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Past Events

April 27th, 2023

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Expansion

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October 5th, 2023

Booked for the Evening at Blake Street

Story coming soon!


September 15, 2022

Booked for the Evening With Steuart Walton

The Bentonville Library Foundation (BLF) hosted Booked for the Evening with Steuart Walton on Thursday, September 15 at Tavola Trattoria. 

The event’s format was a conversational Q & A between Steuart Walton and Anthony Soohoo, and the topic was Smart Growth and Avoiding Complacency. Walton discussed how the local community’s culture makes Bentonville unique and special. He shared ideas about balancing rapid growth with quality of life as well as the importance of the natural landscape and making meaningful connections to the environment.   

Walton and Soohoo also talked about the importance of books, reading and libraries, discussing how public libraries have transformed into community spaces. Walton shared a memory of visiting Bentonville Public Library at the historic Massey Hotel as a child with his mother Lynne Walton. He acknowledged the example and support Lynne and Jim Walton have given to Bentonville and credited his parents with his success.   

More than 100 people were in attendance including elected officials such as Mayor Stephanie Orman, former Mayor Terry Coberly and former Mayor Steve Marquess. Established donors, organizations, corporations and new friends helped the Library Foundation’s fundraiser to realize more than $18,000 in proceeds to support the Bentonville Public Library’s expansion project. During the evening, BLF President Howard Kerr and Library Director Hadi Dudley publicly recognized lead donors to the capital campaign.   

February 23, 2020- 4th Annual Donor Appreciation Lunch

This year's theme was, BLF Loves its Donors to the Moon and Back!

Jesse Buffington from the Johnson Space Center, which is part of NASA, was the keynote speaker. Jesse currently serves as the System Development Lead and is working to develop the next generation spacesuit.

Mayors Bob McCaslin, Terry Coberly, and Stephanie Orman all attended the 4th Annual Donor Appreciation Lunch hosted by the Bentonville Library Foundation.

The Foundation hosts the Donor Appreciation Lunch each year to thank its many donors who provide essential financial support that makes our community’s library a vibrant resource for ALL.


July 20, 2019 -Bentonville Literature Festival Author Event

The Bentonville Library Foundation sponsored a reception for Delia Owens, New York Times best-selling author of the book Where The Crawdads Sing.


Delia listening to fan at signing table.

February 10, 2019- Donor Appreciation Luncheon – A Time to Honor Your Contributions

The 3rd Annual Donor Appreciation Lunch – A Time to Honor Your Contributions was hosted by the Bentonville Library Foundation Board of Directors this past Sunday, February 10th, in celebration of the Foundation’s loyal donors. On hand to provide a special presentation was author Evin Demirel who spoke about his recent book African-American Athletes in Arkansas. Among the many guests was Bentonville’s new Mayor Stephanie Orman along with Evin’s newest, and possibly youngest, fan Thia. Guests were treated to a lunch catered by Fred’s Hickory Inn, and the event’s platinum sponsor Armitron provided a fabulous watch for our Foundation’s loyal supporters!

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September 18, 2018- 2018 Booked for the Evening – Library Service Awards Reception

Elaine Kerr (on the right) received the Bentonville Public Library’s Distinguished Service Award for her long-term service to the furtherance of BPL’s mission. Elaine is a community-minded servant who is a steadfast advocate of the BPL and who has served two terms as member of the Library Advisory Board through 2016 – a volunteer position appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council.

Howard Kerr (on the left) received the Bentonville Library Foundation’s Outstanding Advocate Award. Howard is currently an Advisory Board member of the foundation and was an active member of the board from 2012 through 2016. He is an experienced leader who always offers wise advise and was the spokesperson for the Bentonville Public Library’s 10-year anniversary in 2016. As a Rotarian, he helped announce the Rotary Club’s 2016 “challenge grant” to the community and lead the very successful challenge!


Jean Batta received the Friends of the Bentonville Library’s Best Friend Award. Jean is serving her second term as the Friends’ Vice President, 2016 -2019. She is a tireless volunteer in the used book store and volunteers to support the annual “Breakfast With Friends.” Jean has also been a faithful volunteer offering her time and talent to the library, as well as a regular participant in the Walmart Volunteerism Always Pays Program (VAP). Jean’s VAP awards total more than $13,000!


Alyssa Hobbs received the Library Advisory Board’s Emerging Leader Award. Alyssa has volunteered more than 250 hours, serving our community’s youth in many different ways. She volunteers at special events and led programs for the library such as Bentonville’s Youth Literature Festival, STEAM Saturdays, Teen BookCon and Maker Mondays. In 2016, she was selected as a Teen Advisory Board member and has proven to be a strong leader and positive mentor throughout her TAB tenure. Alyssa also served as the Bentonville Library Foundation’s Board of Directors TAB liaison.


February 25, 2018-Second Annual Loyalist Appreciation Luncheon

Each year the Bentonville Library Foundation shows their appreciation to the donors  the Foundation’s three giving societies: The Mary Baggett Loyalist Society, The John & Emily Douglas Honor Society, and the Flynt Family Legacy Society. This year’s attendees were provided with an opportunity to view the Library’s special exhibit Thinking Money – A Financial Expedition and hear a special presentation from Dr. Rita Littrell, Director of the Bessie B. Moore Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

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April 20, 2017-Walmart VAP Program Supports BPL Tech Cards

Through the Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program, the Walmart ROC team assembled 21,000 Tech Cards for the 2016-2017 academic year.  In addition to the gift of time, this VAP event provided funds to the Library Foundation to support BPL’s 2017-2018 program.   

Back L to R:  John Clark, Don Wallace, Taye Jones, John Davis

Front L to R:  Aaron Shoemaker, Prince Davis, Hadi Dudley, Shelby Thomas


April 20, 2017-First Annual Loyalist Appreciation Luncheon

The Bentonville Library Foundation’s 1st Annual Loyalist Luncheon was attended by sixty library supporters, including local officials.  The event provided attendees with an opportunity to hear keynote speakers Dr. Katherine Auld and Mr. Larry Haug about their inspirations for working in the space science and astronomy field.  State Librarian, Carolyn Ashcraft, visited with the group. 

Left to Right: Sue Ann Pekel, Dr. Katherine Auld, Carolyn Ashcraft, Larry Haug and Hadi Dudley. Photo by Gregory Dudley.

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