Early Voting at CALS

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David Treuer, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

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Preserve Arkansas’s COVID-19 Experience

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Event

Meditation at Main Online

Cory Jones of Compassion Works for All leads us in a guided meditation that’s like an oasis in the middle of your day! Join us from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month via Zoom. If interested please email jburrus@cals.org to receive the Zoom link. All are welcome- and we hope you will choose to join us!

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.

Event

Homework Help

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

Event

Take ‘n Make: Rock Painting

Enjoy painting along with us via Zoom! Pick up your kit at Main Library and we will paint rocks and discuss artistic inspiration. Everything you need is in the kit. You'll want to wash your rocks before our meeting. This is a program intended for adults and teens, but kids may participate if adult supervision is provided.
Event

A Conversation Worth Having: Kwame Ture

“If a conversation is hard, it’s probably one worth having.”

We are happy to announce the newest program as a part of our Civil Rights & Social Change Collection: A Conversation Worth Having.

Every Monday night we will screen a virtual collection of talks, speeches, poetry, music,

Event

Nixon Book Buddies

This book club reads fiction & non-fiction books.

Occurs the 3rd Tuesday of every month excluding holidays.
  • June – Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • July – Cinderella Ate My Daughter:  Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein
  • August –
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