Fontana library system has deep roots

The six libraries in Macon, Jackson and Swain counties are part of the Fontana Regional Library system, headquartered at Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. The system has deep roots in the region, dating its beginnings to 1944 when the Tennessee Valley Authority sponsored a regional bookmobile for residents.


Today, under the leadership of system director Karen Wallace and a nine-member board of trustees, Fontana Regional Library has embarked on ambitious plans. These include expanding the number of hours the six libraries are open, improving facilities and adding more books, computers and other resources.

In addition to building a new library in Macon County, other significant improvements have been made recently in Fontana Regional Library system. Wallace provided this update:

• The Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library in southern Jackson County expanded to almost twice its previous size, with a grand opening held last fall.

• There are discussions taking place at Hudson Library in Highlands about how to best use the space that will become available when the Bascombe-Louise Gallery finds a new home.

• The Nantahala Community Library is thriving at its home behind Nantahala School, but growth in that part of Macon County could mean more resources will be needed.

• Preliminary discussions are taking place with county officials about where to go next with needs at Marianna Black Library in Swain County.

— By Quintin Ellison

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