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Book Festival today, Saturday at library

by James Leigh | May 26, 2023 at 4:04 a.m.

The Garland County Library will host the second annual Hot Springs Book Festival today and Saturday with support from the Literacy Council of Garland County, National Park College Adult Education and the Lotus Club.

All events are free to the public, but registration is encouraged due to limited space. Openings for some of the events were still available on the library's website on Thursday. Visit or call 501-623-4161 for more information.


4 p.m.: Pollinators in the Natural State -- Arkansas Monarch and Pollinator Coordinator Leslie Cooper will be giving an overview of pollinator conservation in Arkansas.

5 p.m.: Book Talk with Holly Green -- Green will be talking about her young adult novel, "In the Same Boat," and she also will be talking about her writing process.

6 p.m.: Nature's Best Hope with Douglas Tallamy -- Professor, author, ecologist, and conservationist Tallamy will give a virtual presentation about his Homegrown National Park project and more.


8:30 a.m.: Four Seasons Bird Walk -- An experienced birder from the local Audubon Society will lead an approximate two-hour bird walk around the neighborhood surrounding the library. Participants will receive complimentary "bird walk starter kits."

1 p.m.: Community Reception -- The library will host a reception with its community partners to discuss the June 10 opening of the Community Garden, and light refreshments will be offered.

2 p.m.: "A Seed Is Sleepy": Book Talk with Dianna Hutts Aston -- Award-winning author Aston will be discussing her nonfiction books and distinctive writing style, known as "lyrical science."

4 p.m.: In the Garden featuring Janet B. Carson -- Horticulture specialist Carson, who had a successful career with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, will be speaking about how to help gardens recover, planting seasonal color, cultivating a vegetable garden and more.

"Last year's HSBF is one of my favorite library events of all-time in large part thanks to stellar guests like Elizabeth Eckford, David Hill, Bitty Martin, and Corabel Shofner," Paul Kagebein, Garland County Library Adult Programs Coordinator and the committee chair for the festival, said.

"So we set the bar really high with that first event, but having a nature theme this year will strongly resonate with a lot of people. After all, 'nature' is Hot Springs' original claim to fame and continues to be a huge draw for visitors and residents alike. We want 2023's HSBF to represent the whole spectrum of that natural experience that can be found in our state," he said.

"It'll be a great combination of nature-themed book talks and other presentations from special guests, as well as fresh air activities that make use of our rapidly transforming (and greening) campus space."


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