Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library
Children's Library Closed Thursday, August 31
The Children's Library will be closed Thursday, August 31, due to road closures and traffic resulting from the Arkansas Razorbacks football game at War Memorial Stadium. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please call 501-978-3870 for more information.
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
News & Announcements
A North Little Rock Veteran's Story of Humanities Programs and CALS
With early presidential drafts of the federal budget including severe cuts to arts and humanities programs, the Central Arkansas Library System wants to highlight a poignant reminder of how those programs help people in ways we never anticipated.
The following account came unsolicited from a veteran who attended a grant-funded CALS program last year: Fiction & Fact: A War Dialogue with Veterans. The program provides opportunities for veterans to reflect on the war and homecoming experiences through facilitated discussions based on different humanities sources, such as books, art, film, museum exhibits, oral histories, and blogs. This is what Guy Choate has to say about the program:
I am a military veteran. But my service was spent as a NATO peacekeeper in Bosnia at a time when everyone in the military in my generation saw combat in the Middle East. I've always felt guilty for not serving in that capacity.
Last year, I sat down in a room with a group of 13 other veterans and we discussed our experiences and our understandings of the roles we played in our respective conflicts. I'd never met anyone else in that room before that day, and I was intimidated by it because I feared how my own experiences would measure up against those of my peers who had really served. And it wasn't just my generation-there were also veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and others. When I told them all how I felt guilty, for maybe not earning the title we all shared, they thought I was off my rocker.
'You didn't get to pick where you went and what you did,' a woman in the group told me. She herself had served in Iraq, as had her husband, who'd lost both his arms and both his legs to an IED. 'You stepped up, you put on the uniform, and you did what you were told. You're just as much a veteran as anyone else in this room.'
I still don't believe that to be true, but I can't tell you how helpful it was for me to hear it from a woman whose family has sacrificed so much.
I waited 13 years for someone to tell me those words, and I would have never heard them if The National Endowment for the Humanities hadn't given Alex Vernon, Hope Coulter, Brad Mooy, and the Central Arkansas Library System a grant so they could offer the program in the first place.
So don't tell me we have to cut funding for the arts and humanities to be able to fund programs for military veterans. I am a military veteran.
- Guy Choate, North Little Rock
The next event, All Quiet on the Western Front, will be held at CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 Rock Street, on Saturday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public as part of the Fiction & Fact program. (reserve seats here »)
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.
"Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities."
The National Endowment for the Humanities and Central Arkansas Library System together: Exploring the human endeavor.