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Wilkes County Human Library: Ken Welborn - Storyteller & Collector of All Things Old & Odd

The Human Library is very much like a regular library where people go to check out books. The only difference is that the books are all human volunteers that can be 'borrowed' for conversation.

Ken's dog, Angel

Ken Welborn is the publisher of The Wilkes Record, a newspaper website in North Wilkesboro, N.C., which is updated daily.  He started his career as a publisher in 1982, printing and distributing Thursday Magazine. In 1999, he changed the format from a weekly shopper to a full-fledged newspaper which was named The Record.

 From the onset, Welborn wrote a weekly column for The Record. Those writings were basically his stories – the stories he loves to tell and that folks love to hear.  It has been these stories for which he was honored by awards from the N.C. Press Association (these awards are always presented by the Governor of North Carolina) as well as the N.C. Society of Historians.

In 2004, the original offices of the paper were destroyed in a fire. Shortly after moving the business to Main Street in North Wilkesboro, Welborn oversaw the transformation of the old property into The Record Park, a venue for both music events and outdoor dramas. Welborn and his newspaper hosted a series of music festivals for 15 years. These events, which included ChickenFest in May and Americana Day in September, were held at The Record Park. All the musical events that were hosted by The Record were free to the public.

In 2020, with the advent of COVID, the newspaper suspended the publication of its hardcopy editions. At that point, the transition was made to a 100 percent website content local news source, which is updated each day.  Today, Welborn continues his work for The Wilkes Record (, and he continues to tell his stories.