Library holds ribbon-cutting for new Teen Area

Library holds ribbon-cutting for new Teen Area

Director of Libraries Melanie Morgan and Youth Services Librarian Chanda Platania cut the ribbon as Mayor Pro-Tem Felicia Solomon and other Chamber of Commerce representatives assist. Photo by Catherine Hardee / Neuse News


It will be hard for local teens to complain that there’s nothing to do this summer.

The Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library and the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the new Teen Area and STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering) Lab at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library on Thursday. 

Youth Services Librarian Chanda Platania said the Teen Area was a passion project for her. In her time at the library, Platania said she had noticed teens didn’t really have an area where they could socialize or collaborate. The new area changes that, she said.

“This is their own space. I was really happy to see so many of them here today for this event,” Platania said.

The new Teen Area features dedicated computers, video games, comfortable seating and work tables. The area is restricted to thirteen-nineteen year olds, with older and younger patrons requested to reserve the space for teens. 

Kinston Mayor Pro-Tem Felicia Solomon said she was glad to see the excitement from the teens for whom the space is intended, as well as from the members of the community who attended the ribbon-cutting.

“This event is evidence that we live in a community that has our most precious gifts in mind. It means a lot for our kids to have a safe space they can call their own,” Solomon said. 

Chamber of Commerce Interim President Brenda Canup said the timing couldn’t have been better for opening the teen area.

Kemaun Pridgen plays a video game in the new Teen Area at the Kinston-Lenoir Public Library on Thursday Photo by Catherine Hardee / Neuse News

“This is a great addition to the community, especially in the summer when teens might not have other places to go,” Canup said.

For Kemaun Pridgen, a fifteen year old Kinston High School student, the new teen area is a place where he can hang out with friends and enjoy some peace and quiet. Pridgen said he is at the library every day, enjoying the video games, the computers and the books without distractions.

Neuse Regional Library System Director of Libraries Melanie Morgan recognized the generosity of donors who made the space possible, including Phil Loftin, who donated in memory of his parents, as well as many donations made in memory of long-time Friends of the Library board member Carol Sutherland. 

The Teen Area is located inside the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library at 501 N. Queen St. in Kinston.



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