Posted on December 18, 2021

The wonderful Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library is growing—with lots of help!  A drive to raise funds to facilitate the expansion is underway.  And everyone, from local patrons to out of state champions is being asked to contribute. 

The campaign truly got a jumpstart when a kind library supporter offered a grant of $50,000, if it could be matched by local efforts.  This week the library announced that it had raised the required matching funds, so the original grant has been awarded.  Joyfully, the library noted that the match has even been surpassed, as a total of $106,625 has been raised to date.

The $50,000 grant was generously donated by former Eureka Springs resident, Alexander Stillman.  While in Arkansas, he was an active library patron who always appreciated the structure and the access it provided to area citizens.  From that affection, he graciously bestowed this gift on behalf of the Clarisa Francis Foundation in memory of his dear cousin, Nancy Campbell Carnegie, the endeared wife of James Stillman Rockefeller. 

Further, the Stillman grant ignited the fundraising effort.  A Committee was formed by the Library Board, which appropriately adopted the name—the Great Expectations Committee.  Members include Bill Brown, Jodie English Brown, Fran Carlin, Alan Epley, Martha Fargo, Lucilla Garrett, Sally Williams Gorrell, Joe Hill, David Jeffrey, Dr. Nancy Preis, Kathy Remenar and Lamont Richie Roberson.  The Committee’s conscientious efforts have been successful, thanks to the regard citizens have for the library and the services it provides.  Moreover, their job is not finished, for the contractor and planners estimate that $250,000 will be required for renovations.

The goal of the campaign is to make the building next door to the Library Annex at 188 Spring Street useful and functional.  Work began on the building a few years ago, with attention especially paid to the foundation.  It became apparent about a year ago that more resources were needed to make essential structural repairs and to convert the street level spaces into viable library ones.

Now, more than a third of what is needed has been secured.  Hopefully, in the coming days and months, the community will further rally to help the library make the maximum use of the additional building and garden area.