Hempstead County, Arkansas has a brand new library that is now open to the public. Library officials said lots of residents are now showing up to see what all the hype is about.
Hempstead Library Director Courtney McNiel said, “Everybody has been just overwhelmed with just walking in here and seeing this is Hope, Arkansas, that they’re still in!”
McNeil added that she’s seen a lot of new faces since the opening of the new facility last week. “People that we’ve never seen before in the library have come in,” she said.
The brand new 2.5 million dollar library boasts an extra five thousand square feet compared to the old library. It also has a wall of windows that lets in lots of natural light.
Resident Linda Burke visited the new library for the first time on Tuesday. “Big, big difference. I grew up in that old library and its very hard to give it up, but when I walked in here, I thought, this is gonna be great.”
Resident Amanda Harmon has been here twice in four days. “I love it! I could just sit here all day,” she said.
In the coming months, a maker’s space will be added. McNeil said, “There’s a big push in libraries right now for STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – we’re gonna be adding that for the kids.” She said sidewalks and landscaping will also be added soon. But first, the old library which was built in 1948 must come down. That is scheduled to happen next week.