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Statement Regarding Incident at West Asheville Branch Library on June 29

west asheville library

Updated on July 3, 2024 @ 9:40 p.m. 

Community Announcement: Addressing Misinformation on Social Media

Buncombe County Government is saddened by the violence that occurred during a community event at the West Asheville Library, hosted by an outside organization on Saturday, June 29. The Asheville Police Department has an ongoing active investigation, and Buncombe County continues to cooperate fully.

To address misinformation on social media, particularly claims that our employees did not call 911 or condoned the violence, to be clear: library staff did call 911 immediately upon being alerted to the situation.

This was not a library-sponsored event. As an organization, we will continue to review our meeting room policies and procedures with a focus on community safety and community need. Buncombe County Government, Buncombe County Public Libraries, and our library staff are committed to ensuring that our libraries remain a welcoming and safe retreat for our diverse population. We will continue our commitment to supporting educational, cultural, and civic activities.

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On June 29, an outside group reserved a meeting room at West Asheville Branch Library under the name Another Carolina Bookfair for the purpose of an unspecified workshop. This was not a County sponsored event.

During the event above, the staff Librarian, who was not in the meeting room was alerted to a disturbance and called 911. Law enforcement and emergency services responded. This event is now under an active Asheville Police Department investigation. One arrest has been made. We are aware the arrest report states the person’s employer is Asheville Public Library System. To clarify, this person is not and has never been a Buncombe County employee. Buncombe County Public Libraries makes Library meeting rooms available to groups, organizations, and businesses as part of the Library’s mission to support the educational, cultural, and civic activities of the community.  Our meeting room policies are not intended to control the content of programs or events held in the meeting rooms, but to set basic terms and conditions for the use of the facilities. The facilities are available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs, or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Persons attending programs and meetings are subject to all provisions of the Library’s Rules of Conduct, and use of the meeting rooms does not constitute an endorsement of the program or organization by the Library or Buncombe County.

Buncombe County Public Libraries do not condone violence or hate crimes in any way, and leadership is actively working with Asheville Police Department.

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Updated Jul 11, 2024 01:50 PM
Published Jul 02, 2024 02:00 PM


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