There's cause for celebration today as news spreads that the Oakley Library (along with several other smaller neighborhood libraries) will be spared the chopping block - and may even be in line for upgrades and improvements!
On Nov. 2, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted to maintain the Buncombe County Libraries in their current facilities, including Black Mountain, Oakley, Swannanoa, and Weaverville. The motion also keeps the current Pack Memorial Library rather than exploring a new downtown location.
The Board of Commissioners also directed staff to explore enhancements at the current locations. The Board stated they would be open to considering new library projects on a case-by-case basis if they have the support from the surrounding neighborhoods.
“We clearly heard from communities that they be involved in this process. I’m very supportive of this motion to go ahead and make sure our communities have clarity on this moving forward,” said Commissioner Terri Wells.
Commissioner Amanda Edwards also supported the motion: “After hearing from so many residents about how closely tied they are to a particular library in their community… I hope as we move forward we can look at ways we can update existing facilities. I hope we can compromise and still offer residents of Buncombe County exciting, modern amenities.”
What a stunning success for the "Save the Oakley Library" team! And what a win for the Oakley community, as well. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to see this movement through. And much gratitude and thanks to everyone who put up a sign, wrote to their public representatives, shared stories and petitions on FB, or just stopped by the library to check out a book or use the computers - thanks to all of you, our library is saved!
But this is just the beginning! Now that we've secured the library's immediate future, it's time to channel all this wonderful community energy and interest into ideas and plans that will maintain our library's status as the welcoming, loved, and relevant heart of our community - for everyone here today, and for generations yet to come.