Children's Library & Learning Center
Set on a six-acre site, the $12 million, 30,000 square foot Children's Library 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.
News & Announcements
CALS DVD Check Out Policies Changed
Beginning Wednesday, May 1, the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) will increase the number of DVDs patrons may have checked out to ten DVDs. Also, the check out period for new release movies will be seven days.
These changes will allow patrons t...
Main Library Campus Closed for Riverfest
All departments of the Main Library's downtown campus will close at 3:00 p.m. Friday, May 24, due to Riverfest, and will remain closed through Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. This includes the Main Library building, the Arkansas Studies Institute Buil...
CALS Closed for Memorial Day
All branches of the Central Arkansas Library System will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Regular hours will resume at all branches Tuesday, May 28. For more information, please call 918-3000.
Local Author Receives Library's Prize for Work on Civil War in Arkansas
As one of the most fertile regions in the South, the Arkansas River Valley was highly contested territory during the Civil War. While the Siege on Vicksburg raged, equally important battles were fought here in Arkansas. This struggle is the topic of ...
CALS to Participate in Big Library Read
Be part of a worldwide eBook club with Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) during the inaugural Big Library Read, May 15-June 1, 2013. Through the Big Library Read, libraries worldwide unite readers around a single eBook. This year's book is The F...
Proposed Library Card Changes for Families and Children
We want to hear from you! The Central Arkansas Library System is considering changes to the way we issue library cards. We are proposing a new Family Card that will give patrons more options for managing their library accounts. Please take a look ...