Programs We Support
CALS is a community leader for our efforts improving literacy, the exchange of ideas, workforce development, and social engagement. The library has a large portfolio of programs designed to provide enrichment and eliminate barriers within our community.
Donating to the CALS Foundation helps ensure the success of these programs:
- Be Mighty Little Rock. CALS is a leader in fighting endemic child hunger through after-school, weekend, and summer meal programs. In 2018, CALS and the City of Little Rock launched a program called Be Mighty to connect kids and teens with free USDA meals. In addition to serving free meals from library branches, CALS operates Little Free Pantries onsite at our locations, provides a community fridge at the McMath Library, provides nutrition education, and operates teaching gardens.
- Count UP. Count UP offers free one-on-one math tutoring to K-12 students in Pulaski and Perry counties. Students are able to work with tutors in real time to solve unique challenges or participate in ongoing tutoring.
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas. CALS’s Encyclopedia of Arkansas is housed within our Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art, which is the largest free-standing facility dedicated to the study of Arkansas. The EOA is the only state encyclopedia in the country to be produced by a library system and is the premier source of information on Arkansas.
- Rock It! Lab. To address economic inequities, CALS partnered with Benito Lubazibwa and Remix Ideas to launch Rock It! Lab in 2020. Rock It! Lab is a center for entrepreneurs housed in the historic Cox Building on our Main Library campus. It provides mentor matching, workshops on practical topics for businessowners, networking opportunities, and business education classes. The goal of the lab is to inspire, educate, and connect under-resourced entrepreneurs – participants are predominantly Black and Hispanic – and to create pathways for them to achieve economic mobility. The lab features a coworking space, a makerspace, and a retail area.
- Six Bridges Book Festival. The library’s book festival celebrates reading and encourages the development of a more literate populace in Central Arkansas. Through the festival’s Writers in the Schools initiative, presenting authors visit area schools to talk about the writing process with students, who also receive free books.
- Summer @ CALS. Summer @ CALS encourages reading and engagement in library activities for all ages.