Matthew Van Meter, Deep Delta Justice

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Six Bridges Book Festival
Goes Virtual

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Imagine Your Story:
Summer Reading Club 2020

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Preserve Arkansas’s COVID-19 Experience

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CALS Phased Reopening Plan

CALS is currently in Phase 3 of its reopening plan. Limited in-building visits are available. Curbside service is available to pick up your holds on books and DVDs and your mobile printing orders. Returns may be made to dropboxes only. Leadership has approved a phased re-opening plan, as we attempt to offer as many services as possible, as safely as possible. Learn More >

More CALS Services Available Now

Curbside Service

Curbside library services are available at all but one of the Central Arkansas Library System branches, Monday-Saturday, 9am-6pm. Services include holds pickup, new checkouts, book drop returns, and limited mobile printing at each of those locations. To protect the health and safety of patrons and staff, very specific procedures for requesting and picking up items have been put in place. Please note: curbside service at Brooks Library has been suspended.
Curbside Service Procedures

Mobile Printing

Need to print a resume? The article you need for a report? That recipe you found online? Use our mobile printing service to print from your phone, tablet, laptop, Chromebook, even your home computer and pick up the printed document at your favorite CALS branch. All you need is an email address and a document to print.
Mobile Printing Info

Free Wi-fi

Surf the Internet through high-speed wireless networking from your laptop at all branch locations of the Central Arkansas Library System. You can connect at high speed without wires to e-mail, the Internet, and your company network with your computer equipped with wireless networking technology. Available 24/7.
Free Wi-fi Info

Streaming Content

CALS cardholders may access free eBooks, streaming audiobooks, magazines, music, podcasts, and more. We have a YouTube pages with tutorials, tips, reviews, and book and poetry readings for adults, teens, and kids.

STATEMENT FROM CENTRAL ARKANSAS LIBRARY SYSTEM BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Recent events have shown that we, as Americans, still have a long path to justice, healing, and understanding, especially in the treatment of our African American and other marginalized communities. CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter posted a statement about the recent police involved killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others whose names are not a part of the national story. He also offered ways for CALS to participate in addressing a part of the solution, so as a Board, we want to add our voice to his.

Acts of racism, violence, and injustice toward one another, particularly toward our communities of color, are a stark reminder that we all must do our personal best to make our own Central Arkansas Library System community fair, inclusive, and just. CALS’ fundamental mission is and has always been to, “help residents reach their full potential, and to inspire discovery, learning, and cultural expression.” A thriving equitable community benefits us all. To that end, we pledge our resources, creativity, and sustained effort to build true racial and social equity in our community.

Central Arkansas Library System Board of Directors

Annette Herrington, President
Nancy Rousseau, Vice-President
Brandon Grice, Treasurer
Marian Berry
Stephanie Gibson Branton
Robert Brown
John Bush
Sarah French
Andre Guerrero
Stacey McAdoo
Kelly Moss
Marilynn Porter
Sheila Wright

Available Titles from CALS

Below are curated lists of materials in popular topics available from CALS. If you would like a CALS librarian to prepare a personalized list of recommendations, please complete our preferences questionnaire. For book recommendations of all kinds, please visit the CALS Catalog.








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Special Blog
Blog

Spring 2020 CALS Poetry Anthology Published

Every April, writers and creatives across the map celebrate National Poetry Month. For thirty days, we honor the great poets of our past by spotlighting new and promising works and encouraging everyone (and anyone) to connect with their inner poet. This year, the CALS Writing Circle hosted a month-long challenge. For every day in the month of April,

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Event

VIRTUAL BingoFlix: Shark Month! 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015, TV-14)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

Terror Tuesdays and Virtual BingoFlix combine this August for Shark Month! Play bingo along to some of the cheesiest shark-themed films ever made for your chance to win a FREE movie pass to the theater once we reopen. FREE to play!

Event

Memoir and Personal Essay

Learn the techniques of creative nonfiction in this free 4-week class. Discover how writers use image and voice, scene, character, and setting in memoir and personal essay.

This is a virtual event. Contact dmoore@cals.org for more information.

Register for Memoir and Personal Essay

Due to ongoing public health concerns,

Event

Paul DeMain: “Buried Hearts at Wounded Knee”

CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Presents LEGACIES & LUNCH

Speaker: Paul DeMain, former editor of News From Indian Country

As part of CALS celebration of the 50th anniversary of Arkansas author Dee Brown’s classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, award-winning Native American journalist Paul DeMain will discuss his involvement in covering the activities of the American Indian Movement that were occurring around the same time that Brown’s book was published and his investigations into the aftermath of controversies surrounding the movement.

Event

Origami!

Join us every Wednesday for fun, friends, and origami! George and Mary are sure to delight with whimsical and sometimes unusual origami designs. All ages are welcome.

Event

Virtual Open Lab

Tech help from an expert. Ask your burning technology questions, get troubleshooting help with your computer or mobile device, or start out with new tech.
Event

SRC Museum of Discovery

Join us every Thursday at 1pm for some virtual science fun, presented by the Museum of Discovery. Registration for this zoom event is required and will be available until noon the day of the event. You will receive email confirmation of registration today; we will email the meeting’s access link at 12:00pm on the day of the event.

Point of Interest

Six Bridges Book Festival Goes Virtual

six bridges book festival, october 8-11, 2020We’ve decided to shift the upcoming Six Bridges Book Festival to a virtual event. The COVID situation is complex and numbers are still increasing, so for safety of the authors, moderators, volunteers, patrons, and staff, we felt this was the right way to go. The virtual event is still scheduled to begin on October 8 and we’re currently working on adjusting the schedule for this new format. We’ll post updates here and on social media as more information becomes available.

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Point of Interest

A Message from the Executive Director

CALS Executive Director Nate CoulterThe past weeks have been an exceedingly painful reminder of how America has not yet overcome its lengthy history of institutional racism. The tragedies of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are part of a relentless stream of horrific events involving police and vigilantes that reveal deeper flaws in our country, and the stark and ever-present threat faced by black and brown Americans.

Part of what ran through my mind over and over last week as I watched the video of George Floyd’s murder was, how could another human stand there, as the three other officers did, and watch that happen without doing or saying something, anything to try to stop the strangulation of a subdued man?

This week, as Little Rock and other cities have seen the peaceful protests of outraged Americans, it has occurred to me that perhaps those three officers are a symbol of the silence and failures of too many people who have power and privilege. How privileged people like me failed to say or do something that could help convert our outrage over these recurring injustices into meaningful reforms. Ensuring dignity and justice for all Americans depends on more white Americans engaging in that pursuit.

I can do more. I can start by imagining how the public library can help us find ways to move our country’s policies closer to her creeds. Maybe it’s as simple as urging people to explore through the rich resources of the library the lives of others, their varied perspectives, and unique sufferings. Maybe the library can encourage more expressions of painful stories endured by people of color among us and encourage more attentive listening by those who lack such life experiences.

In this vein, here is a link to a statement from the Urban Libraries Council that reflects the commitment of more than 160 North American libraries to ending structural racism. Although the problem is beyond the scale of anything libraries alone can conquer, we can help forge partnerships and encourage working with everyone, as libraries have always done, to build more equitable communities.

I have hope that the combination of yet another instance of police brutality against a black man, and a global pandemic that has imposed grief and suffering disproportionately on people of color in America, will shake us from accepting inequity. I have hope that George Floyd’s plaintive cries for mercy will stir us in ways that transform our attitude and our policies, and that his tragic murder will end a terrible legacy.

Nate Coulter
CALS Executive Director