Primary Sources Podcast:
A Conversation with Mayor Frank Scott

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Silver on Silver: Forrest Gump (PG-13)

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What's Happening

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Podcast: Chewing the Fat

This time, Rex and Paul chew the fat about the recently released list of the 2019 finalists for induction into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame and talk about where to get great fried chicken, famous sons of Fordyce, how Rex certainly did not buy dirty books at a newsstand known for such, how classic restaurants and cafes got started,

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Dream Catchers

Come and create your own dream catcher to take home

This event will take place in the Main Library Youth Services department for school age children under 12

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Chefs Who Love to Teach

Local Restaurateur and Chef Paul Bash will demonstrate the classic souffle and other dishes with the humble egg.

Registration begins January 2. Please call 821-3060 during library hours to reserve your place.

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Special Blog

GrinchFest Delights Kids With Spunky Acting, Crafts, Music

Sparkling paper trees and cottony snow made a snazzy backdrop for holiday photos at Children’s Library last Friday, but the photos weren’t with the guy in the red suit. Instead, kids and grinning adults got to meet a very different Christmas character—the GRINCH.

Our Grinch was so charming that most of the kids felt just fine about sitting next to him for a picture,

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Point of Interest

Mystery of Notorious Arkansas Murder Explored in New Book

the book jacket art for Remembering Ella

The brutal murder of a young girl in the Arkansas Ozarks triggered shock and the threat of mob violence, followed by decades of mystery: now author Nita Gould unveils the remarkable story in her book Remembering Ella: A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks, just released by Butler Center Books.

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Point of Interest

Our Gathering Place

CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter

As public library systems offer more and more digital resources to patrons, the image of libraries is changing, but the value of public libraries is not. Today, the public library is more essential to American culture than it has ever been before, as the library remains one of the enduring pillars of communal life in America. As sociologist Eric Klinenberg writes, “Building places where all kinds of people can gather is the best way to repair the fractured societies we live in today.”

A healthy, peaceful society is built on community connections, and people often seek and create those connections through public libraries. We go to club meetings, public lectures, business classes, movies, art exhibitions, and music concerts at CALS. And while we’re there, in the communal circle created by the library, we meet others who are different from ourselves. We bridge cultural gaps, learn through dialogue, and gain new understanding.

CALS patron Christa Abernathy-Meredith feels that the library provides a community environment where people can learn and grow. “My Girl Scout troop meets in the library,” she says. “I do crafting and cooking classes at the library. I attend [fan conventions] at libraries. It’s not just about the books.”

“What’s not to love about public libraries?” asks patron Michelle Mills. “I love the ease of getting any book I’d like, the spaces that can be used by the community, the access to computers & internet for anyone who needs it, the programs for kids & adults—so much to appreciate!”

This winter, a new coffee shop, the Nexus Nook, will open in the Main Library at Library Square. Like Jimmy’s Serious Sandwiches in our Bookstore, this new space for sharing beverages, snacking, and relaxing will enhance the options for our patrons to make community connections and meet with others in our comfortable library setting. Every additional option for connecting serves a larger purpose when people venture out of their homes and find companionship, fun, and unexpected human rapport.

Here at CALS, we understand the crucial role that libraries play in our cities, our counties, and our civic culture. Whether CALS is hosting mayoral candidates in four of our branches or early voting in three additional branches—whether we are supporting local artists and musicians or helping local businesses or community clubs—we know that all our libraries are places for people to come together, share common interests, and learn from each other. And everybody is welcome here at the library, one of our strongest civic gathering places.

Nate Coulter
Executive Director
Central Arkansas Library System