Buncombe County Public Libraries collects new and classic fiction for adult readers. A special ordering plan assures that new works by best-selling authors are supplied soon after publication. Large print fiction readers will also find popular titles on the shelf. Since new fiction is in high demand, it checks out for a reduced loan period of 2 weeks. Books can be renewed as long as there are no outstanding requests.
Nonfiction and Reference books are selected for the library with the goal of creating a balanced collection that provides some information on almost any topic. Certain subjects, however, are readers’ favorites, and materials selection favors those. Popular fiction, home maintenance, auto repair, gardening, cookbooks, crafts, pets, computer manuals and travel guides are examples. All nonfiction books check out for 3 weeks. Reference books do not check out at all.
If the book or audio book you’re looking for is not available, ask a librarian for help. A request may be placed on any circulating book or audio book that is checked out. If the book is not at your branch but shows available at a different library location, you may request that it be transferred for you to pick up free of charge. You may also log onto the Library catalog and place your own requests.
Collections In Other Formats
Downloadable electronic books and audio books are available through North Carolina Digital Library and through NC Live. For more information, follow the link to “Electronic Resources.”
Music CDs and audiocassettes may be found at Pack and at each branch. Music collections include country, rock, pop, folk, classical, international and show tunes. They may be checked out for 3 weeks. There is a check out limit of 7 CDs, and they cannot be reserved.
DVDs are also available at each library in the system. Feature films for adults and children make up the majority of the collection, although some arts and documentaries as well as some instructional films are also included. Feature films check out for 1 week with a limit of 7 at any one time. Instructional videos circulate for 3 weeks. DVDs checked out from one branch then returned to another stay at the library where they are returned. Since it is a floating collection, requests can be placed on DVDs. The overdue charge for videos is $1.50 per day.
Audio books on CD are especially popular with library patrons. Unabridged fiction comprises the bulk of the collection, although the Library has some nonfiction and some abridged books as well. Audio books can be reserved, and they check out for 3 weeks.
Art Prints are available at Pack Memorial and at the South Asheville (Oakley) Branch. Art prints may be checked out for 6 weeks.
Magazines and Newspapers
Magazines and newspapers are favored reading for many patrons. Each library subscribes to general interest publications ranging from fashion to sports to business to travel. Children’s magazines can also be found on the shelves. While most branches keep back issues for a limited time, Pack Memorial Library saves them indefinitely for research use. The majority of old magazines are stored on microfilm or microfiche. You can search the library catalog to find listings of all our magazines and back issues.
The Library has several electronic databases available to patrons. Some can be used from home, but most are only available at Pack Library.
Databases available from home:
NC LIVE (NCLive.org) is a collection of online databases made available to the public from the State Library of North Carolina. NC LIVE includes magazines and newspaper indexes with full-text articles, telephone directories, consumer health information, genealogy, auto repair, and more. These are licensed databases that provide patrons with a depth of information and a degree of reliability seldom found in general web surfing. Anyone with a valid library card can use the databases.
Databases available from the Library:
Westlaw is an online, searchable database of state and national legal information. It may be accessed at Pack Memorial Library or the Buncombe County Law Library in the County Courthouse.
Ancestry Library provides genealogy records and resources. It is available at Pack Memorial Library.
The Asheville Citizen Times online provides full text of the Asheville newspaper from 1999 to the present. It can be accessed in the library or from home through the link to “Electronic Resources.”
The Historical New York Times going back to 1851 is available in the library or from home. Follow the link to “Electronic Resources.”
Gale Literary Resource Center provides in-depth literary criticism from standard reference sources. Those include Contemporary Literary Criticism, Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism, Contemporary Authors, and more. Follow the link to “Electronic Resources” for the Gale databases.
The NC Collection
The North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library is the best stop for local information on Buncombe County, Western North Carolina, and North Carolina. Historical texts and photographs along with current publications cover the region. Genealogical resources are especially popular and include the complete North Carolina census.
The Thomas Wolfe Collection is a significant part of the North Carolina Collection. It contains books by and about the famous writer, an Asheville native.
Click here for more information on the NC Collection.
The Buncombe County Law Library is located on the 10th floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse and is open to the public. Its holdings include the United States Code Annotated, the General Statutes for North Carolina and neighboring states, case law, and law reviews and journals.
It is a reference library, so materials do not check out.
Westlaw, and electronic legal database, is available free to patrons.
Click here for more information on the Law Library.