Free Passes Available to Local Attractions

Buncombe County Public Libraries recently launched a new program to give library card holders access to free passes for local museums and attractions. It’s called a ZOOM pass, and anyone with a library card has access to the program.

zoomThis creates an opportunity for Literacy Council tutors to take their students on field trips to museums and hubs of community life–at no cost. Consider using a ZOOM pass to accompany your ESOL student to a place they have never been and practice their English skills in a new environment. Or take your Adult Education student to a museum and practice reading the venue map, signs, or exhibit descriptions together. Or just take your student somewhere new in celebration of achieving a personal literacy goal!

Click here to make your reservation with your library card number, then pick up your pass at Pack Library and enjoy your day

Current ZOOM Passes Available:

How does it work?

1) Request the pass online:

  • Have your library card handy and click here
  • Search for the location and date that you would like to reserve.
  • Click on the museum/attraction name to see how many adults and children gain entry with each pass.
  • Click “Request Pass” for the location and date that you would like to reserve. 
  • Enter your library card number.
  • Confirm your request details.
  • Check your email for a confirmation of your reservation.

2) Pick up your pass:

Take your library card to the Youth Services Desk downstairs at Pack Library (downtown Asheville) to pick up your pass up to 48 hours before your visit.

3) Use your ZOOM pass:

Take your ZOOM pass to the museum or attraction for FREE admission. 

Special notes

  • Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance and you may visit each attraction once every 30 days. Reservations are made online only.
  • The pass will be good for your reservation day only and can only be used by you and your guest(s).
  • Your reservation may be canceled up to one day in advance. You can use the “My Passes” link on the web page to manage and cancel your reservations. 


This program was funded by the Buncombe County Friends of the Library.

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Mi Historia: Latinos Today in Western North Carolina

mi historia

Sueños is the name of the mural created by El Centro of Henderson County youth in 2003. It shows the beauty of the Latino culture in the United States. Photo courtesy of El Centro.

Join the Literacy Council for the opening reception of the “Mi Historia: Latinos Today in Western North Carolina” exhibit on Monday, April 24th at 5:30 pm. All volunteers, tutors, students, and community members are welcome to participate in the event as we offer a glimpse into the important stories of the local immigrant population.  Light hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine will be provided. 

What is the exhibit about?

This stunning collection of personal testimony and imagery covers everything from why individuals left their home countries to the realities of day-to-day life in the United States. You can expect to learn more about how Latinos have contributed to the state economy, navigated identity conflicts, overcome language barriers, and shared important aspects of culture, such as religion, food, holidays, and art. 

Can’t make opening night?

This exhibit is on loan from the Center for Diversity Education at UNC Asheville and will be available for viewing during regular business hours through the end of May. If you have an extra 30 minutes, stop by the Literacy Council for a self-guided tour of the display. Activity guides will also available to help facilitate reflection.

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Join the Literacy Council Team in 2017/18


Position Filled

Are you looking for the opportunity to make a difference? The Literacy Council has an exciting opportunity to join our team for a year! Apply today to become the Literacy Council’s next Recruitment and Awareness Coordinator through AmeriCorps.

Position Description

Join AmeriCorps and “get things done”! Become a NC LiteracyCorps member at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County and improve literacy and English language skills in our community.

NC LiteracyCorps members provide literacy tutoring to youth and adults while building program capacity through volunteer tutor recruitment and management. The LiteracyCorps member working with the Literacy Council of Buncombe County will have the opportunity to:

  • provide direct service tutoring,
  • recruit and orient volunteers,
  • recruit and support students,
  • develop and enhance community partnerships,
  • conduct visibility campaigns,
  • manage a book gifting program, and
  • participate in national days of service.

The Literacy Council’s NC LiteracyCorps member will begin in August 2017 and complete their service year in July 2018. Over the course of the year, the member will become an integral part of the Literacy Council’s full-time team, providing 1,700 hours of service.

The new application period begins Aug. 22 and closes Sept. 8. 2017. 

AmeriCorps LogoBenefits to the Member

NC LiteracyCorps members receive a living allowance of up to $12,630 and qualify for limited health insurance reimbursements. Upon completion of requirements, they are eligible to receive an educational award of $5,815. NC LiteracyCorps members receive training in volunteer management, literacy issues, tutoring strategies, diversity, and leadership skills. The member placed with the Literacy Council will also have a professional development stipend to participate in conferences and seminars throughout the service year.


To serve with the NC LiteracyCorps, the member must:

  • be at least 17 years old
  • have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • successfully pass statewide and national criminal background checks
  • be a U.S. Citizen, National, or Legal Permanent Resident of the United States

Preferred qualifications are:

  • a deep commitment to providing educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged adults and youth and/or those who are from other cultures
  • excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work effectively with staff, volunteers, and members of the community
  • outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • a working knowledge of office technology including Microsoft Office suites
  • ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • creative, strategic thinker with excellent organizational skills and ability to track deadlines
  • available to work occasional evenings

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Local Assistance for LCBC Students Seeking Employment

NC Works Logo

Many Adult Education and ESOL students are looking for a new job because they are either unemployed or under-employed. In an effort to learn about what resources exist to help these students, the Literacy Council invited an NCWorks Career Center representative to speak to staff and tutors on Jan. 25. We learned that connecting with the NCWorks Career Center may help your student find, apply for, and get the job they’re looking for.

Career Advising

Each time a job seeker comes to the career center, they can choose to meet one-on-one with a career adviser who will help them:

  • informally assess job seeking skills, work skills and work interests
  • create or update a resume
  • learn how to use the NCWorks Online website and create a NCWorks Online profile
  • learn about center services, such as workshops, the Career Lab, on-site tutorials and computer class, career counseling, and financial aid for training
  • as appropriate, obtain a referral for center services that require one
  • discuss skill gaps and skill development opportunities
  • find available jobs

Job seekers who want to receive this personalized assistance should come to the NCWorks office between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm Monday through Friday for same day service.

Computer Resource Area

The NCWorks Career Center also offers a Computer Resource Area for job seekers. This area has twelve computers and is available for job search activities such as preparing a resume and completing an online job application. Job seekers do not have to meet with a career adviser before using the Resource Area, but they do need to check in at the front desk. This service is available from 8:30 am-4:55 pm Monday through Friday.  Career advisers are available to provide general assistance in this area as needed.

Job Seeking Workshops

The NCWorks Career Center offers regularly scheduled workshops that focus on career planning and job seeking skills. Here are some workshop topic examples:

  • Identifying Career Interests
  • Mastering Online Applications
  • Write a Winning Resume
  • Networking – the Most Effective Way to Find a Job
  • Computer Basics for Job Seekers

Workshops are free to job seekers. Click here to see a list of upcoming workshops. Sign up by calling (828) 251-6200 or visiting the NCWorks office.

Financial Assistance for Job Training

The NCWorks Career Center has access to federal funds to assist job seekers in paying for short-term (and some long-term) training programs. Short-term training programs take an average of 10-15 weeks and include: CNA, Hospitality, and Advanced Manufacturing courses. Job seekers should meet with an NC Works career adviser to learn more about this opportunity and eligibility requirements.

NC Works Online

NCWorks Online is a website with available jobs, job seeking tips and labor market information. Job seekers can create a NCWorks Online profile so employers can find their resume. They can also look for jobs in their desired field and geographic area. NCWorks career advisers can help job seekers start this process, as well as upload or create an online resume that employers can find when looking for new employees.

Requirements for Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in NC Works programs, a job seeker must have a valid Social Security number, ie: be a U.S. citizen or a non-U.S. citizen with authorization to work in the U.S.

To be eligible for financial assistance in approved training, a job seeker will either 1) need to meet certain income eligibility requirements or 2) be classified as a “Dislocated Worker” (click here for description). Because the NCWorks Career Center wants to provide training assistance to job seekers whenever appropriate, job seekers are encouraged to come to the center to find out if they qualify.

Contact Information

NCWorks Career Center
(828) 251-6200
48 Grove Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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Resources to Help your Students Cope with Racial Intimidation and Bias

adl blogThe Literacy Council staff attended a presentation on Jan. 27 by the Anti-Defamation League. The organization was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Now the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.

The Anti-Defamation League, Buncombe County’s Sheriff Van Duncan, and Asheville’s Chief of Police Tammy Hooper provided information at the meeting about how to a) report an anti-Semitic, racist or bigoted incident and receive victim support and b) educate children at school and home to reject bias.

Please use these resources with your Literacy Council students, at home, and in the community.

Reporting an Incident & Seeking Victim Support

If one of your students or someone you know is the victim of a hate incident, these resources will help them report the incident and receive victim support.

First, in addition to hate crimes, “racial intimidation” (unprovoked hate speech aimed at intimidation, including racial slurs) is also prosecutable offense that should be reported to law enforcement. It is best reported by the victim, but can be reported by a witness.

  • In an emergency, always call 911
  • For non-emergencies in Asheville city limits, report to: 828-252-1110 (any language)
  • For non-emergencies in Buncombe County, report to: 828-250-6670 (English) or 828-250-4542 (Spanish)

Additionally, any form of hate incident should be reported to the Anti-Defamation League, who reports data on hate incidents nationally and regionally. They will provide optional support to victims who report hate incidents.

  • Click here or call 212-885-7700 to report an incident with ADL and receive victim support 
  • Click here if you would like to also report the incident to the Southern Poverty Law Center to aid in their work monitoring incidents in our region

Educating Children to Reject Bias

The Anti-Defamation League has online resources for educators, parents, and caregivers to teach children and youth to reject bias and embrace diversity.

K-12 Educators and Administrators

The anti-bias curriculum helps students develop an understanding of diverse perspectives, strengthen critical thinking skills, challenge the development of emerging biases, and build skills and motivation to take action against injustice. Resources include:

Parents and Caregivers

These resources help parents and caregivers “create a home life that recognizes the diversity of our world, addresses bullying, opposes bias, and in small and large ways, challenges those injustices.” Resources include:

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