News and Events

BASE Program to Include Younger Readers in Middle and Junior High Schools

In an effort to bring resources to more students, the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies have expanded the BASE (Books for Arkansas Students’ Education) program to include middle school students in addition to high school students.

Expanding the program to include middle school students is consistent with the Arkansas Department of Education’s adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), with reading and writing process skills emphasizing historical content. Arkansas history content frameworks provide the curriculum skills basis for students, while the CCSS provide the process skills basis. For example, the CCSS standard for reading literacy in history/social studies states that by the end of the eighth grade, students should be able to read and comprehend 6-8 grade-level history/social studies texts independently and proficiently. Clearly, middle school students can benefit from the books provided by the BASE program.

To become involved in the BASE program, school librarians at public high schools and middle schools may register their schools by using the form found at

Points are distributed to school libraries based on the “Free/Reduced Lunch Count” so that schools with greater need will have the ability to select more materials. After points are awarded, school librarians use the shopping cart catalog feature of the website to select titles from the inventory to add to their libraries. The inventory may consist of a single copy of a title or multiple copies, if available from donations or purchases.

The BASE website provides two bibliographies under the tab, “Core Collections.” These are intended to help school librarians develop a materials collection to aid Arkansas history instruction and to help them prioritize the acquisition of titles, either through purchase as part of the normal library order or from selection from the BASE inventory. While any title included in BASE is a useful addition to a school library, books on these two lists represent “the best of the best” and would provide a solid foundation for a school library’s Arkansas collection. The primary focus of these lists is Arkansas history, but significant works – both fiction and nonfiction – by noted writers from Arkansas are also included.

Donations of Arkansas books and funds to purchase them are a critical component of the program. Anyone interested in donating books or money to the BASE program should contact Bob Razer at the Butler Center at (501) 320-5727.

Thank you to the following institutions and individuals who generously donated to the BASE project.


Central Arkansas Library System
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
The University of Arkansas Press
River Market Books & Gifts


Arkansas Press Association
Arkansas Railroad Club
Arkansas State Library
Kevin Brockmeier
Jeff Fletcher
Freeman Mobley
Elizabeth Jacoway
Magale Library at Southern Arkansas University
Remo Jacuzzi
Library of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas
Phillip McMath
TT Tyler Thompson
Tyler and Tyler Booksellers
University of Arkansas Press
University of Central Arkansas Press



Central Arkansas Library System /The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

100 Rock St., Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-918-3088,