avery_county_library_watercolor-
watercolor of spruce pine library exterior

Our Mission:

To help communities create and maintain a foundation for literacy, economic development and democracy.

The AMY (Avery-Mitchell- Yancey) Regional Library System is a regional system serving the citizens of Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties. The administration and staff of the AMY Regional Library strive to be an integral part of the daily lives of the residents in our 3 counties. It is our duty and responsibility to provide all residents with unique and excellent educational, recreational, informational, and cultural resources and services throughout each individual’s lifespan. By building collaborative relationships with other agencies and institutions which have similar missions and goals, we are able to enhance the services of both and make the most effective use of our financial support.

Dorothy Thomas & the Birth of the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System

Ms Dorothy and her Bookmobile book cover art

Dorothy Thomas was the first professionally trained librarian who served Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties beginning in 1948. Thomas was a native of Massachusetts who lived in Celo and worked in the Watauga Library System in the 1940’s. In 1948, she began work at the Avery Public Library as a part-time librarian. That same year, at the request of the Mitchell and Yancey County Library Boards, she was asked to be the Librarian for all three counties. In 1961, Thomas worked diligently among the three counties to form a regional library system, which increased funding from the state and services locally to the people. The AMY Regional Library, which included the Spruce Pine Public Library, was officially sanctioned on July 16, 1961.

The insight of Thomas was critical in the beginning to bring the three counties together and then encourage the Spruce Pine Public Library to join the Regional System. This collaboration into a regional library system has continued to provide resources and services that would not have been possible for any of the individual libraries separately.

Dorothy Thomas inspired generations of North Carolina residents, and her story lives on in the award-winning children’s book Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile, by the author Gloria Houston and beautifully illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb. Her story is also reinvisioned, with the illustrator’s permission, as the mural in the Children’s Area at Yancey County Public Library, created lovingly by Yancey County artist Rhea Ormond.