History | Massey | Main Street | Community Center
From Historic Places to New Spaces
November 11, 1918
The first public library in Bentonville was located in the east room of the Massey Hotel space. It closed due to insufficient funding.
The Allen D. Clark Library opened in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. Under the leadership of Mayor Sam Beasley, the library was incorporated as a Bentonville City Library.
May 9, 1935
The Library moved to the Council room at the back of City Hall, but quickly outgrew the location and moved to the east side of City Hall.
October 7, 1963
The City purchased the Church of Christ building on SW A Street and relocated the Library to the space.
Jim Walton and Mr. & Mrs. Sam Walton purchased the Historic Massey Hotel with plans to move the Library to the first floor, with office space on the remaining floors.
November 11, 1979
Extensive renovations and restorations of the Massey Hotel allowed Bentonville Public Library to open its doors to the public. This grand old space was the library's home for nearly 27 years. The Massey Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2003: A Public/Private Partnership
Despite the wonderful historical significance in the Massey Hotel location, the 8,500 square foot space was unable to meet our users' growing and modern library needs. The Bentonville community began efforts to fund and build a new facility.
A public/private partnership, the Bentonville Library Foundation succeeded in the task of raising $7,000,000 for the $9,000,000 project. Generosity from individuals, corporations and foundations joined the City of Bentonville's $2,000,000 contribution toward construction of the Library.
October 30, 2006: A Downtown Destination
When the new 38,000 square foot library opened at 405 South Main Street, Bentonville Public Library became a destination place in downtown Bentonville. Facility amenities include vibrant children's and teen spaces, community meeting rooms, genealogy research center and café.
Paying homage to our historical roots at the Massey, Bentonville Public Library's modern facility features red brick, a grand veranda with signature columns and lovely fireplace area inside. The space is more than bricks and mortar; it is the setting for imagination, community, education and superior quality of life.
The facility project was succesfully led by Library Director, Cindy Suter. Architect firms Amirmoez Foster Hailey Johnson and Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle designed the building. Kinco was the general contractor. To learn more about our lovely library, visit Facility Amenities.
Spring 2015: The Self-Service Library
Bentonville Public Library is pleased to announce the opening of a Mini-Branch Library inside the Bentonville Community Center at 1101 SW Citizens Circle.
A partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department, BPL at the Community Center is where the 'Epicenter of Fun' meets Lifelong Learning.
To learn more about Bentonville Library successes, visit Library Reports. To find out how you can help our library, visit Support Us.
2020 - Present
After 15 years in our present location on S Main Street, Bentonville Public Library embarked on an expansion project.
In 2020, the Library asked staff and community members what they liked about their Library and what they would like to have at their Library.
In 2021, the Library shared those thoughts with the City and public in the Needs Assessment Study. In response, the City of Bentonville Bond Extension passed, providing public funds for the Library. Fall of 2021, the Library contracted MSR Design and Flintco to begin the design and precontruction phase. Also, the Library Foundation announced its capital campaign.
In 2022, the Library and MSR Design presented design plans to the city and public.
The Library added self-service lockers to the Library veranda and our branch at the Bentonville Community Center.