exterior view concept plan mar 29 23 PNG

The drawings pictured above were part of a possible concept plan prepared by Appalachian Architecture for the Watauga County Public Library in February, 2023. The final drawings for the expansion may look different.




Monica Caruso speaks about the need for expansion. For more videos, scroll down.


The Need for Expansion

If you’ve spent time in our building, you may not need convincing that our space is too small for our needs! Check out a brief history of the Watauga County Public Library here.  You may view our 2022 statistical overview here.

We are past our “build by” date by 9 years! Did you know that when this building was constructed in 1997, it was built 1/3 smaller than intended due to limited funds available at the time? Here is the 1995 original project description. According to the State Library of NC facility guidelines, our building is currently 8000 sq. ft. smaller than the lowest “Essential” level of standards for our adjusted population. Our HVAC system, carpeting, and furnishings are just as old as the building. It’s time to catch up with our current population and plan for the next 20 years of library service to Watauga County!

We are maxed out on public use space that our users want and need! Our patrons have spoken and we have listened! Some ways we would plan to use added space include:

  • Programming space including STEM for children, teens, and adults with room for large and small groups
  • Comfortable and quiet seating for adults /more chairs and tables with access to power outlets.
  • Private workspaces for individuals or small groups with power outlets
  • Additional public meeting room space to accomodate large and small groups
  • Local history and genealogy materials / Digital Watauga work
  • Storage and space for our Friends group to sort donations and work
  • Workspace/offices for staff

Our staff and programming need more space to support our public services! We’ve made creative use of our limited space thus far, but we’d love to give our staff the room they need to provide the best programming for our community.

The Desired Expansion Project

We had local architect Bill Dixon of Appalachian Architecture P.A. put together a tentative concept plan for our building, which includes a 3-story addition out into the lawn (adding a basement, extending the main level, and adding a mezzanine) that would take our square footage from 16,840 to 40,034 – more than double! There would also be a second entrance added and a refurbishment of our current floor, which will require updates to accommodate the additional square footage.

It’s an amazing plan with a big price tag of $13.9M. We are hoping for a significant contribution from Watauga County, with help from the Town of Boone, state, federal and foundation grant awards, and private fundraising.

How can you help support a library expansion?

There are many ways to show your support for the project and help advance our efforts toward the plan!

    • Provide feedback in our Google form
    • Sign our petition at https://www.change.org/p/we-need-to-expand-the-watauga-county-public-library
    • Spread the word across the community via word of mouth and social media
    • Use library resources (Is your card active? Have you checked out a book lately?)
    • Donate to our Friends of the Library building expansion fund by:

      -Writing a check to the Friends of the Watauga County Public Library and writing "Building Fund" in the memo section. Bring check to Library Circulation desk or mail to Watauga County Public Library 140 Queen Street, Boone, NC 28607.

      -Using your credit card or cash to donate at the Library Circulation desk.  Your donation will be put into the Friends building fund.

      -Donating stocks, bonds or options through your brokerage firm. The Friends are partnering with Allen Wealth Management in Boone to manage stock, bonds or option donations. They can be reached at (828) 268-9693.

    • While in the Library, let us know on a sticky note what you would like to see in an expansion.
    • Children can donate their coins in the wishing well and make a wish for the new Library!
    • Advocate to our locally elected officials about the importance of this project!