31 Days of CALS:
Virtual Author Sessions

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Event

December Grab-N-Go Jingle Bell

Kits to make your own Jingle Bell decoration for your home will be available beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1 while supplies last.  Watch Milam’s Mikey Makes Live on Facebook on Monday, Dec. 8 for instruction on making these.  Simple pick up your kit and follow along with Mikey.

Event

Grab n’ Go Snowman Card Craft (Teen)

Come by the Maumelle Library to pick up a grab n’ go bag that has everything you need to make this fun and festive holiday craft. Be sure to head over to our Facebook page for Ms. Marisa’s video tutorial on making these delightful cards that are sure to brighten anyone’s day.

Facebook: @cals.maumellelibrary

Event

December Crafternoon Grab-n-Go Kits for Kids

December Crafternoon Grab-N-Go kits will be available Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 1-3, while supplies last.  Pick up a craft kit to make and give to loved ones just in time for the holidays.

Event

Curbside Crafts

Do the kids need an easy indoor craft? We feature a new project at the beginning of each week containing complete kits free of charge. *At most, you may need to have your own glue or scissors at the ready. All you need to do is pick up your bag while supplies last. These are located on the table outside of our back door.

Event

Food For Good

Free prepackaged after school meals for persons 1-18 years of age.

M-F 4:00-5:30 p.m., excluding holidays.

Event

Life of a Klansman

Six Bridges Book Festival presents: Edward Ball, author of Life of a Klansman

Moderated by Tom DeBlack.

Free registration is required. This event will take place on the Zoom platform. You will receive confirmation of registration when you register. You may sign up for Zoom and download the Zoom app at https://zoom.us/.

Special Blog
Blog

Food for Fines

Shed unwanted library fines this holiday season. The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is continuing its tradition of helping those in need by holding its annual Food for Fines event from Monday, November 30, through Monday, December 7.

Food for Fines gives patrons an opportunity to help others in central Arkansas and to reduce fines for overdue library materials.

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Point of Interest

NEA Big Read at CALS

The Central Arkansas Library System is a recipient of a $14,900 grant to host the NEA Big Read: CALS. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. CALS is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading. The NEA Big Read: CALS events will take place between March 5 and April 28, 2020.

“We are very excited to host Tim O’Brien and to explore his classic The Things They Carried throughout the library system and beyond,” said Mark Christ, CALS adult programming coordinator. “As an institution, we strive to improve literacy and encourage the exchange of ideas, social engagement, and cultural expression.”

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Point of Interest

A Message from CALS

Dear Friends,
lisa donovan
To say that 2020 has been a difficult year is a huge understatement. Even so, we at CALS have so much to be thankful for this holiday season, starting with you, our patrons! Serving you is the driving force behind everything we do. Whether you visit the library in person to pick up grab and go meals and activities, use the computers, check out books and use curbside service, or enjoy our beautiful outside spaces, we appreciate that you come to the library. In addition to coming to CALS for library services, earlier this month, more than 59,000 people voted at CALS libraries. Despite the long lines, people were patient, orderly, and cooperative. We are grateful that everyone follows our health protocols by wearing masks and social distancing when they visit us. This keeps us all safe and allows us to stay open so we can serve you.

Many of you access our ebooks and other digital resources and programs online. Thousands of children and adults attend storytimes, book clubs, DIY, and a host of other virtual programs each month. In October, we saw close to 2,000 attendees for the virtual Six Bridges Book Festival.

None of this would be possible without our talented and dedicated staff. They work tirelessly to make sure our libraries are clean, safe, and open for business. Right by their sides are volunteers, who so far this year, have logged 1,250 hours helping to distribute 143,000 meals and activity packets to children and families.

Finally, we’re grateful for our partners. Those relationships are invaluable as they help us expand our reach and better serve you. We were able to provide lunch and after-school meals with the help of organizations including Be Mighty Little Rock, the Little Rock School District, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, the City of Little Rock, the Clinton Foundation, Well Fed, and World Central Kitchen to name a few.

The Walton Family Foundation has provided funding for CALS to create the Count UP math tutoring program. Through this program, students can receive virtual tutoring through our new Brainfuse HelpNow online resource, or they can sign up to be matched with a local tutor. Through a partnership with Little Rock Parks and Recreation, CALS received a grant to join Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities, a program focused on improving safe and equitable local park access. In September, we created pop up bike and pedestrian lanes near Children’s Library, and we continue to work to make the streets in that neighborhood safe for families.

In December, we will run our annual Food for Fines project in partnership with the Arkansas Foodbank in which patrons donate food in exchange for having overdue fines waived. We’re also continuing our collaboration with Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, providing activities for the museum’s annual holiday event and collecting toys for Robert “Say” McIntosh’s Stop the Violence program through December 1.

For those of you who visit our locations in person, you have probably noticed interesting arts and crafts on display. Our partnership with the Arkansas Arts Center provides those pieces along with art classes for all ages which we hope will resume in 2021!

The Rock It! Lab, a partnership of CALS and ReMix Ideas, is a learning and start-up hub designed to promote entrepreneurship, particularly in under-resourced communities. It was developed as a place for aspiring business owners to access useful, reliable, and free information to aid them throughout the process of starting their company. Most programs are currently online, but Rock It! Lab will open a physical space at CALS Main Library in downtown Little Rock in 2021.

Our list of things to be thankful for goes on and on. Please drop us a line or give us a call if you have suggestions for ways we can improve or ideas for new services. Again, thank you for using the library. You are the reason we are here, and we are grateful for you!

Lisa Donovan
CALS Deputy Executive Director