Centennial Celebration: Black Mountain Library’s 100 (Plus 1)-Year Anniversary Party

Press release from Buncombe County Government:

Looking back over the past 100 years, it can be difficult, even scary, to venture predictions on the next century. But Black Mountain Library Branch Manager Melisa Pressley has a calming confidence when she forecasts: “The library will continue to be a gathering space for our community.” Through all the technological advances, societal changes, and other evolutions – the library has been a neighborhood stalwart providing a welcoming space evolving with its patrons’ needs while keeping its heritage firmly intact. And that’s a cause for a celebration … a Centennial Celebration!

In 1922, the Black Mountain Library opened in a sole classroom of the town’s First Presbyterian Church. After four more iterations, it found its current home on North Dougherty Street in 1968. Fast forward to 2022 when the institution celebrated its venerable centennial. “100 years is a long time for library service in a mountain community! We can read accounts about how patrons would walk to the library no matter its location, and that holds true today—we are a very walkable community and our patrons value that,” exclaims Melisa. “One of my personal favorite stories is that we had a pizza delivered to the library and the delivery driver came in the doors smiling—she told me that she knew exactly where the library was when the order came through because that’s where she votes. To me, it’s an example of exercising her right to vote and the library adapting to create a space that makes this possible. We really are a public space that allows everyone entry and access to information.”

With that clear mission of entry and access, Melisa once again ponders the future. “Our physical collection may be reduced somewhat with the proliferation of digital materials, but I think we’ll thrive as a place for citizens to share ideas and socialize,” she predicates, noting the upcoming Centennial Celebration will allow partygoers to make their own forecasts. “There will be a station where our patrons can write their dreams for the future library, and we’ll keep those displayed throughout April and scan them into a digital time capsule.”

To celebrate the Black Mountain Library’s centennial, we are hosting a party with memories, music from Black Mountain’s Briar Branch, refreshments, speakers, and more. And for those of you doing the math in your head, yes, this is technically a year late, but renovations prevented a proper party last year. So we decided to wait for this year’s National Library Week because the theme of “There’s More to the Story” fits perfectly with the unique and special work the Black Mountain Library provides. So please join us on Tuesday, April 25 from 6-8 p.m. for our Centennial Celebration.

What: Centennial Celebration – Black Mountain Library 100-year anniversary party
When: Tuesday, April 25 from 6-8 p.m.
Where: Black Mountain Library
Who: Everyone is invited to this free event
Entertainment: Briar Branch string band featuring Black Mountain residents and mother-daughter duo Julia Weatherford and Pearl Shirley will provide old-timey tunes.
Parking: In addition to parking at the Black Mountain Library, spots will be available at First Bank (after business hours) and behind the Methodist Church.

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Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email news@mountainx.com.

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