Head of Neuse Regional Libraries recognized with state honor


Melanie Morgan (Contributed photo)

KINSTON, N.C. — Neuse Regional Libraries Director of Libraries Melanie Morgan has been awarded the highest statewide honor for Public Library Director.

The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) has announced that Morgan has been awarded the prestigious Director of the Year Award for 2021. NCPLDA presented the award to Morgan in a virtual ceremony on the afternoon of December 9.

Morgan became Director of Libraries in 2018 after serving for four years as the Director of Madison County Public Libraries, which under her leadership won Library Journal’s Best Small Library in America Award.  Since arriving at Neuse Regional Libraries, she has introduced a number of new community based programs and services, such as the Library’s Literacy Without Barriers initiative which provides homework help and adult tutoring to underserved members of the community in an overall push towards increasing family literacy. The introduction of Coming Together: A Community Celebration series was also a major success, and resulted in a Juneteenth celebration that was attended by over 1,200 community members. 

Melanie’s dedication to providing Internet access to rural areas of the community led to an LSTA CARES grant that placed public drive-in hot spots in 10 different Jones County locations, including in areas of the county that previously had no access to broadband, paid or otherwise. Under her leadership, NRL’s commitment to providing access to broadband for the community culminated in a visit and recognition from Governor Roy Cooper as an exemplary source of free broadband within areas of the community that need it the most.

More recently Melanie secured LSTA funding for a Digital Resource Rover that will provide library services to areas of Lenoir, Jones, and Greene counties that lack Internet access and include people with significant transportation concerns, as well as a grant for the creation of a Digital Media Lab to encourage participation in innovative technology, artistic expression, and economic opportunities by providing state-of-the-art resources for creating digital media content.

Melanie’s professional outreach is also extensive and includes serving as the NC LIVE Web Advisory Committee Chair and on the NC Cardinal Governing Board, the State Library LSTA Advisory Committee, the State Library Public Library Standards Working Group, and NCLA’s Literacy Committee. Locally, Melanie is a Board Member of both the Greene County Children and Families Partnership, and SAFE, a non-profit organization for victims of domestic abuse. She is a member of the Kinston Rotary Club and a United Way Community Panelist as well.

For more information on Neuse Regional Libraries programs or services please visit www.neuselibrary.org or call 252-527-7066, Ext. 134.

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