Bentonville’s Little Library in the Park Gets Advisory Board Approval

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BENTONVILLE — The library’s advisory board on Wednesday approved a new book-sharing program.

Each year, City employees can submit ideas for the Mayor’s Bright Idea Award. Mayor Stéphanie Orman selects a project to implement. Library officials submitted the idea for a book-sharing box in public parks and won the 2022 prize, according to a city statement.

The plan is to start with a “Lil’ Library” in a city park as a prototype and test the scenario, said library director Hadi Dudley.

The box will allow community members to take a book or leave a book.

The library has partnered with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Public Art Advisory Committee and Friends of the Bentonville Library to solicit proposals for a prototype box to store books, according to a statement. city ​​press.

Randy Townzen has been selected to build the prototype at a cost of $1,500, according to a presentation at Wednesday’s board meeting. The three-box structure — separate compartments for adult and children’s books — with an attached bench will be placed at Lake Bentonville at 2100 SW I St.

The prototype has an airport theme that celebrates the Bentonville Municipal Airport at Louise M. Thaden Field, Dudley said. The park is next to the airport.

Board members and others saw the prototype at Wednesday’s meeting. The dimensions and stability of the structure are yet to be discussed with Townzen, Dudley said.

The aim is to combine the concept of small free libraries with public art, creating a unique installation that is an attraction and a service to the community.

The first Lil’ Library will likely be installed by late 2022 or early 2023, Dudley said.

The plan will be presented to the Parks Advisory Board for approval on Monday and to City Council on Tuesday. The Public Arts Advisory Committee approved the concept on October 11.

In other library reunion news, it was announced that the October 22 Walmart OZ Kids Fat Tire Criterium and Fall Festival drew over 350 runners and over 900 festival attendees.

The event was moved from the South Main Street Library to 401 SW Eighth St. a few days before the event to ensure the safety of runners and passers-by, according to a city press release. Roadwork is underway along Main Street South.

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