Pangburn children’s library now abuzz

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published November 18, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated November 16, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
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Magician Steven Blythe performs a show for children at the Pangburn Library. The children’s portion of the library has been open for a year.

— Just less than a year after construction began, the children’s library at the Pangburn Library is already well-loved.

This time last year, the children’s books were covered with heavy plastic to keep construction dust at bay. Now the books are uncovered and are looked through by more than 40 children a week.

“It’s a real pretty room,” library branch manager Peggy Taylor said. “We have benches where children can sit with their parents and read, and we put displays of our new books up for them to see.”

The 25- by 25-foot brightly painted addition to the library was built with mostly volunteer labor and took around six months to complete. Before its construction, children’s books were mixed into the main library, and space was tight.

“We were all crowded into one little room,” Taylor said. “When we had our children’s reading program, adults would have to wait at the door or carefully walk around the edge of the room to get to books. It was a very crowded situation.”

Now, Taylor said, there’s much more room to move around. Children often head to the kids’ section to browse, color or use the children’s non-Internet computer while their parents spend time on the library’s adult computers. On any given day, the children’s area sees action as soon as it’s open, providing younger kids a place to come during the school days, and other children a chance to visit after school lets out.

“Now we have as many kids and parents coming through as we do just adults,” Taylor said.

The expansion from around 600 to around 1,000 square feet at the Pangburn Library was “a no-brainer,” said Darla Ino, White Country Regional Library System director. The Pangburn Library, at 914 Main St., is part of the White County Regional Library System.

Ino hopes the expansion in Pangburn will be the first of many expansions in libraries throughout the system. Searcy and Beebe, Ino said, are especially in need of more space, if the money can be found. Expansion at both libraries has been discussed for decades.

“There’s so much more that we could do,” Ino said. “It’s to the point that if we do not build facilities and expand the spaces, it will actually impede what we can do.”

The Pangburn children’s library is open whenever the main library is open. Hours are noon-4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The winter children’s reading program is held the fourth Monday of the month. The next story time is scheduled for 4 p.m. Nov. 26.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or

Associate Features Editor Emily Van Zandt can be reached at .

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