Hillary Clinton visited the library named for her as part of the 10 year celebrations

The Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center (CLLC) has been celebrating the 10th anniversary of the library through a series of ten events! The celebrations began on March 16, the date the library officially opened in 2013, with the Birthday Kickoff extravaganza with drumming instructor, Stephin Booth. On March 25, there was a “Trip to the Theater,” featuring a concert with kids comedy band mömandpöp in the Linda Bly Theater. A “Picnic at the Playground” on May 6 served as the dedication for the newly added playground.

On June 26, CLLC welcomed former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the 9th event, “Cupcakes & Caterpillars.” When the library opened in 2013, Secretary Clinton visited and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a group of eager children. The event this year was a nod to that by having The Very Hungry Caterpillar themed activities and snacks. During her visit, Secretary Clinton took a tour of the library to see all the changes that have taken place since she last visited. She took note of the new playground, the addition of the gallery space (that is currently hosting the Arkansas Art Educators State Youth Art Show 2023), and the beehives. Additionally she learned about the important work that is being done in the library named for her, including the addition of Count UP math tutoring and Be Mighty Little Rock, a partnership with the city created in 2018. Be Mighty distributed 1.1 million meals and snacks in 2022. 

While Secretary Clinton was on her tour, former President Bill Clinton made the rounds meeting patrons and staff, shaking hands, and posing for photos. After the tour, guests made their way to the Linda Bly Theater where comments were made by CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter, Mayor Frank Scott Jr., CALS Youth Services Coordinator Ellen Samples, former CALS Executive Director Bobby Roberts, and of course, Secretary Clinton.

Coulter spoke about Secretary Clinton’s visit ten years ago and how she captivated a group of attentive children and their parents during storytime as well as the progress that has happened in the library since that time, while Mayor Scott discussed the importance of locating a children’s library in the 12th street neighborhood and what that means for the progress of the city. Roberts opened with an acknowledgment that he would be far exceeding his time limit (which, he did) and discussed the exceptional work that Secretary Clinton did for the state of Arkansas during her time as the First Lady [of the state] in the ’80s and her passion for early literacy. He cited this as the reason he chose to name the library after her.

Secretary Clinton spoke about a program near and dear to her heart. “This library means a lot to me, and this being the 10th anniversary is very exciting to me. I can’t wait to see what else you’re going to come up with,” she said. “And it coincides with the 10th anniversary of a program we started at the Clinton Foundation called ‘Too Small to Fail,’ where we took all the brain research and we put it to work convincing adults, primarily parents, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other caregivers, to read, talk, and sing to their babies and their toddlers in order to help them actually develop their brains. And of course learn vocabulary when they were able. And that to me is a perfect connection with what you do here, every single day.” She spoke about how honored she was to have the library bear her name and commended the staff and library for the amazing work that they do helping children.

Watch the highlight video of the day on YouTube.