10 Best Libraries in Arkansas

From massive state libraries to cozy small-town libraries, Arkansas has plenty of space to volunteer, research, find your favorite book, and much more. Some of these spaces hold over two million items while others will allow you to dig through their databases to find more information on your ancestry. Looking to get involved in the community? Arkansas’ wonderful libraries have that, too. Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re very likely to find it at the best libraries in Arkansas.  

1. Arkansas State Library, Little Rock, AR

The Arkansas State Library was established in 1935 and today maintains a research collection of over 2.6 million items. That’s impressive to say the least! One of the goals of the State Library is to “provide library and information services to state government, as well as to citizens statewide.”

2. Fort Smith Public Library, Fort Smith, AR

This public library has been serving Fort Smithians since the late 1890s. One of the things that make this library so great is that there are three local branches in addition to the main library, which is located at the “Y” (the intersection of Rogers Avenue, Free Ferry, and Old Greenwood). The Fort Smith Public Library has an excellent genealogy department as well as extensive internet tools, online databases, references, and resources. This library also features popular youth services and programs.

3. Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, AR

This library system is the largest in the Natural State, serving over 400,000 people. In addition to the main library (located in the historic River Market District), the Central Arkansas Library System includes another 13 impressive branches in the Central Arkansas area. The online collection of dictionaries and encyclopedias offered by the Central Arkansas Library System (which includes the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture) is both broad and frequently updated. The well-known Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center is one of the many fabulous libraries included in this system.

4. William F. Laman Public Library System, North Little Rock, AR

Community integration is at the core of this awesome North Little Rock library system, which includes the Main Library and the Argenta Branch. The Laman Libraries offer extensive online databases and genealogy resources for research purposes. You’ll find the popular Teen Center at the Main Library and both branches have incredible children’s departments.

5. Fayetteville Public Library, Fayetteville, AR

This library was formed in 1916 by the University of Arkansas librarian and a group of supportive citizens. The Ozarkansas Tool Library, which allows residents to borrow tools for gardening and home improvement projects, is one feature that makes the Fayetteville Public Library stand out among other libraries in the Natural State. In addition to a long list of great book titles, the Fayetteville Public Library also offers a wide range of online tools and resources.

6. Springdale Public Library, Springdale, AR

This library began as a summer children’s project nearly 100 years ago. Also known as the “Library in the Park,” the Springdale Public Library is one of the best of its kind in the Northwest Arkansas area. The Springdale Public Library has a large selection of online resources and an outstanding collection in various formats that cardholders can borrow, as well as one of the best children’s reading programs in the state.

7. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR

The Donald W. Reynolds Library has been serving Baxter County in the Arkansas Ozarks since the 1920s. This library offers cultural and educational exhibits and programs for all ages. The Donald W. Reynolds Library features over 85,000 titles, an extensive online resource section, and excellent departments for kids, tweens, and teens.

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8. Independence County Library, Batesville, AR

Located on the first floor of the Jesse B. Carpenter Building, the Independence County Library has been serving Batesville since 1933. In addition to a wonderful selection of in-house book titles, the Independence County Library also offers a great section for online research and genealogy resources.

9. Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, Jonesboro, AR

The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library exercises core values that include community, service, exploration, and education. In addition to excellent adult, teen, and children’s departments, this library also offers a broad range of online research resources.

10. Boone County Library, Harrison, AR

The Boone County Library in Harrison is more than just books. It serves as the main source of the informational and educational needs of citizens in the Boone County area. This library also offers great departments for all ages as well as a variety of online genealogy and research resources.

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