Q&A with the Directors
Nate Coulter, Executive Director
In November, the millage increase was passed; how are you using that extra money?
We were so pleased that the citizens of Little Rock entrusted CALS with approximately 2.4M annually of much-needed additional funds. This was our first rate increase since 2007. We promised that the funds would be used to help pay our staff a living wage, to invest more heavily in digital services to address some of the deferred maintenance at some of our libraries. The pay raise notifications have already gone out to the staff and they will realize those deserved increases in their first checks of 2022…
Lisa Donovan, Deputy Executive Director of Library Operations and Director of Literacy & Learning
What do you see happening at CALS in 2022 that will have the biggest impact on patrons?
The library has always been a place for everyone, but specifically, we find that families benefit the most from our services with so many programs and services geared toward children and teens. The past few years have been rough on families trying to juggle that work life balance while also surviving a pandemic. One of the biggest struggles that families have faced has been childcare while maintaining a job. We always like to look at what citizens need and how we can help fill that need or step in and lessen a burden…
Nathan James, Deputy Executive Director of Technology & Collection Innovation
What are you most excited about that is happening at CALS in 2022?
We have always prided ourselves on staying on top of new technology. Last year, we were able to recognize the need for internet access and meet that need in a number of ways. When we temporarily suspended operations due to the pandemic, we increased the wifi from our buildings so that it could be accessed from the parking lot so patrons could still use those services as needed. And when we first reopened our doors for limited public access, we took measures to allow patrons to use our public-access PCs. As the year progressed, we invested in a large collection of hotspots that can be checked out for two weeks at a time so patrons can take the internet home with them…