KINSTON, NC – The La Grange Public Library, a member of Neuse Regional Libraries, has been selected as one of 240 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

The competitive award comes with a $20,000 grant that will allow the library to provide new automatic doors for library users, more large print and audio materials for library users with visual impairments, and a special focus on providing materials, support group, and programming for senior citizens with disabilities such as dementia as well as their caregivers.

“We are very proud to be selected for this tremendous opportunity,” said Melanie Morgan, Director of Libraries. “Not only will we receive additional resources for better serving our library users with disabilities, but we will also be in a position to have direct conversations with patrons on how to best serve their needs.”

As part of the grant, Neuse Regional Libraries staff will take an online course on how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host a conversation with residents about serving library users with disabilities as well as how to better support local residents with dementia and their caregivers.

The La Grange Public Library occupies a critical space as a community center in La Grange, offering access to free Wi-Fi, informational resources, and quality programming at no cost to local residents. As a central point of access and community center for all residents, the Library also has the ability to play a critical role in offering support services for community members with disabilities while offering enrichment activities that help older members of the community, especially those with disabilities, remain active and feel valued by their fellow residents.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

If you would like to learn more about this grant or would like to participate in our upcoming conversations, please contact Justin Stout at 252-527-7066, Ext. 127, or visit for more information about the library and its services. We look forward to hearing from you!