William F. Laman Public Library offering residents a lot more than books

Local News
January 01 2022 12:00 am

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Libraries across the country have either closed their doors forever or have limited their hours because of budget issues.

But one library in North Little Rock is bringing a whole new world to its patrons one gadget and gizmo at a time.

The William F. Laman Public Library isn’t just about books anymore.

They have whozits and whatzits galore, all waiting for you to enjoy with the goal of better serving the community.

Unusual sights and sounds for a usually quite place is exactly what the William F. Laman Public Library is going for.

“People are kinda peepin’ in and saying is this real?,” said Shannan Hicks with the William F. Laman Public Library System. “Do y’all really have this? Can I touch it?”

The Library of Things and Makers Space is stitching together a new kind of social fabric.

“We actually have one patron who comes over every day and uses our sewing machine to make different things and she may be the next Coco Chanel,” Hicks said.

These shelves let people have access to items they may never otherwise get to enjoy.

“You may not be able to afford a $100 air fryer, but you can come check one out and see if you like it,” Hicks said.

A place where you can take, but also give back…to yourself.

“I think this is sort of a mental health issue,” Hicks said. “It helps you to focus in on something and create something beautiful.”

One North Little Rock couple, who wishes to remain anonymous, saw the space and was compelled to donate.

“The library was a big part of my upbringing, and it was a big deal for us to come to the library growing up and I think it’s just kinda something that’s lost in kids today,” the donor said.

The donor said she thinks a place like this can bridge the gap between digital and tactile and between the young and the old.

“They can come up with, you know, their elders, such as grandparents, parents and do activities like this and bring their families together,” the donor said.

A library writing a new page in the book of service.

“We are only what our patrons want,” Hicks said.

If you’re interested in borrowing anything, you must have a library card and you can borrow five items at a time on a 14-day loan.

The Library of Things and Makers Space is only available at the main library on Orange Street, but there are plans to offer the same services at their Argenta location soon.

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