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photo of Zilly Ann Hoyle

Library community room dedicated in honor of Z. Ann Hoyle

The City of Hickory invites the public to attend the naming dedication of the community room at the newly renovated Ridgeview Branch Library in honor of former Hickory City Councilwoman Zilly Ann “Z. Ann” Hoyle. The ceremony will take place at the library on Saturday, April 23, at 2 p.m.

The program will include comments from Hickory Mayor Hank Guess, Ward 4 Hickory City Councilman David Williams, Hickory Public Library Director Sarah Greene, and several family members and friends of Z. Ann Hoyle.

In memory of Z. Ann Hoyle and in recognition of her many contributions to the Ridgeview community, the City of Hickory, Catawba County, and local government service, the new community room is being dedicated and named in her honor.

The Z. Ann Hoyle Community Room provides an open space to host a variety of library programs and community events. Last year, the Ridgeview Branch Library was renovated and expanded. In addition to updating the interior of the building, the project added a group study room and a large community room with an exterior courtyard area and a separate entrance.

Z. Ann Hoyle committed her life to mentoring, leading, helping, and advocating for others. She was a dedicated public servant who believed in lifelong learning and listening, as it helped her make sound decisions on issues that affect the lives of other people today and for generations to come. She received an abundance of accolades throughout her life and received them with humility because she worked tirelessly for the greater good of the country.

Hoyle was born in Cleveland County and moved to Hickory in 1965. She graduated from Catawba Valley Community College with a degree in Early Childhood Development. Throughout her career, she worked in the community to preserve, promote, and inspire the youth. She retired with 20 years of service from Catawba County in 2005, where she worked with Catawba County Mental Health and Catawba County Social Services during her tenure. She was the architect and initiator of cultural, political, and economic activity in Ridgeview and the City of Hickory as it relates to African Americans for four decades.

In 1991, Hoyle was elected to the Hickory City Council as the first African American female elected to a council position in Catawba County. She represented Ward 4 and the Ridgeview community of Hickory on the City Council from December 1991 to December 2009.

Hoyle devoted many years of service to the community through her involvement with various organizations, including the local Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors and Smart Start Catawba County Committee. Prior to being on City Council, she served on the City of Hickory’s Community Relations Council for six years, and the Hickory Public Housing Board for more than nine years. She was an active member of the NAACP and served as president of the NAACP Hickory Branch for six years.

After taking public office, Hoyle was active in the NC Black Elected Municipal Officials (NCBEMO) and served as president of the organization. She served as the North Carolina District Director on the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and held several committee positions within the National League of Cities and the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Her commitment to learn and become more educated on government leadership and issues facing Americans was recognized with the Diamond Leadership Award from the National League of Cities. She was a top five finalist for the National League of Cities Women in Municipal Government Award in 2008.

Hoyle has been recognized locally with numerous awards for her service to the community. She was the first recipient of the local African American Cultural Center’s Ukama Legacy Award in 2004, and the award is now named and presented in her honor. She received the Women of Distinction Award by the Catawba Valley Girl Scouts and was named Woman of the Year by Morning Star Baptist Church. In 2017, Catawba Valley Community College’s Office of Multicultural Affairs honored Z. Ann Hoyle with the Outstanding Contribution to the African American Community Award.

Ridgeview Branch Library is located at 706 First Street SW in Hickory and can be reached directly at 828-345-6037. For more information about Hickory Public Library, please call 828-304-0500 or visit