In late Spring 2019, the Neuse Regional Library revamped the Teen Area of the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library. Through the assistance of community donors, grants and other funding, the Library designed a space that is equipped for teens to participate in collaborative learning as well as an area where they can feel comfortable being themselves. In January 2020, the Neuse Regional Library unveiled a new logo and website that emphasize the goals and objectives the Library laid out in the Strategic Plan in 2019. In keeping with this “New Year, New You” mentality, we are working on expanding teen programming to broaden the offerings for the 12- 18 age range.
A new teen-led Art Club will hold its first meeting on Saturday, February 15 at 2:00 p.m. The Art Club will provide a space for teens to learn from each other, share techniques, and build skills with community artists. Raegan Pike, age 13, helped create the club and is looking forward to sharing in art activities with fellow teens. “I’m ecstatic about the new Art Club and hope it leads to seeing more artists in my community,” she says.
Also beginning in February, 3T – Teen Time Tuesday – is a monthly program that focuses on life skills such as budgeting, meal planning, job search skills, and more. This program will be the third Tuesday of the month, hence the title 3T. The first session will be held on Tuesday, February 18 at 4:00 p.m.
One of the biggest areas we’ve experienced recent success with teens in is holding PS4 gaming tournaments. Regular teen program attendee Amelia Smith, age 13, participated in the last tournament and said “this has been amazing. I always enjoy the Teen Area and it’s a great place to meet other teens, but programs like this where you can form bonds and enjoy so many fun things to do take it to another level.”
Because we recognize how important gaming can be to getting teens to engage in library events and participate in a community, Free Play Gaming Sessions and Gaming Tournaments are becoming a regular monthly event. Free Play Gaming will involve open game time where participants can bring friends and practice on available games. Every third month, we will hold a new Gaming Tournaments. These sessions allow for healthy competition and a safe environment for teens to gather, and allow them to add a real-world experience element to gaming. The next Free Play Gaming will be February 15 at 2:00 p.m.
Later this year, we will begin hosting the Battle of the Books Book Club. Books will be selected from the Middle School Battle of the Books reading list and the Club will meet monthly. Discussions will dive deep into the structure of these stories and focus on character development, symbolism, point of view, discourse, and more. Participants will be encouraged to check out or request copies of the book with the Teen Librarian.
With a dedicated space available and new programs constantly coming, the Library hopes to become a place teens consider fun and accessible for all their educational needs.
For more information about any of these programs or Teen programming in general, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 133.