New Central Arkansas Library System Children's Library Opens

The Central Arkansas Library System opens a new Children's Library and Learning Center.
LITTLE ROCK- The Central Arkansas Library System opens a new Children's Library and Learning Center.

The nearly $13 million project took a year to construct and opens to the public Saturday, March 16th at 10am. The goal of reading is spelled out in big block letters in front of the building, but the pathway to get there isn't just aisles and shelves of books. Branch Manager Sarah McClure says it's about exploration and making connections with kids. "What they learn in school they come here and are able to do hands-on learning opportunities with that knowledge."

Set on 6 acres of land south of Interstate 630 on W. 10th Street in Little Rock, the outdoor landscape of the Children's Library represents the ecological regions of Arkansas. McClure says each feature represents a different region of the state, including a wetland feature.

Director of the Central Arkansas Library System, Bobby Roberts, says the inspiration of the library is to expose children to different paths of discovery. "We can take children out into the environment. There's a greenhouse where we can germinate seeds. Kids can raise them and take a tree home with them if they want to. They can grow plants and prepare them in the kitchen. There are a lot of different things they just can't do sitting at a computer."

McClure says the library is an inviting space for curious children and families to come for hands-on learning experiences. "To have a community gathering spot is really important. It's one of the things we're trying to do and we will incorporate technology into so much of what we do."
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