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See what is going on at your Rapid City Public Library. Read our news releases, download our newsletter and events calendar and find information about new and emerging services straight from us.

Jill Cohn Concert at the Downtown Library

JillCohn-webThe Rapid City Public Libraries are excited to welcome Seattle singer/songwriter Jill Cohn to the downtown library on Monday evening, April 28 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Jill is touring to promote her newest album, ‘Yellow Rose.’ Written in response to meeting families coping with the economic downturn since 2008, “The ‘Yellow Rose’ project is not for the faint of heart, as it observes some of life’s unpleasant truths, yet somehow through its journey with Cohn’s soothing voice leading the way, the listener is left with a sense of hope that even in the worst of times there is music and light that penetrates all dark corners.” (from Jill Cohn’s bio on

Jill has been performing full-time since 1999. She has released nine critically-acclaimed independent releases, her music has appeared in popular television shows and she has opened for artists including Jewel, Dave Matthews, Cheryl Wheeler and David Bromberg.

Find out more about upcoming live music, speakers and events by visiting the Rapid City Public Libraries’ website at

Rapid City Public Libraries Announce Holiday Closings

All locations of the Rapid City Public Libraries, the downtown library at 610 Quincy Street, the north library at 10 Van Buren Street and the east library at 800 Mickelson Drive will be will be closed all day Sunday, April 20 for the Easter holiday.

Due to spring break, the hours at RCPL East Partner Library at Western Dakota Tech are as follows: Friday, April 18, open from 1 to 5 p.m. (the rest of WDT is closed); Saturday, April 19, open regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 20, the library will be closed; Monday, April 21, open regular hours, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, April 22, open noon to 7 p.m.

Find out about library resources, services and events by visiting our website at

Community Voices Presents: Bruce & Tass Bicycle China

B & T Bicycle China TitleThe Rapid City Public Libraries are excited to have Tass Thacker and Bruce Junek as our Community Voices speakers on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street). In 2011, Tass and Bruce bicycled 3½ months across China. The couple took over 60,000 photographs and created their Land of the Dragon slide program from the trip. In just over a year it has already been shown to 35,000 students in 73 schools, and also at community events and festivals across the U.S.

During the trip Bruce also shot 200 hours of video using a variety of cameras. Bruce is now editing the video and has just completed a short trailer for their upcoming feature length documentary “Bruce & Tass Bicycle China.” Bruce and Tass will discuss the filming and editing of the documentary and show the trailer.

“The documentary is completely different from our slide program in theme and content,” says Bruce. “It is a behind the scenes view of our adventures. Much more gritty and intimate, and also humorous, inspiring, wacky and surprising — just like China.”

Find out more about upcoming speakers and events by visiting the Rapid City Public Libraries website at

Lunch and Learn – Gordy Pratt as Seth Bullock: The Spirit of the West

gordy-pratt-seth-bullock-webTalented guitarist, entertainer and stand-up comic Gordy Pratt has been performing his one-man shows across the country since 1990. A local favorite is his living history show about Deadwood’s most famous sheriff, ‘Seth Bullock: The Spirit of the West,’ which was written by Gordy and includes four original songs. Join us as Gordy performs ‘Seth Bullock’ at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, Meeting Room B) on Wednesday April 16 from noon to 1:00 p.m.

To reserve a lunch provided by the Friends of the Library, please contact the library at 394-4171 or go on our website, by noon on Monday, April 14. You are also welcome to bring your own lunch or just attend.

Combat Boredom: Board Games for Teens and Tweens at the Library

Teens and tweens are invited to join us for an afternoon of new and classic board game fun on Monday, April 14 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, Meeting Room B).
Bring a friend and discover a new favorite game.

Visit the Teen Blog at for more details and for information on everything the libraries have for teens. Find out about library resources, services and events by visiting our website at

Poetry Workshop: What Do Poetry Judges Want?

authors-readers-writersIf you’ve ever wondered how poetry is judged, this workshop is for you. Award-winning and published poet, author and playwright Rose Klix will present a workshop at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, Meeting Room B) from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 5. Rose will offer some insights from her experiences judging poetry contests through state poetry societies. She will also share a list of the criteria she developed for judging individual poems for the Poetry Society of Tennessee and for the SD State Poetry Society chapbook contest.

In 2012, Rose rediscovered the first poem she wrote in 1962. That started her compiling a 50-year anniversary collection and she was surprised to fill a two-volume set entitled “Pastiche of Poetry.” Rose has also published books such as “God, My Greatest Love,” “Eat, Diet, Repeat” and “My Short and Long-Stemmed Stories.” Go to for more information and to view videos of her readings.

For information on this and other library events, please visit our website and click on the Event Calendar.

Library offers programs to inspire you in April

The story originally published by the Rapid City Journal on March 30, 2014

by Susan Braunstein Rapid City Public Library

Along with spring flowers and showers, April can bring inspiration to jump-start our creative dreams and aspirations.

This month also brings National Library Week and National Poetry Month, and the Rapid City Public Library will offer a wide variety of special events.

To kick off National Library Week , there will be a Writers’ Workshop and panel presentation titled “The Brave New World of Publishing” from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the downtown location. Mystery author Karen Hall will give a program on the publishing world and what options are available to get your work out to the public.

This will be followed by a panel presentation that includes authors Sandra Brannan, Paul Higbee, Bill Schultz and Nichole Bennett. They will discuss their own experiences in getting published. Each panelist will have 20 minutes, then it will open up for questions and answers from the public.

There will be a limit of 60 participants. To register, go to

The noon hour Lunch & Learn program on Wednesday, April 16, is “Seth Bullock: The Spirit of the West,” performed by Gordy Pratt at the downtown library. Pratt portrays the ghost of lawman, frontiersman and conservationist Seth Bullock. Using first-hand stories and original songs, he weaves a colorful tale of the Wild West. Registration, also on the event calendar at the library’s website, begins Tuesday, April 1, and closes at noon Monday, April 14.

Bruce Junek and Tass Thacker will present the Community Voices program scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the downtown library. In 2011, they bicycled three and a half months across China. The couple took more than 60,000 photographs and created their “Land of the Dragon” slide program.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the first-ever RCPL Kids’ Spring Poetry Contest with the theme of “What Spring Means to Me,” will be held throughout April. Children in grades kindergarten through five are encouraged to write anything they like about spring.

Submissions can be turned in at any of the three library locations. There will be three categories of ages: kindergarten through first grade, second and third grades, and fourth and fifth grades. A $15 Mitzi’s gift card will be given to a winner from each of the grade levels.

Poems need to be no more than 20 lines. The last day to turn them in will be April 30. Winners will be announced the first week of May. Award-winning and published poet, author and playwright Rose Klix will judge the entries.

Klix also will do a writer’s workshop, “What Do Poetry Judges Want?” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the downtown library. Klix will share insights from her experiences judging a variety of poetry contests.

Come see what the libraries are offering in April and celebrate National Library Week with us.

On a roll: Make just about anything you need with duct tape

This article originally published by the Rapid City Journal on 3/21/14 and was written by Journal Staff

You could use duct tape to fix a tarp or even seal a duct. Or you could make a wallet, a smartphone case or a flower.

That’s what the parents and kids who attended last week’s duct tape workshop at the Rapid City Public Library did.

“We’ve been wanting to make things with duct tape,”said Julia Hiben of Rapid City, whose daughters made wallets at the workshop. “It was easy, yet it allowed you to be creative.”

Angi Jung of Rapid City brought her 11-year-old son, Colton, to the workshop, where he whipped out three duct tape wallets.

“We’re new to it, so we’re not as fast as the rest of them,” she said. “Definitely we would do it again.”

It seems there’s almost nothing you can’t make with duct tape.

On its website, Duck Brand tape has directions to make waterproof aprons, calla lilies, lamps, totes, mirror frames, bracelets, gift bows, flip-flops, belts and holiday decorations.

On Pinterest, you’ll find projects ranging from a night stand to a rug, a hammock, beads, headboards and boots — all made out of duct tape. According to pinners, you can recover furniture in it or substitute duct tape for the worn-out webbing in your lawn chair.

The library says its duct tape workshop for teens and tweens is its most popular. The library supplied all the tape and directions, making it easy for newcomers to test it out.

Among the techniques Cindy Smith of Rapid City learned was to put the tape on paper before fashioning it into objects.

“Sometimes when you put duct tape on duct tape, it gets wrinkled,” said Smith, who brought her home-schooled kids to the library for an art lesson.

Smith’s daughter, Hannah, 11, has made wallets, purses, flowers and a giant pocket with tape. It’s a portable craft, and she often packs up her duct tape when her mom has a meeting and she’s waiting for her.

“She was in ‘The Nutcracker’ and all the kids were making duct tape bows while they were waiting,” Smith said.

These days, duct tape has branched out from its original gray color. It now comes in neon brights, a variety of patterns, Barbie and Mickey Mouse prints and sports logos licensed by colleges, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.

“I think they had fun just using something different,” said Christina Dehn, who brought her children to the workshop. “And duct tape is so colorful these days; it’s just a different type of medium.”

Film Screening – Feminist Stories from Women’s Liberation 1963-1970

Feminist Film logoIn celebration of Women’s History Month, on Sunday, March 23 from 2 – 3 p.m., the Rapid City Public Libraries downtown location will be showing the film ‘Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation 1963-1970’ by filmmaker Jennifer Lee. This one-hour film was released in 2013 and has been shown in film festivals, on college campuses, for non-profit organizations, in middle-schools and globally. It won “Best of the Fest” for documentary at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival.

Viewers will recognize some of the more familiar names such as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Eleanor Smeal, but there are many others featured from different walks of life that helped change the world in their own way. Jennifer was motivated to make this film when she realized how little we know about these women. In her words:
Indeed, as you listen to the stories from these women and watch the work that was done during the feminist revolution, you realize how deep the “empty space” is in our memories where this information should be. It’s time to change this.

For information on this and other library events, please visit our website and click on the Event Calendar.

Celebrate women with film, Curie program

Originally published on March 16, 2014 in the Rapid City Journal 
Written by Susan Braunstein Programming Library Associate, Rapid City Public Library

National Women’s History Month goes back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909 and has since evolved into a month-long declaration made by Congress in 1987.

To celebrate this, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 23, the downtown library will host a film screening of “Feminist Stories: Women’s Liberation from 1963-1970.” This one-hour film was created by Jennifer Lee, who is hoping to screen her movie in every state.

Viewers will recognize some of the more familiar names, such as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Eleanor Smeal, but there are many others featured from different walks of life who helped change the world in their own way.

It won “Best of the Fest” for documentary at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival.

This film will touch close to home for me because I was one of those early feminists. The first magazine subscription I had was to Ms. magazine, and during that time, this was quite a radical thing to order.

Starting in high school, one of my favorite pastimes was to collect newspaper and magazine articles about the first time a woman did a certain job — like an airplane pilot, a scientist, CEO, head of a government agency, etc.

I was thinking about how times have changed when I attended my great-niece’s basketball game recently. My older sister and I were marveling at the fact that we were watching girls play in such a competitive way in a tournament and people just took it for granted. Neither of us had an opportunity to play sports at all in high school because there were no sports for girls.

A historical female scientist will come alive again when the amazing scientist Marie Curie will be featured during the program, “Manya – A Visit with Madame Curie,” sponsored by the Rapid City Public Libraries Foundation. This portrayal by actress/playwright Susan Marie Frontczak will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, at the downtown library.

Manya was a nickname given to Marie Curie. Madame Curie is best known for the discoveries of radium and polonium and her involvement in some of the first treatments of cancer.

But she also played an important role in World War I. She convinced the government of France to empower her to set up the country’s first military radiology centers. With donations she sought from automobile body shops and manufacturers, by October 1914 the first 20 radiology vehicles were on the front lines taking X-rays.

Frontczak will present a one-hour program that includes in-character monologue, question and answers with Marie Curie and Q&A with the presenter. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

To attend, contact

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