Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library
About the Library
Set on a six-acre site, the $12 million, 30,000 square foot Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library & Learning Center includes a computer lab with fourteen computers, teaching kitchen, large activity area, individual and group study rooms, theater, and community room in addition to a collection of more than 21,000 books, DVDs, and CDs.
In 2007, Little Rock voters approved a bond issue to provide funding for the Children's Library.
Community input from library patrons as young as eleven years old helped CALS fine tune the concept of a vibrant, happy place for families with children to come for hands-on learning and enrichment. Activities and programs will be geared toward preschool, elementary, and middle school students and key subject areas will focus on the amenities of the site. The teaching kitchen is large enough to accommodate an entire class in learning about all facets of culinary arts, including nutrition, growing, cooking, and eating food.
In the 165-seat theater, children can experience all aspects of theater, including designing and building sets, writing plays, acting, and costume design. The state-of-the-art sound system, lighting, and projection screens will also be used for movies, concerts, and lectures.
The Children's Library's grounds are integral to the entire facility's program. A greenhouse and teaching garden will help children learn about growing healthy foods as well as provide produce that will be used in the teaching kitchen programs. The grounds reflect the topography of Arkansas's ecosystems, from the native hardwood trees in the highlands to vegetation of the wetland areas, which are both planted and original to the site. Walking paths offer families an attractive place for exercise while learning the names of the trees and plants, and an amphitheater has seating for outdoor programs or nature watching.
Homework and projects may be completed in the lab with fourteen computers or on laptops available for checkout using free Wi-Fi access. Early childhood computers and iPads with literacy apps allow small children to practice reading and computer skills. A limited number of computers and materials are available for adults who bring their children.
People of the Library
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Bill Clinton attended the dedication of Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library & Learning Center on Monday, July 8.
About 2,600 people attended activities including the dedication ceremony during an afternoon of events. Children and families were treated to a concert, animals from the Little Rock Zoo, and activities in the teaching kitchen and reading areas. Those attending were invited to participate in creating a mobile which will be displayed as a piece of public art in the library.
The CALS Board of Trustees voted on Thursday, June 27, to recognize Hillary Rodham Clinton for her services to children by naming the new children's Library in her honor. The board wished to specifically acknowledge the work she did as a citizen of Arkansas, including service for the Children's Defense Fund, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Arkansas Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas Educational System Task Force, Rural Health Advisory Committee, and many others, including her ground-breaking work as co-chair of Arkansas's Educational Standards Committee. Also recognized is her continued work at the national and international levels to improve the lives of all the world's children.
Images from the Dedication Ceremony – July 8, 2013
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