Amy Sanders (1924–)

Amy Sanders was a longtime city clerk for the City of Sherwood (Pulaski County), which named its new Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) branch library in her honor in 1989. A new library building that opened in Sherwood in 2018 retained the name.

Amy Sanders was born on August 4, 1924, in Prescott (Nevada County), the child of William Hayes Barnes and Allie Mae Dye Barnes. She married Reo Dale Sanders in Texarkana (Miller County) in 1944, and the couple had two children. They were married for more than sixty-three years, until his death on June 7, 2007.

Sanders went to work for the City of Sherwood in the early 1970s and, in April 1973, was appointed to replace a city clerk who resigned to take another position. The office had one employee when she took the position; there were eighteen when she retired. She won election to the position in a contested race in 1974 and was unopposed in future elections until her resignation in December 1987. The Sherwood Chamber of Commerce elected her Sherwood’s Woman of the Year in 1988.

Sherwood was originally served by bookmobiles from the Pulaski-Perry County Regional Library System until its growing population led the city and regional library to open the Sherwood City Library in the 600-square-foot former city hall in 1973. By 1988, a larger facility was needed, and ground was broken on April 22 on Shelby Drive for a 9,000-square-foot facility designed by Morris-Farrar Architects and built by Flynco, Inc.; it was financed by $143,000 from a federal grant through the Arkansas State Library Board and $314,000 from the City of Sherwood. The Sherwood City Council voted to name the new building in honor of the recently retired city clerk, who reported herself “very humble and certainly very honored” by the recognition. The CALS Amy Sanders branch opened on February 14, 1989.

Sherwood continued to grow, and by 2014 construction of a new building was needed. Sherwood voters approved a 1.3-mill personal/property tax in November 2014 to pay for the project. Taggart Architects was selected to design the 14,500-square-foot building on fourteen acres on Johnson Drive, and Flynco, Inc., would again build the $5,819,800 structure. When informed that the new building would once more bear her name, Sanders told reporters: “I thought I had that honor for 29 years. I would have been fine if they wanted to give it to someone else.” Ground was broken for the project in January 2017, and the new library opened on March 10, 2018.

For additional information:
“Amy Sanders Retiring.” The Voice, November 26, 1987, p. 2.

Central Arkansas Library System Board of Directors Minutes, May 4, 1988.

“New Sherwood Library Set to Open.” Arkansas Democrat, February 14, 1989, p. 9A.

Sandlin, Jake, “Sherwood Library Officially in the Works.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 26, 2017, p. 2B.

“Sherwood Announces Man, Woman of the Year.” Arkansas Gazette, January 24, 1988, p. 13A.

“Sherwood City Clerk Announces Retirement.” Arkansas Democrat, December 30, 1987, p. 2C.

Schuette, Shirley, and Nathania Sawyer. From Carnegie to Cyberspace: 100 Years at the Central Arkansas Library System. Little Rock: Butler Center Books, 2010.

White, Ann. “Long-Awaited Opening.” Arkansas Gazette, February 12, 1989, pp. 1J, 5J.

Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System


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