lovers Month? In order to showcase just how much our local library has to offer, we’re sharing some rad things you can check out besides books.

First things first — you’ll need a library card. Buncombe County residents can get one for free by visiting and showing their photo ID, and the cards are good for three years. Pro tip: if your photo ID doesn’t include your current local address, please bring documentation showing it (like a check or utility bill).

Not a Buncombe County resident? Not a problem. All it takes is $20 per year and an in-person visit to obtain to get an out of county card.

Local attraction passes

One of the niftiest things cardholders can access? ZOOM passes, which give Buncombe County residents free access to local attractions, including the North Carolina Arboretum, the WNC Nature Center, the Asheville Museum of Science, and Asheville Community Theater. You can make one reservation per attraction every 30 days. Get all the deets on ZOOM passes here.


All 13 Buncombe County library branches offer laptop rentals with WiFi hotspots to cardholders that are 18+ with cards in good standing. Pro tip: rentals are free, but charges may be incurred for late returns or losses.

Gardening necessities

Plan your spring garden by picking up seasonal vegetable, herb, and flower seed packets at the Black Mountain, Leicester, and Weaverville branches. Bonus: The Black Mountain branch also regularly offers free gardening courses.

Binoculars and telescopes

Want to indulge in a little birding or stargazing? You’ll need tools for that. Cardholders can check out binoculars from the North Asheville branch and find telescopes at Pack Memorial downtown.


Prioritize play by checking out some entertaining games. Hit up the Black Mountain branch for discs for disc golf, “Take & Play” outdoor games from Pack Memorial and Fairview branches, and the Leicester + Black Mountain branches for jigsaw puzzles. You can also get picnic baskets with a blanket and games at the Enka-Candler branch.

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