The Blog

The Neuse Regional Libraries have embarked on a quest to promote a love of reading and community engagement through new initiatives that focus on personal connections with our diverse and intergenerational library patrons.  The Library is excited to be rolling out a special curated collection called Reading Influencers, and a new programming model called Try it @ Your Library.  Both initiatives are community centered and offer a twist of fun while learning something new in a safe and relaxing atmosphere.    

Reading Influencers is a modern display that features two prominent readers in our community who have shared three books they recommend every Kinstonian should read.   The program’s ultimate goal is to encourage civic engagement by recommending diverse titles to build a stronger community, and to share the love of reading.  In an era of uncertainty and unrest, stories have the power to transform our souls, and help each of us to pause and reflect on the importance of community, and our role in it. 

The debut of this initiative begins with two community spirited individuals who share a love of reading and fully recognize its impact on their lives. Constance Hengel, Director, Community Programming and Development at UNC Lenoir Health Care and winner of the 2019 Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle of Achievement Award shares, “the public library was a weekly trip that brought home books that expanded my knowledge and continues to advance my education and well-being.”  She also thanks her Olympian-level well-read parents for passing this gift along. 

Mayor Don Hardy, a Navy veteran and strong community activist who serves at the local level as the Mayor of the City of Kinston, as well as the national level on the National League of Cities’ Small Cities Council, believes “the power of “WE” is much more powerful than any one person could ever be” which is reflective of the books he selected to share with the community.  We are happy to have one of our community leaders be one of our first influencers; passing along our favorite books means that reading does not have to be solitary activity, and sharing the ideas and stories we find in books is a major way our community finds new ways to relate to each other.

Stay tuned and visit the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library to check out book selections from our August Reading Influencers display and learn who are next Reading Influencers will be. 

While checking out a Reading Influencer book, be on the lookout for Try it @ Your Library pop up programming for all ages.  Each of the Neuse Regional Libraries will be providing engaging DIY programs and technology demonstrations throughout the day to better connect with our community members and provide greater access to programs and services.  Some of the fun ideas planned are balloon swords, food hacks, phone photography, virtual reality, make a splint, change a tire, and many more.  Each Try it @ Your Library pop up program will come with a set of instructions to master the skill at home, and when applicable Try it @ Home Kits with supplies.

If interested in becoming a Reading Influencer or to learn more about Try it @ Your Library, please stop by any public service desk during you next visit to the library, visit the NRL website at or give us a call at 252-527-7066.  In addition, Curbside Service is available. #WhereCommunitiesComeTogether #ReadingInfluencer #Tryit@YourLibrary