Early Voting at CALS

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Preserve Arkansas’s COVID-19 Experience

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Event

Equilla Marie Walker—Vision from the Lens of My Soul

Equilla Marie Walker’s retrospective exhibition features soulful images reflected in black and white, color, and mixed media from her more than twenty years as a photographer.

Walker, who studied at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Clark Atlanta University, currently works as a Teaching Artist for the Crystal Bridges in the Classroom program in Little Rock.

Event

Ledger Art from the J. W. Wiggins Contemporary Native American Art Collection

August 14 – November 28, 2020

Galleries at Library Square, CALS Roberts Library

As part of the Central Arkansas Library System’s celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Arkansas author Dee Brown’s classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, the CALS Galleries at Library Square are honored to host an exhibition of ledger art from the J.

Event

Homework Help

Williams Library staff will be available via FB messenger to assist with homework assignments. https://www.facebook.com/cals.williams

Event

Shocktoberfest: Terror From The 80s! Humanoids From The Deep (1980, R)

Join us ALL October long for Virtual BingoFlix… SHOCKTOBERFEST: Terror From The 80s!

Play bingo along to the cheesy B-movie cliches in a selection of EIGHT terror films from the 1980s, for your chance to win a FREE movie pass to the theater once we reopen. FREE to play!

Tensions run high in the seaside community of Noyo when a controversial new cannery promises to revitalize the traditional fishing economy with new jobs,

Event

Coming Home (1978, R) FREE screening

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Showcasing a diverse range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery.

Event

Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization that aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science by equipping young women with the necessary computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities.

Girls Who Code Clubs are free after-school programs for 3rd-5th and 6th-12th grade girls to join our sisterhood of supportive peers and role models using computer science to change the world.

Special Event
Event

Writing War: A Conversation with Tim O’Brien

Novelist Tim O’Brien and Professor Alex Vernon (Hendrix College), both veterans, talk about their war and post-war experiences and transforming those experiences into meaningful writing.

This event is free, but requires registration using the Zoom platform. You may download the Zoom app at https://zoom.us. Please register using the button below.

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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.

Point of Interest

A Message from the Executive Director

CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter

August 13, 2020

Recently, CALS has been distributing thousands of meals every week to families who need help feeding their kids and teens. After COVID-19 triggered widespread job losses, the need for assistance skyrocketed for many families in our area who had never imagined they would be in such a position. CALS has now given out over 127,000 meals from our library branches in response to the pandemic.

Committed to personal service for our visitors

At a recent food distribution session at CALS McMath Library, our branch manager Laura Hodo called out a friendly hello to a library visitor, addressing the woman by her name. To Laura’s surprise, the woman began to weep.

She thanked Laura through her tears, saying, “I’m having a really hard time right now, and it’s important to hear someone say your name. Thank you for being here and knowing who I am.”

I often hear praise for the work CALS staff is doing. Someone stopped me on the sidewalk the other day to tell me how impressed he was with the library safety protocol at his branch. Last weekend, another patron emailed to say how grateful she was that someone at Fletcher had taken time to answer her questions and then steered her to a book she was enjoying. And we just received a very special thank-you note from a woman who had accidentally returned a book containing a bookmark that her young son had given her many years ago before he died. She was heartbroken to lose that bookmark, but the next time she checked out a book from her library, there was her family keepsake, tucked inside the book along with a note from a library employee at Thompson Library.

Our staff builds relationships with the people they serve in your neighborhood libraries. When I volunteered to hand out meals recently at our Dee Brown Library, I observed how our staff there knew most of the meal recipients by name.

Providing emergency food assistance (with the help of generous community volunteers) is just one of the ways we try to lift up the community. There are other crucial programs that we are currently supporting for the benefit of our schools and hospitals, for our children and families, and for everyone who calls Central Arkansas home.

CALS works to help Arkansas #CompletetheCount

Federal tax revenues that are returned back to Arkansas to pay for all sorts of important programs and infrastructure are allocated based on the once-a-decade U.S. Census. If we miss people who should be counted this year, this will negatively affect our state for years to come.

CALS has been working to help our community members complete the Census. Our Community Liaison to the Latinx community, Maria Aguilar, has gone out into churches, grocery stores, and other sites in our neighborhoods to assist Spanish-speaking people with completing the Census. We estimate that Maria’s efforts thus far have solicited enough new Census responses to bring in over $5 million to the people of Pulaski County over the next decade. She will keep working up until the September 30 deadline.

And Maria’s not alone. Several other staff members are hard at work setting up events and partnerships that will raise our census responses and help our state for years to come. We’ll be out there working with the City of Little Rock as well as our other partners to do our best for all of us in central Arkansas.

Register to vote, absentee or in person, at CALS branch libraries

Here’s another way that CALS is committed to helping people engage with their civic obligations. In November, we will have national and local elections. You can register to vote right now at any one of our library branches. Eight of our libraries will be early voting sites. We are working with the Election Commission and the County Clerk to educate people about the Governor’s order of August 7 facilitating absentee voting by mail, so they do not have to vote in person if they are worried about contracting the COVID-19 virus. Finally, the Pulaski County Election Commission has recently put out a call for poll workers. Working with the Arkansas Department of Health, the commission is providing protective wear for workers (PPE) and will limit the numbers of voters inside a polling location at any one time. If we can help with answering questions and guiding people to meet this call responsibly, CALS will be there, too.

In the meantime, we’re at our branches that are now all open 3 days a week, offering help with completing the census and registering to vote. If you’re not registered to vote or you haven’t filled out your Census response yet, please come stop by your local CALS library where we have safe social distancing, masks, and friendly staff members who can help you. Here’s a helpful guide to our new library hours, as well as what you should know before you visit.

Nate Coulter
CALS Executive Director