Building a Community: Making connections during a time of social distance

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – (News release) With the numbers of positive cases in Arkansas increasing daily, we have decided to extend the closure of all CALS buildings until April 20, 2020. Based on the CDC’s guideline to avoid gatherings of more than 10 persons for an eight-week period, meeting room use and public programs have been suspended through May 9, 2020, including the annual Six Bridges Book Festival. The Festival will be held sometime in October or November.

Along with our partners at the City of Little Rock, Clinton Foundation, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, and LRSD, we are providing grab & go meals for children who typically get their most substantial nutrition from their schools and at our libraries.  Lunches are available for pickup at Dee Brown, Williams, and McMath branches, seven days a week. Evening meals are available Monday through Friday. Please visit for more information.

Volunteers are welcome to help us put out meals during mealtimes. If that isn’t an option, people who want to help can support our efforts through donations. We’ve already raised nearly half of our $25,000 goal. Every gift of any size helps us help our children.

In addition, we are moving our Wi-Fi hot spots closer to doors to enable people who depend on the library for connectivity to park on library lots and access the internet while we are closed. We’re rolling out limited curbside service today; details will be available at You’re probably aware of the vast amount of digital resources CALS has to offer, so we encourage you to take full advantage of those while community health requires us to stay home. To fill some of the void created by canceling live programs through early May, CALS will start offering virtual programming, including children’s storytimes and our monthly Legacies & Lunch talks. 

Almost no living American has experienced what we are enduring since the last major pandemic took place a century ago. Much of what we must do every day must be learned as we are doing it! But there can be hope found in our many recorded histories of triumphs over challenges, and inspiring truths about coping in our fictional stories.  Use the library to find your old “friends” of this sort or to get acquainted with new ones. 

Above all, we want you to stay mentally and physically healthy. Gyms are closed but outside exercise is still wise.  I hear of people who are setting up virtual gatherings using teleconferencing platforms.  Remember to follow basic healthy habits: frequent handwashing, no hand-shaking or other physical greetings, and getting in touch with your healthcare provider if you need specific advice about your particular medical situation. Visit the CALS website for links to the latest information about the coronavirus as well as other helpful resources for children, small business owners, and others.
Thank you for your continued support, understanding, and generosity.

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