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Bryson City Library $400,000 closer to expansion

Swain County Librarian Jeff Delfield repositions a historic photo of Bryson City.
Lilly Knoepp
Swain County Librarian Jeff Delfield repositions a historic photo of downtown Bryson City.

One of the region’s oldest libraries will get a facelift soon. Dogwood Health Trust announced a $400,000 grant to expand and renovate the Marianna Black Library in Swain County.

Community members worked for more than a decade to gather the resources to upgrade the 53-year-old facility.

“Having this infusion of resources from Dogwood Health Trust means that enhancements can be developed much more quickly and efficiently than we ever could have done alone,” said Swain County Librarian Jeff Delfield in a press release.

The plans to make the library larger will add specific areas within the library for teens, a career and tech lab, co-working spaces, and larger children’s area as well as a local history reference room.

“We believe that the innovative ideas to dramatically improve health and wellness in our region are best cultivated in partnership with the people who live and work in our communities,” said Dr. Susan Mims, CEO of Dogwood Health Trust, in a press release.

“We are pleased to partner in the expansion and renovation of the Marianna Black Library as it grows to serve as a community hub for learning and social connection. This aligns with Dogwood’s overarching goal to create a Western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn and thrive, with dignity and opportunity for all – no exceptions.”

The library also received $3.2 million in state funds for the expansion project earlier this year.Construction is expected to start in 2024.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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