Bella Vista Public Library resumes regular hours

BELLA VISTA – After another covid-related shutdown in January, the Bella Vista Public Library is resuming its busy schedule of events.

Customers are thrilled, according to Kacy Earnest Spears, the library’s public relations and events coordinator.

Some patrons are looking for reading material, but many are looking for groups who can now meet in the expanded library space, she said.

During the longer covid shutdown in 2020, the library expansion was completed and part of the move into the new space was accomplished. The meeting rooms did not open immediately because they were waiting for furniture, but now the larger community room and the smaller conference room are ready for the public.

The community hall has 80 chairs, Spears said, although some are usually stocked. The conference room can accommodate eight people. Both bedrooms have TVs and plenty of outlets for groups who want to use their own technology.

Some groups that meet in the library are organized by staff, but outside groups may also request to use the space. The women’s civic club, Altrusa, met there recently, for example.

A letter writing club meets once a month with the Apple Computer Club.

Many groups stopped meeting during covid, Spears said, so they’re happy to have the chance to see each other again. The library has a meeting room usage policy, so any club can inquire about space usage as long as they follow the policy. They can bring snacks, including covered drinks, but not a full meal. Currently, there is space available on the calendar, but that could change, she said.

Currently, the library’s calendar, bvpl.org/calendar, shows book clubs ranging from “Not Your Mama’s Romance Book Club” — the online description promises “hot heroes, strong heroines and lots spices” — to sci-fi clubs or mystery readers.

Events include evenings with adult speakers. Recently a speaker discussed the history of Ozark Moonshine. On April 4, Dale Phillips and Xyta Lucas, co-presidents of the Bella Vista Historical Society, will present Dug Hill Through the Years. Dug Hill is the church located downtown and visible from US 71. Earnest Spears said she often gets referrals for speakers and likes to use local resources as much as possible.

Story time has also made a comeback. Preschool story time is at 10 a.m. on Fridays. Family story time, which targets children ages 6 to 8, is at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. The two story hours usually include a craft.

Teen nights are for 13-17 year olds and meet when the library is closed on Friday evenings once a month.

Puzzles will be presented in the community room at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Knitters and crocheters meet one Thursday a month.

The Summer Reading Program, which had been virtual for two years, will return in person this summer. The Summer Reading Program is open to adults and children.

The hugely popular Halloween event, Spooktacular, has turned into Treat Street and will be repeated in October. It offers crafts as well as treats, she said.

For more information, visit the library’s web page at bvpl.org.

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