Central Arkansas Library System

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Sign outside the Main Library in Little Rock

Central Arkansas Library System is a public library system headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States.

The largest public library system in Arkansas, the Central Arkansas Library System serves all residents of Pulaski County and Perry County, including Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, Sherwood, and Wrightsville.

The Main Library in downtown Little Rock is the main branch of the system. The Main Library campus also includes the Arkansas Studies Institute Building, which includes the offices of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, and the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture. CALS Ron Robinson Theater, Cox Creative Center, and River Market Books & Gifts are also located on the Main Library campus.

History[edit]

The first Little Rock Public Library was one of four Carnegie Libraries in Arkansas. The Carnegie Corporation of New York made a grant of $50,000 in 1906, but increased the grant to $88,100 in 1907. The library was opened on February 1, 1910, at West 7th Street and South Louisiana Street in downtown Little Rock.[1]

The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) was born of a 1975 merger agreement between the trustees of the Little Rock Public Library and of the Pulaski-Perry Regional Library; the trustees of the North Little Rock Public Library, now know as the William F. Laman Public Library, chose not to join CALS.[2]

Today, the Central Arkansas Library System, with its headquarters at the Main Library, serves a local population of 402,853. Nine of CALS' fourteen branches are located in Little Rock, with additional branches located in Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, Sherwood, and Wrightsville.[3] Through the Gateway Project, residents of Arkansas, Bradley, Chicot, Clark, Cleburne, Cleveland, Conway, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Faulkner, Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lonoke, Montgomery, Nevada, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, Van Buren, and White counties may also access the 1.5 million items in CALS' collection at no additional cost.[4] In 2015, the Central Arkansas Library System welcomed over 2 million visitors, while cardholders checked out over 2.7 million items.[5]

Branches[edit]

  • Little Rock
    • Dee Brown Library, named for the author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.[6]
    • Hillary Clinton Children's Library, named for the former first lady of Arkansas.[7]
    • John Gould Fletcher Library, named for the Pulitzer prize-winning poet. He was the younger brother of Adolphine Fletcher Terry.
    • Sidney S. McMath Library, named for the state's former governor.
    • Main Library
    • Oley E. Rooker Library, named for an advocate for southwest Little Rock.[8][9]
    • Adolphine Fletcher Terry Library, named for an advocate for schools, libraries, and desegregation in the state. She was the older sister of John Gould Fletcher.[10]
    • Roosevelt Thompson Library, named for a Little Rock native and Yale student who received a Rhodes Scholarship but was killed before he could begin it.[11]
    • Sue Cowan Williams Library, named for a Little Rock schoolteacher who, in 1942, won a lawsuit seeking equal pay for black teachers.[12][13]
  • Jacksonville
    • Esther Dewitt Nixon Library, named for the first librarian for the Jacksonville Library.[14]
  • Maumelle:
    • Maumelle Library
  • Perryville:
    • Max Milam Library, named for the chair of the Political Science department at the University of Arkansas, and an advocate for rural health care delivery and rural economic development in Arkansas.[15]
  • Sherwood:
    • Amy Sanders Library, named for a long-time clerk for the city of Sherwood.[16]
  • Wrightsville:
    • Millie Brooks Library, named for an advocate and city councilwoman for Wrightsville.[17]

Specialized facilities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

34°44′49″N 92°16′02″W / 34.74694°N 92.26730°W / 34.74694; -92.26730Coordinates: 34°44′49″N 92°16′02″W / 34.74694°N 92.26730°W / 34.74694; -92.26730