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  • Writer's pictureDiana McDaniel Hampo

The Garland County Library, So Much More Than Books

I remember, back in the 60's, my mom Ann Stell would take me to the Garland County Library on Woodbine. It was not a terribly fun place. She always reminded me that my father, I Granger McDaniel, designed the building. I'm not sure why, maybe so I would behave? But I still thought is was a spooky place. I got "shoooshed" a lot. In those days libraries were full of books and grumpy old people who wagged their fingers a lot.

Thankfully, the world has changed and so has the Garland County Library. It's a glorious place that I love and I'm proud of. People talk and laugh, they create and move. The staff, lead by director Adam Webb, is engaged, friendly, helpful and so much a part of the

community. Thy pivot constantly to provide what is most needed. In fact this year they're a voting site and can help get your registered to vote!

Our library encourages reading in fun and cool new ways. But they also provide programs for seniors like beginning Chinese calligraphy, the programs for teens are relevant like thrift store art projects and cooking classes. A few years ago the kids and I went to a dance class at the library and we learned all the choreography to Michael Jackson's Thriller. The staff did our make up and we danced like zombies! Of course the programs for little kids are amazing, from Lego challenges to to virtual Pig Latin classes!

Our library also provides resource to folks who don't have access to computers, magazines, databases, music, movies, you can even check out fishing poles and yeah a whole lot of books to. And now they even have dedicated computers for folks to take the 2020 census.

Former director, John Wells, did something wonderful when he helped build the Garland County Library. He hired passionate, energetic and insightful staff members and gave us all a wonderful place to grow and learn. Our library is so cool, if you have visitors in town, take them to the library!

If you like this story I hope you'll read about more stuff I love in Hot Springs at

If you would like to help support this effort please buy a Be Nice! Arkansas t-shirt or mask at

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