CALS Announces Fall Speaker Series Lineup

Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) welcomes Walter E. Hussman Jr., publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Susan N. Herman, president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this fall as part of the CALS Speakers Series. The events will be held at CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Avenue. The Speaker Series is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested.

Hussman is the publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a third-generation newspaperman whose family acquired a chain of newspapers stretching from Tennessee to Missouri. He was named publisher of the Arkansas Democrat in 1974 and turned the struggling newspaper into the nation’s fastest-growing newspaper in 1980. In 1991, he purchased the assets of the Arkansas Gazette and began publishing the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His talk is titled “Newspapers and Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” He’ll speak about the newspaper industry, including the recent decision to transition the Democrat-Gazette to a digital-only format Monday through Saturday. The program is scheduled for Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m., with a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Hussman’s appearance is the 2019 J.N. Heiskell Program, an annual event held in honor of John Netherland (J. N.) Heiskell who served as editor of the Arkansas Gazette for more than seventy years. Reservations are available at

Susan Herman will present “A Democrat and a Republican Walk into a Bar: Civil Liberties and Non-partisanship” on Thursday, October 24, at 6:00 p.m. Herman was elected president of the ACLU in October 2008, after having served on the ACLU National Board of Directors, as a member of the Executive Committee, and as General Counsel. She holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, and seminars on Law and Literature, and Terrorism and Civil Liberties. The event is co-sponsored by the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Reservations are available at

CALS will also host The Library Book author Susan Orlean on September 28. Reservations are full for the New York Times bestselling author’s talk, but a waitlist is available on the library’s website.

For more information about the CALS Speaker Series, email or call 918-3098.