Mark Your Calendars
Political polarization is tearing us apart. Better Angels is a citizens’ organization uniting liberal and conservative Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America. Members from the local Better Angels chapter will discuss the ways Better Angels can help us come together.
For more information, go to better-angels.org.
We’re continuing to assist you in starting or growing your own business. There are programs across all library branches to teach skills needed to start and run a business and to showcase your product or service in today’s digital market. There’s also the Williams Library Business and Technology Center, a studio full of resources and equipment for entrepreneurs to use for free.
Be Mighty Little Rock is a citywide campaign to connect kids and teens 18 and under to free meals. Summer meals will be offered at several CALS branches, as well as other locations throughout Little Rock. Various activities are offered at meal sites to help children stay active and learn. Such activities may include reading or exercise programs,
Need a Ride This Summer?
Be Mighty METRO passes are FREE for kids and teens 18 and under.
With a focus on accessing summer meals, passes provide unlimited rides on any Rock Region METRO route June 1-July 31. Riders age 11 and under will be provided a pass for themselves and a guardian. Passes may be reserved online at cals.beanstack.org and picked up at a CALS branch.
Our Gathering Place
This summer, CALS embarks on an exciting new phase in our growth and progress as a library system.
To better serve you, in 2017 we commissioned a professional library consultant to help us develop a strategic plan for 2019-2022. That plan began with listening to you, our stakeholders.
We gathered extensive community suggestions and insight through a widely distributed public survey as well as a day-long retreat with a diverse group of community members. We were delighted to hear that many people love our library system and highly value our programs and resources, as well as our caring and dedicated staff. But we were also grateful for all the insightful suggestions for how CALS could serve our people in more innovative and effective ways.
Those community suggestions, along with the professional advice of the consultant who studies public libraries all across the country, have yielded a very helpful tool for us. We now know much more about your top priorities and needs from your library system, and with those in mind, the new CALS strategic plan is ready for implementation.
Our first goal is to extend our outreach to the many and varied communities who use the library. In addition, we’ll explore creative methods to remove the barriers that can prevent people from using our resources. Increasing our cultural awareness and staff diversity will help us better understand how to assist each person in our service area.
In response to your feedback, we’ll also reallocate our resources in 2020 and beyond to spread them more widely across our 14-branch system where possible to areas of greatest need. We’ll seek partners and opportunities for this library to help people and families address their challenges. CALS has a rich collection of offerings at Library Square, our downtown Little Rock campus. These resources and programs need to move out into our branches, where more people can experience them, and outside the walls of our library buildings. We are deeply committed to ensuring wider access to all that the library system offers.
As we focus on other needs you identified, such as early literacy for children and entrepreneurship and business skills for adults, we will lift the library’s service to new levels. We will take inspiration from other libraries around the country that have encouraged innovation and creative thinking to enhance their usefulness to their people.
This is only a beginning, but it’s an invigorating moment as we embark on a new path, planning the ways we’ll help our community members climb to the places they want to go.
Central Arkansas Library System