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Library hosting special Smithsonian exhibit this Summer

Macon County Librarian Karen Wallace invites the public to the library to see teh travelling exhibition, “Water/Ways.”

While the library did temporarily close as a result of COVID19, the facility is up and running, and suggests making “appointments” to visit the library.

“As long as we’re not at capacity, we allow “walk-ins” to enter,” said Wallace. “There may be some time we would ask people to wait a few minutes. We close the doors at 15 minutes before the hour to allow staff time to clean and disinfect surfaces. So if someone comes at 10:40, we’ll advise them that they would only have 5 minutes before they’d be asked to leave. Some people only need 5 minutes to grab their book and go, and that would be fine. But if they want more time to browse or use a computer or wi-fi, for instance, they would need to wait until 11:00 (or the top of the hour) before entering.”

Wallace said the library’s capacity was set at 60 people, which they haven’t reached up until this point.

From above, Earth appears as a water planet with more than 71 percent of its surface covered with this
vital resource for life. Water impacts climate, agriculture, transportation, industry and more. It inspires
art and music. The Macon County Public Library, in cooperation with North Carolina Humanities Council,
will examine water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element as it hosts
“Water/Ways,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program.
“Water/Ways” will be on view July 14 through August 24.

The Macon County Public Library and the surrounding community has been expressly chosen by the
North Carolina Humanities Council to host “Water/Ways” as part of the Museum on Main Street
program—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural
organizations. The exhibition will tour six communities in North Carolina from July 14 ,2020 through April
25, 2021.

“Water/Ways” explores the endless motion of the water cycle, water’s effect on landscape, settlement
and migration, and its impact on culture and spirituality. It looks at how political and economic planning
have long been affected by access to water and control of water resources. Human creativity and
resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural

Designed for small-town museums, libraries and cultural organizations, “Water/Ways” will serve as a
community hub to inspire conversations about water’s impact on American culture. With the support

and guidance of North Carolina Humanities Council, the Macon County Public Library is partnering with
numerous local organizations and individuals. These groups are developing a film and photographic tour
of the Little Tennessee and its watershed, virtual and in-person public programs and facilitating
educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about what water means culturally, socially and
spiritually in their own community.

“We have a wonderful group of local partners helping us to safely engage with the community this
summer. Because while we want to make the most of the six weeks that the Smithsonian exhibit is in
Franklin, we also want to continue to support organizations like Macon County Schools STEM Program,
GA/NC Bartram Trail Society, Friends of the Greenway (FROGS), Mainspring, and the Nikwasi Initiative
that help us protect and enjoy our waterways now and in the future,” said Kristina Moe, Library
Assistant at the Macon County Public Library. “We want to facilitate conversations about water and are
developing local content and public programs to compliment the Smithsonian exhibition.” Such free
events include documentary films, book discussions, and outdoor activities near the Little Tennessee

“Water/Ways” is part of the Smithsonian’s Think Water Initiative to raise awareness of water as a
critical resource for life through exhibitions, educational resources and public programs. The public can
participate in the conversation on social media at #thinkWater.

“Water/Ways” was inspired by an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History,
New York ( ), and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul ( ), in
collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari,
Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada;
San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.
The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian
Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local
host institutions. To learn more about “Water/Ways” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions,
visit Support for MoMS has been provided by the U.S. Congress.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of
people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural
heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever
people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit .

For more information, visit or call the Macon County Public Library at (828) 524-
3600. The Library is open by appointment Monday-Friday from 10:00am-5:00pm.

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