Swannanoa Library to close June 29

Press release from Buncombe County:

In 2021, a condition analysis of Buncombe County facilities reviewed 38 locations and evaluated them on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). With a rating of 1.69, the Swannanoa Library ranked 38th out of the 38 locations. With that, Buncombe County identified more than $635,000 of repairs needed at the Swannanoa Library to maintain life safety and continue providing regular operations. The library building is currently leased, and as of June 29, 2024, the County will not renew that lease and will reallocate library resources. This reallocation will allow the County to improve library access across the system.

“Change is never easy. We know this may be disappointing for those neighbors who utilize this library, but operationally, we just can’t justify these extensive ongoing costs,” said Assistant County Manager DK Wesley.

“While we will no longer operate this leased property as a library at the end of the fiscal year, we are planning to grow our services at the East Asheville and Black Mountain Libraries in ways that will ensure the Grovemont and Swannanoa communities have great options to support their love of reading and connecting. We’ll also explore mobile programming in conjunction with our CORE programming from Parks & Recreation this spring and summer.”

The Swannanoa Library serves just more than 20,000 visitors each year, and with 3,276 square feet, has the smallest footprint of any Buncombe County library.

Staff members at the Swannanoa Library will be reassigned to other library locations in their current classifications. These reassignments will help facilitate Monday hours at other libraries beginning this summer, and that information will be made available soon.

Additionally, a community celebration for the Swannanoa Library will be held, and details on that celebration are forthcoming.

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One thought on “Swannanoa Library to close June 29

  1. Allen Dye, Board Chair, Swannanoa Community Council

    At 3:36 pm today (Tues., Feb. 13) Swannanoa Community Council (SCC), Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) and Friends of the Swannanoa Library (FANS) were notified, via email, that the county plans to permanently close the Swannanoa Library at the end of June. This shocking announcement came without any prior warning that such a closure was being considered.
    In fact, SCC (which owns the library building, and has leased it to the county for decades) has been in good faith discussions with the county for more than a year in an effort to bring about significant improvements to the Swannanoa Library’s facility and services. These discussions included a possible transfer of ownership of the building to the county.
    The county made the decision to close the library without consultation with SCC or, to our knowledge, with anyone else in our community. SCC, FANS and FOTSL are learning about this decision just as the community is learning about it. We’re in the process of gathering more information, and evaluating our options going forward.
    In the meantime, if you’d like to share your opinions about the county’s decision to permanently close the Swannanoa Library, we encourage you to write and/or call County Manager Avril Pinder at Avril.Pinder@buncombecounty.org, 828.250.4100; Assistant County Manager Dashika (DK) Wesley at Dashika.Wesley@buncombecounty.org, 828.250.4059; County Commission Chair Brownie Newman at Brownie.Newman@buncombecounty.org, 828.243.0107; County Commissioner Al Whitesides at Alfred.Whitesides@buncombecounty.org, 828.250.4006; County Commissioner Terri Wells at Terri.Wells@buncombecounty.org, 828.250.4008; County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara at Jasmine.Beach-Ferrara@buncombecounty.org, 828.250.4004; County Commissioner Martin Moore at Martin.Moore@buncombecounty.org, 828.250.4010; County Commissioner Amanda Edwards at Amanda.Edwards@buncombecounty.org; and County Commissioner Parker Sloane at Parker.Sloane@buncombecounty.org.

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