Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art

On a recent trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for a Writers Conference, attendees were given the assignment to find something interesting to see, do, eat in three hours and then write about it. On my trek down the main downtown avenue, I was drawn into this most unusual “attraction!”

Disguised at night as a blingy, shop full of color, jewelry, glass items with bold bright paintings, The Galleries at Library Square is the most amazing architectural and artistic public library branch you may ever visit. One peek inside may lure you to explore all the nooks and crannies of The Roberts Library. Located right across from River Market, this tiered library/gallery space features artwork, crafts and gifts by local Arkansas artists. It also serves as a historical and cultural museum that promotes educational art exhibits, field trips, drop-in tours of the photography, sculptures, and mixed media displays, and it provides entertainment, as well. Every section is a slice of a different reality, as seen through artists’ eyes. Individual viewpoints merge together to create a space worth spending hours exploring.

Evan Krillenberger, Gallery Assistant and personal tour guide says he is “...still pondering how to reconcile what we do here with what libraries do.” He likes that this building is “off the beaten path” of regular tourist expectations and hopes that more locals and visitors come see it for themselves soon!

Other features to check-out include: free genealogy databases on the third floor, state archival records, special rotating exhibits, such as artwork and ephemera from The King Biscuit Blues Festival, and 2nd Friday Art Night- Little Rock!

Coming next to the adjoined and adorned beautiful historical building, Concordia Hall, will be an exhibition opening Jan 10, 2020. “It’s a collaborative exhibition featuring the artwork of artists Linda Palmer and Gene Sparling,” explains Art Administrator for The Galleries at Library Square/Central Arkansas Library System, Colin Thompson.

First photo:

Author browsing local artists’ gifts. Artwork and archives are displayed on multiple levels, as seen in the background. The hanging sculptures, titled The Tag Project by Wendy Maruyama which are on loan from the Arkansas Arts Center, represent Japanese Americans who were interned in 1942. They are perfectly situated in the atrium surrounded by prominent historical photographs of Arkansas.

401 President Clinton Ave. Little Rock, AR, 72201 501-320-5790


Maria C. Heberling

San Diego, CA 



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