May 20, 2022

Arkansas: Small-Town Libraries Struggle to Stay Open When Funding is Short


Local support is crucial for rural libraries, especially at a time when funding is hard to come by, library officials say. The state Legislature in March sliced $1 million in state aid to Arkansas public libraries.

“There’s a hunger out there for libraries, but some smaller communities may not have the money to feed that hunger,” said Ruth Hyatt, manager of library services for the Arkansas State Library. “We get calls every day from people wanting to develop their libraries or fighting to keep the survival of them going.

“You have to get creative when revenues begin shrinking,” Hyatt said. “Book budgets are humongous. Rural libraries have to rely on book sales, donations and community support.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.