Ashe Commissioners updated on library

Wil Petty

March 10, 2014

The Ashe County Board of Commissioners were updated on the state of the Ashe County Public Library at its scheduled meeting on Monday, March 3.

According to data presented by Ashe County Librarian Suzanne Moore, 101,813 walked through the Ashe County Public Library’s doors during the 2012-13 fiscal year.

“We do a lot of outreach programs as well, so there are higher numbers,” Moore said.

Various outreach projects done by the Ashe County Public Library during the 2012-13 FY included a Community Read series, checking out a “human book” and creating Little Free Libraries in Lansing, Laurel Springs and Todd.

Moore said a grant from Ashe County supplied 77 percent of the budget last year,while 6 percent of the funding came from state aid. Of the library’s expenses, personnel expenses take up 83 percent.

Moore also thanked the Friends of the Library and volunteers for their help with the different events and outreach the library does.

“Without volunteers we could not do as many different things that we do,” Moore said.

In the 2012-13 FY, the library hosted 252 programs with 6,691 attendees. Moore said that was an increase from 2011-12, when the library hosted 173 programs with 3,193 attendees.

Other information provided by the presentation included:

• 48 percent of Ashe County citizens are library card holders.

• 148,228 items were circulated within the library.

• A ebook library hosted by the Appalachian Library district carried 1,165 ebook titles with a circulation of 14,105 between Ashe, Watauga and Wilkes counties.

• Several events were done with grants from different companies including BREMCO, Dollar General, the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

After the presentation, Ashe Friends of the Library President Clint Johnson showed his support of the Ashe County Public Library during the meeting’s public comment period.

Johnson said the Friends of the Ashe County Library has 170 members and they raised $50,000 for adults and children’s programs at the library through their sales of books and supplies.

“We are very proud to help with the services of the Ashe Library,” Johnson said.

Johnson also praised the Commissioners for their support of building the new library, and compared the stability of Ashe County’s library to the problems in Forsyth County’s district.

“Everyone can see what a great facility the commissioners had made many years ago,” he said.

In other action by the Board:

• Passed a resolution supporting the Ashe County Cooperative Extension.

• Watched a video providing a legislative update from the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.

• Accepted a property offer from Ashe County Job Development providing six acres of land near the Ashe County Airport for economic development purposes.

• The next meeting of the Ashe County Board of Commissioners will take place 1 p.m. Monday, March 17.

Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.