Hoopla Overdrive
Coffee & Cardigans



Grow Your Gardening Skills With Our Seed Library

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You may be wondering why we’re posting about gardening during the beginning of winter. Fair point! But hear us out: it’s always a good idea to plan out the details of your garden early, and before we know it, spring will be here in just a few months. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of our Faulkner County Seed Library!

Our seed library was created in partnership with the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project to foster collaboration, sustainability, and food security in Conway. We’ve had countless amazing volunteers from AmeriCorps, our local colleges, and more who help put together seed packets, raise beds, and use our outdoor plots to grow little gardens of their own! 

You have the option to become a part of our community garden, too! If you’re interested in maintaining your own 4x4 plot, we have a total of 40 to choose from in our backyard. The only requirement is to volunteer in the garden 2-4 hours per month in exchange for the free space. To sign up for one, fill out the form here: 

Why should you consider starting a garden for yourself? Here’s several good reasons:

1. Fresher food - the taste will be better quality, and that’s one less trip to the grocery store with more money in your pocket. 

2. Better for the environment - your food won’t have to be shipped to you, and will help reduce the amount of fossil fuels used for travel. 

3. Beautifies your home - a little plant diversification can go a long way in sprucing up your surroundings! Even with just the addition of a flowerpot, you can freshen up a whole room (quite literally)!

4. Builds community - aside from growing a garden, you’d also be growing your connections with people involved in and passionate about local food.

5. Through your library, it’s free! You would be supporting a neighborhood nonprofit and inspiring others to do the same.

Not ready to have a full-fledged garden yet, or just want a couple houseplants? No worries! You can “check out” seeds from our seed cart. Located near the front desk, you can select up to 10 seed packets from an assortment of herbs, grains, flowers, and vegetables to bring home three times a year. After you’ve chosen, you can either fill out a paper form or scan the QR code on the cart to let us know which seeds you’ve taken so we can replenish as needed. Since you are “borrowing” these seeds, we just ask that you bring a few new ones back after germination to help keep the seed library going!

If you have any questions, contact our Garden Programmer Erica Lunde at 

For more information and to view our garden programming calendar, visit the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project Facebook page or go to and click on the “Events” or “Programs” tabs. 

Happy planting! We hope you have a spectacular “thyme” with it! 😉


Happy Hygge-days! How You Can Use the Danish Concept of Contentment to Have a Cozy Winter

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With our blog being named Coffee + Cardigans, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to mention a phenomenal part of Danish (and initially Norwegian) culture that’s gained widespread popularity known as “hygge”, which describes generating a mood of coziness with emphasis on feelings of wellness and contentment. We think most of us can agree that both coffee and cardigans spark these feelings, especially on cold days. What kind of blog would we be if we didn’t share something about comfortable conviviality? As we have officially entered the winter season, now is the perfect time to delve into this topic and learn how you can make the most of it in order to combat the winter blues and have yourself a merry and bright holiday!

So what exactly is hygge? Basically put, it’s about good vibes only. It’s about creating a welcoming atmosphere for premium rest and relaxation, for yourself and for others in your company. Hygge is not found in a specific setting or aesthetic–think of it as cultivating a warm and inviting ambience where you can temporarily hibernate and just “be.” With our often busy lifestyles and the hecticness of the holiday season, hygge is a way to slow down and a reminder to fully enjoy the present moment. Hygge is where mindfulness and minimalism meet to create a sense of magic within the mundane. 

The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen has studied the positive effects of practicing hygge and found it helps promote wellbeing and the feeling of togetherness, as well as a deeper appreciation for the aspects of ordinary living. In essence, hygge can transform the perceived drudgery of domestic life into that of a happy place.

How can you bring hygge into your everyday routine? Here are examples of simple rituals you can incorporate without breaking your budget:

  Brew your favorite hot drink and savor each sip by the fireplace

  Play your favorite music while preparing a homemade meal

  Curl up under a warm blanket and read a book (from your local library of course!)

  Light some scented candles and treat yourself to a bubble bath

  Invite friends over for a potluck dinner 

  Indulge in a hobby like crafting or journaling while at home

  Put on comfy pajamas and play games or watch a movie

But don’t just take our advice. When it comes down to it, happiness is an art, not an exact science. Whatever brings you joy and helps relieve stress, that’s what you should do!

View our list of books to keep calm and hygge on here:


Listening Is Also Reading: The Benefits of Audiobooks

Image titleToday, books come in all mediums. Aside from traditional print literature, you can listen to a book on CD or download one in a digital format on your smartphone or tablet. Some people like the feeling of holding a physical book in their hands–and even enjoy the smell which, according to the International League for Antiquarian Booksellers, is commonly a mix of grass and vanilla scents due to the chemical compounds used during the creation process–while others prefer the convenience of an eBook's portability and cost effectiveness. You won’t get a late or damaged fee for one of those! The options are endless, and we at the Faulkner County Library aim to provide a vast amount of each of them.

Audiobooks in particular, whether online or physical copies, can be a medium that’s overlooked by readers, with some claiming that it doesn’t really count as reading because there are no words on a page involved. But before dismissing audiobooks, it’s important to recognize the multitude of benefits that arise from listening to them, as well as some advantages. 

For non-native English speakers, language learners, struggling readers, and those who are disabled or visually impaired, audiobooks can help greatly in bridging the gap to traditional books and provide an alternative source for accessing information. Many people are also auditory learners, making up about 30% of the population, and best retain knowledge through listening. 

In addition, audiobooks are a good option for those who typically bypass conventional reading as the narration can better emphasize things like humor, sidestep unfamiliar dialects or old literary styles, and highlight certain aspects like pronunciation otherwise missed by print books. Plus, narration can be fun–just imagine listening to Reese Witherspoon or Morgan Freeman read one of your favorites! For centuries across all civilizations and cultures, storytelling has been a key component passed down through the generations. It’s no wonder that audiobooks help improve reading comprehension (students can comprehend two grade levels above their reading level when regularly listening), build concentration, and strengthen memory. By even combining print and audio, recall can increase up to 40% more than print reading alone!

It’s also worth mentioning that a 2017 study by the National Library of Medicine has found listening to audiobooks can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, known as bibliotherapy. Novelist Sarah Rayner wrote in Psychology Today that “audio is one of the most intimate forms of media.” It gives the opportunity to boost your mental health as well as a way to spend quality time with friends and family. Have you ever hosted a listening party? Trust us, it’s the best.

To browse our audiobook collection, come visit us and we’ll direct you to their locations! You can also download our apps by visiting or the websites below to access more digitally: 

Libby, by Overdrive - search for “Arkansas Digital Library Consortium” and enter library card number & PIN

Hoopla - search for “Faulkner-Van Buren Regional Library” and enter library card number & PIN

Any tech issues? Call us at (501) 327-7482 or email


Our New Sensory Bags! Plus Books On Neurodiversity, Autism, & More

Most of us know that libraries aren’t quiet places anymore. You won’t expect to get “shushed” by an employee and you are unlikely to find a library that’s only frequented by a few regulars every now and then. Libraries have become bustling community hubs–and while that’s a very good thing, for some people it can be overstimulating. We’re all about meeting the needs of our community in the most effective ways possible, which is why… 

Something new that we’re excited to offer our patrons here at the library–specifically at our Conway branch–is our sensory bags! 

We have three bags catered to different age groups: children, teens, and adults. These bags aren’t perfect by any means and while we can’t meet everyone’s sensory needs, we have included some items that we hope will be useful for when you or your child might need sensory input or sensory block! 

Here are some of the items we provide in our bags:

  • Textured squishy balls for stress relief

  • Calming, self-soothing visual stims for coping with sensory overload (one of them looks like a lava lamp!)
  • Noise-canceling headphones

  • A pair of sunglasses for those with light sensitivity

  • Pop-It bracelets and strips

  • An Infinity Cube fidget toy to aid with concentration

More good news? You don’t have to be a library cardholder to borrow a bag. Just visit our front desk and ask for one to use while you’re in the building!

To watch this video and more on our YouTube channel, click on the link: Unpacking Sensory Bags with Mary

Looking for resources on autism, ADHD, and sensory processing, or books about neurodiversity? View our recommended reading list from our collections, including children’s picture books, tween/teen guides, and educational fiction:


Niche Academy: What Is It?

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Are you needing to learn basic computer literacy or how to better use the technology at your disposal? Have you been looking to polish up your work portfolio, or just want to know what kind of resources we offer at our library? Prefer learning something new on your own and in a way that’s contactless? (With COVID-19 still going around and being in the midst of flu season, we totally get it.) We’ve got the perfect solution for that–it’s called Niche Academy! 

Niche Academy is an information hub of tutorials on a variety of topics; from professional development to Microsoft Office to academic research, this online tool will show you how to cultivate important life skills and direct you to where you need to be to finish that challenging assignment. And it’s all free!

To access Niche Academy, go to and click on the “Resources” tab. You can also click on the photo above to go there directly!

Once you enter the site, you’ll notice a list of categories. We’ll briefly explain them here:

FVBRLS (Faulkner-Van Buren Regional Library System)

  • These videos will show you how to use our card catalog, self-checkout kiosks, as well as logging into your account to pay fines or place holds!


  • Learn how to navigate our digital collections through Hoopla, Libby, Kanopy, Mango Languages, & World Book

  • Spice up your scholarly know-how with the EBSCO & ProQuest reference centers–you’ll find all the articles and answers you need with these instructions!


  • Can’t figure out how to organize your Google Drive or attach a document to your email? We got you!


  • Excel, PowerPoint, Word–it’s all here! 


  • Watch how to ace a job interview, where to find free legal forms, and get tips for writing your best resume yet


  • Here you’ll find Internet and iPhone basics, steps for creating social media profiles, and an intro to Zoom


  • Last but not least, our ultimate category for education: learn how to access different genealogical records, encyclopedias, and more databases!

We hope Niche Academy will be the portal to your success (pun fully intended). Leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions for improvement!