The new year will bring a new radio show for the Central Arkansas Library System, set to air on KABF-FM, 88.3 in January.
The weekly show -- to be broadcast every Friday noon- 2 p.m. -- will start Jan. 8. The library system underwrote the block of programming with a $20,000 grant from its endowment. The yearly payment will continue for five years.
The show, which is yet to be named, will feature Arkansas singers and audio recordings about library programs, Arkansas authors and artists, and excerpts of oral histories.
Most of the content during the first few weeks will come from the archives at the library's Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.
David Stricklin, head of that center, said listeners will benefit from the show by getting free access to news about the programs the library system sponsors every year.
The show also will play excerpts from speakers at some of those events, allowing those who couldn't attend the chance to hear the lectures.
"Plus, we're creating some really interesting and fun features that will highlight the rich variety of Arkansas culture and characters. It should be a lot of fun," Stricklin said.
The show also will feature live music produced in the Arkansas Sounds Concert Series.
The Butler Center has an "extensive collection" featuring Arkansas musicians and music about Arkansas, a release said. The center also has oral histories about Arkansans and the state.
Including the audio into the radio show's programming "is a way to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of Arkansas history, literature, art and culture," the release said.
"This new underwriting agreement will enable us to offer news of [Central Arkansas Library System] programming, recordings of public appearances by authors and other speakers, and excerpts of oral histories and other historical materials in free, readily accessible ways," said the system's executive director, Bobby Roberts. "This will be of special benefit to people who are homebound or who have visual limitations."
KABF is a listener-supported, nonprofit station without commercials. The station has been on the air for 31 years and has about 50,000 listeners weekly. Its block programming includes gospel, jazz, blues and rock.
The station's shows also are streamed live at www.kabf.org.
When the library's board of trustees approved the five-year payment from the endowment funds at its December meeting, Roberts said it was well worth the money to be able to advertise the library's programs to a large audience weekly.
Stricklin and Lee Ann Blackwell, who works in public relations for the library, will be in charge of the new radio show.
"It's a free, accessible way to find out what's going on ... . The system has thousands of programs every year and offers amazing outreach and enrichment programs. There are a lot of ways people can find out about those now, but this will give another way that is accessible to anybody with a radio," Stricklin said.
"Second, many people who can't get to a [system] facility because of health or mobility factors, or who just couldn't work getting to one of our programs into their schedules, will be able to enjoy significant excerpts from our programming," he added.
Metro on 12/27/2015