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June 23, 2014

The Next Chapter

Corbin teen to redecorate library room

CORBIN — By Kristina Smith / Staff Writer

“Oh, this is one of my favorites,” the blonde 17-year-old says as she picks up “City of Fallen Angels,” a book by Cassandra Clare.

But then again, it seems like most of the books in the Corbin Public Library are loved by Angelica Mayo, a Corbin High School senior.

“Books have done so much for me in my life,” Mayo said. “They really taught me that I can be an individual and I don’t have to be like everyone else.”

And when given a moment to think about it, Mayo isn’t like everyone else. Her love for books has fueled a desire to give back to a place she considers to be a second home — the Corbin Public Library.

Mayo grew up “as a library kid,” according to library director Brenda Huff.

“She spent many hours hanging out in the library,” Huff said.

Mayo’s mother used to serve on the library board, and as a result a seventh-grade Mayo had an opportunity she couldn’t pass up — designing the library’s teen room.  She picked out the turquoise paint and red cushioned chairs to decorate the room she spent so much time in while her mother was working.

However, the room still wasn’t up to Mayo’s standards.

“Something about it just wasn’t right. It wasn’t finished in my mind because it doesn’t look as good as it could be,” Mayo said. “I just didn’t really see the importance of it (when I was decorating).”

So now Mayo is taking another shot at turning the library’s teen room into a place that her peers would actually want to go to.

“I got to looking at it this year and asked myself why people weren’t here. When I presented the room to the board I told them it would be a place for the future generations to come, but they aren’t here,” Mayo said.

Mayo approached the board once again asking for their permission to redecorate the teen room into a place that would be comfortable and enjoyable to people her age.

Her presentation was complete with a packet detailing expenses and decorating ideas compiled by the library’s teen advisory board.

In the end her persistence paid off.

“The teen room is a sterile atmosphere,” Huff said. “The board ultimately granted her with a set amount of money for redecoration.”

With a fresh $2,000 at her disposal, Mayo is now looking to finally complete what she started five years ago.

Right now Mayo doesn’t have a time frame for completion of the room because she still has to gather all the decorations and some helping hands to throw it all together.

When the time is right though, Mayo wants to have an unveiling party for the board members and the teens of the community. With the help of the teen advisory board she plans to redecorate the room in a single night.

“I want to make the room like a good book. It should be well worn because you keep coming back to it. It’s something to take you out of the crazy, hectic world and you can just kind of disappear into. It should inspire you,” Mayo said.

Walls decorated with quotes, paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, pillows hand-crafted by teens and a section devoted to book-to-film adaptations are just a few of the ideas Mayo has planned.

“She also came up with this idea to take mug shots of the teen advisory board members holding their books,” Huff said.  Mayo hopes to use those mug shot pictures to make announcements about upcoming events the teen advisory board has planned.

For Mayo though it’s more than just decorating a room – it’s all about inspiring teens and getting them involved.

“I want them to know it doesn’t matter where they come from or what kind of life they have lived. They can go anywhere and do anything if they set their mind to it,” Mayo said.

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