The mission of the Fort Smith Public Library is to provide equal opportunity access to information including high interest/high demand books, multimedia materials, programs, exhibits, and online resources to meet the educational and recreational needs of our diverse community for lifelong learning, cultural enrichment, and intellectual stimulation.
Library cards are FREE to Fort Smith residents age 5 and older.
Fort Smith Public Library Fast Facts
The Fort Smith Public Library is 114 years old. Fort Smith’s first public library opened on January 1, 1908, as the Carnegie Public Library. It was funded in part by a $25,000 construction grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. It opened at 318 N. 13th St. on the site of Judge Isaac C. Parker’s former home. KFSM Channel 5 now occupies this building.
The FSPL has four locations:
Main Library – 3201 Rogers Avenue. Opened in 2001, 67,000 square feet
Dallas Street Branch Library – 8100 Dallas Street. Opened in 2000, 11,000 square feet
Miller Branch Library, 8701 S. 28th Street. Opened in 2000, 11,000 square feet
Windsor Drive Branch Library, 4701 Windsor Drive. Opened in 2000, 11,000 square feet
The FSPL has two primary funding sources: 1 mill property tax paid by residents of Fort Smith and 6% of the City of Fort Smith’s share of the Sebastian County sales tax. Our 1 mill property tax is among the lowest in the state and has not changed since the 1957. State funding, grants, donations, and proceeds from overdue fines and fees add to the library’s budget.
Traditional use of the library was impacted in 2020 and 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic. While fewer people visited the library’s physical locations than in past years, use of digital and online resources increased significantly.
96,708 people visited a Fort Smith Public Library location
235,113 items were checked out (books, audiobooks, magazines, DVDs, and more)
Over 200 new library cards were issued each month
Staff answered 112, 960 questions from library customers
Library customers logged on to library computers or library Wi-Fi 304,129 times
4,510 items were delivered to library customers through curbside service
57,163 books and audiobooks were checked out from Library2Go
40,608 children’s books were read online through TumbleBooks
11,190 movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and books were checked out from hoopla and Kanopy
Some of our most popular offerings include:
Books and DVDs -- Fort Smith adults, children, and teens love to read and watch movies
Library2Go -- eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines for e-readers, smartphones, tablets, & computers
Kanopy – more than 30,000 of the world’s best films and videos available to stream
Mango Languages – learn a new language online at your convenience
Genealogy and Arkansas history – resources for family tree and local history research
Storytime and other children’s programs – 5 or more storytimes every week
TumbleBooks – Online picture books for kids with added animation, sound, music, and narration
"Great libraries have always looked to both the future and the past.” – Laura Shapiro