Nov 2, 2023 - News

Springdale library will expand to meet growing demand

Illustration of a house-shaped bookcase

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Springdale Public Library's outdoor courtyard will soon have walls and a ceiling.

Why it matters: The addition is being made to the building to accommodate increased demand, particularly in children's programming, library director Anne Gresham told Axios.

  • The library has seen more foot traffic in the past few years. It's typical to host events with more than 100 attendees, which it can't comfortably accommodate, she said.

Context: Programs had 18,592 visits in 2022, up from 16,509 in 2019.

  • Gresham attributed the rise in popularity, in part, to people wanting to reconnect post-pandemic.
  • "I think the library really can provide a meeting place," she said. "I don't like to describe it as free because we are taxpayer funded, so it's more coming in to use what's already yours."

Details: The addition will mostly consist of a large room for public use, as well as storage and restrooms.

By the numbers: The city estimates the work will cost $1.6 million. It'll add about 3,000 square feet of space to the existing 43,000-square-foot building.

Zoom out: Bentonville Public Library is also expanding, and the Fayetteville Public Library completed a $50 million expansion two years ago.

What's next: The construction timeline is TBD.

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