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In The News: Library wants to hear your story

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on December 18, 2014
Written by Meredith Colias, Journal staff

As a 28-year-old veterinarian, Keith Johnson knew he wanted more than a life spent checking on pigs in his native Iowa.

Yet in 1958, a year after coming out to the Black Hills, he found himself nervously face-to-face with Pete Lemley.

Johnson was there to convince the legendary rancher — then, nearing his 90s — to allow him to go out on his land to test hundreds of cattle for tuberculosis.

He was a “renegade,” in Johnson’s words, who sent the last veterinarian packing for daring to ask to setup an appointment to do the TB check for the state.

“He was small in stature, but he was tough,” Johnson, now 84, said. “I was a little apprehensive to say the least.”

Johnson managed to win him over after a cup of coffee.

Spending nearly 40 years fixing calving problems, deodorizing baby skunks, castrating horses and once caring for an exotic dancer’s python was a good way to get to know people around town.

Johnson is one of about 15 or 20 people who have shared some of those early memories with the Rapid City Public Library for a new oral history project.

The staff is working with Historic Rapid City to find residents, like Johnson, willing to reminisce on the details of their lives in town.

The idea snowballed after NPR partner StoryCorps visited Main Street Square in the fall 2013, said special collections librarian Sam Slocum. The library had already been recording oral recollections for years on the 1972 floods, and new director Jim McShane wanted to expand to other topics.

“There is a lot of history in this area,” he said. “We wanted to capture that and not lose the human connection.”

After a $1,800 grant from the Rapid City Library Foundation, librarians purchased equipment, including two microphones and a recorder, from StoryCorps and set aside a small room for interviews.

Participators sign a release stating that what they say can be released to the public. Interviews could possibly go to the Library of Congress, McShane said.

Slocum and other staff hope to incrementally build up an active collection on the website Vimeo and by the end of next year to remodel another room to serve as a place where people can go to listen to recordings.

So far, they only have one interview posted online, with Betsy Best, whose husband Glenn was a Pennington County Sheriff at the time of the 1972 flood.

In the recording, she recalls helping keep lists of the missing. Two hundred thirty-eight people perished in the flood.

McShane and Historic Rapid City volunteer Kim Morey, who conducted Johnson’s interview, both said they hope many willing volunteers come forward. Since oral history is so integral to Lakota culture, they want to collect stories capturing Native American culture especially.

Capturing memories, whether extraordinary or mundane, drives part of the excitement for the project, said Historic Rapid City President Jean Kessloff.

“When people die, those stories are gone,” she said.

Capturing those memories digitally ensures that future generations can access it, said Rapid City Library Foundation Treasurer Janet Tippett. “In 50 years, no one will know it otherwise.”

To share your story, contact the library at 394-4171.

Rapid City Public Libraries Announce Holiday Closings

All locations of the Rapid City Public Libraries will have special hours for the Christmas and New Year holidays. The downtown library will close at noon on Wednesday, December 24, and be closed all day on Thursday, December 25. The partner libraries at General Beadle Community School and Western Dakota Tech. will both be closed all day December 24 and December 25.
The downtown library will close early at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31. The partner libraries will both be closed on December 31. All library locations will be closed on Thursday, January 1. If you have questions about the holiday schedule, please call the downtown library at 394-4171.
Find out about library resources, services and events by visiting our website at www.rapidcitylibrary.org.

Lunch and Learn – The Blues: Early 1900s to the 50s & 60s

jamesVanNuys-1920s-web VanNuys-Maya-Randy-webDecember’s Lunch & Learn will be a special treat for music lovers. From noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17 at the downtown library (610 Quincy St.), join us as James Van Nuys, Maya Van Nuys and Randy McAllister present “The Blues: Early 1900s to the 1950s and 60s.”
James has been playing guitar since the age of 13 and his repertoire covers a broad variety of traditional music including folk, blues, Irish and ragtime.
Maya is a senior at Stevens High School and played violin in the South Dakota All-State Orchestra. She performs with the Van Nuys Family Band and is also a part of the Van Nuys/Fahey Trio with her uncle James and Bob Fahey. This year she toured nationwide as a member of roots music legend Randy McAllister’s Band.
Randy McAllister is one of the premier singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalists to emerge from Texas. Heartbreak, humor, high hair and tall Texas tales all play a part in his writing. He has released 10 critically-acclaimed albums.
Registration for a lunch provided by the Friends of the Library is closed however there will be refreshments available for all attendees. Please join us for this live music event at the library.

Teen Sketchbook Workshop with Author V R Janis

nTh9Mm8Teens ages 12 – 18 have the opportunity to meet Native American fantasy author V R Janis. She will be at the downtown library on Monday, December 15 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. to demonstrate making a sketchbook. Participants will make their own sketchbooks and all supplies will be provided.
Visit the Teen Blog at teenblog.rapidcitypubliclibrary.com 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 www.rapidcitylibrary.org.

News Coverage: RC Public Library engages teens with holiday gift workshop

Originally aired on Tue 9:31 PM, Dec 09, 2014 on KEVN Black Hills Fox News
Written By: Tessa Thomas

As a way to get teenagers into the library, the Rapid City Public Library held a Teen Handmade Holiday Gifts Workshop on Tuesday.

Teens were able to make ornaments, candy cane bath bombs, photo holders and anything else they could think of by using everyday items and turning them into unique gifts. The teen services associate here says it’s just one way to engage teenagers at the library.

Lisa Dasilva says, “These craft skills are really important for teens to pick up. A lot of teens don’t have access to materials like this, and it’s something easy that anyone can pick up and things that teens can repurpose at home to hand out as holiday gifts.”

The Rapid City Public Library holds teen events every month. For more information on what’s available to teens, visit teenblog.rapicitypubliclibrary.com.

Click here to view video

Kenny Putnam and Boyd Bristow Perform Holiday Concert

Boyd-Bristow-at-Gordy's-webKenny-Putnam-webOn Sunday, December 14 at 2 p.m. upstairs at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street), fiddler Kenny Putnam and guitarist and vocalist Boyd Bristow will return for a holiday concert. They will perform some of their seasonal favorites along with a variety of other music. Please join us and find out why this is one of our most popular annual musical events!

Both Boyd and Kenny were inducted this year into the Friends of Traditional Music Hall of Fame and Kenny was inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.

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

Community Voices: The Lure of Ice Fishing

Trout2 (2)When it comes to ice fishing for trout and perch in the Black Hills, there are many options of places to go and gear to use, but how can you fish for these plentiful species most efficiently? On December 11 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street), local resident and Clam Outdoors Pro Staff member Scott Olson continues his ‘Lure of Ice Fishing Series’ with a program to cover some of the best ways to target these fish. Learn about reading lake maps, finding places to fish, what gear to use, fishing techniques, free online resources, and ice safety and conservation tips.
The world of ice fishing has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned ice fisherman or woman, this program will offer new ways to fish for trout and perch and the chance to get your hands on some of the newest gear in the field. There will be a drawing for two Cabela’s gift cards following the program as well as ample time for any questions.
Find out more about upcoming events by visiting the Rapid City Public Libraries’ website at www.rapidcitylibrary.org.

Live music on library’s agenda in December

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on December 7, 2014 – written by Susan Braunstein of the Rapid City Public Libraries

 

With so many choices to make on how to spend your time over the holiday season, don’t overlook the variety of musical events planned at the downtown library.

We begin with an evening performance on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. that features two youthful performers, Arjun and Aparna Ayyangar. They will play classical, holiday and Disney movie selections on the keyboard, harp and flute.

Born in 1998, Arjun began his music studies in 2001. He was selected to perform on NBC’s premiere prime time series show “America’s Most Talented Kid” at the age of 4. He has been playing with the orchestra at the International Music Festival in Ohio since 2003 and has also performed at concert venues in Pennsylvania, New York City, Philadelphia and Austria.

Aparna was born in 2002, is in seventh grade at Southwest Middle School and has been studying piano since 2005 and harp since 2007. She has also studied the flute, violin and Indian classical singing. Aparna played harp with the orchestra for the Matawan community musical production “Titanic” in 2011 and with the orchestra at the International Film Festival in Ohio in 2010. Aparna and Arjun are also volunteers at the Hospice of the Hills where they play music for the patients.

Following that performance, fiddler Kenny Putnam and guitarist and vocalist Boyd Bristow return for a holiday concert on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. They will perform some of their seasonal favorites along with a variety of other music.

Both Boyd and Kenny were inducted this year into the Friends of Traditional Music Hall of Fame and Kenny was inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.

Finally, the Lunch & Learn event this month takes place from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, and features “The Blues: Early 1900s to the 1950s and 60s” performed by James Van Nuys, Maya Van Nuys and Randy McAllister.

James has been playing guitar since the age of 13 and his repertoire covers a broad variety of traditional music, including folk, blues, Irish and ragtime.

Maya is a senior at Stevens High School and played violin in the South Dakota All-State Orchestra. She performs with the Van Nuys Family Band and is also a part of the Van Nuys/Fahey Trio with her uncle James and Bob Fahey. This year she toured nationwide as a member of roots music legend Randy McAllister’s Band.

In The News: One Hot Tip: Targeting trout and perch through the ice

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on December 4, 2014

Scott Olson of Rapid City is hosting an ice fishing program at the Rapid City Public Library on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.

Olson, a public services associate at the library and a former fishing department employee at the Rapid City Cabela’s store, said the program will specifically cover targeting trout and perch, focus on reading lake maps, along with tips on different gear and techniques to use, and segments on online information and ice safety.

Olson’s program on shore fishing at the library in May proved to be very popular with anglers.

Teen Handmade Holiday Gifts Workshop

christmas-316448-webTeens ages 12 – 18 can get a start on holiday gifting at the Handmade Holiday Gifts workshop on Tuesday, December 9 from 4 – 6:00 p.m. at the downtown library. Teen librarian Lisa and the Teen Advisory Board will be on hand to instruct in the making of ornaments, candy cane bath bombs, photo holders and upcycling several everyday items into unique gifts. All supplies will be provided. Save money and exercise your creativity at the library.

Visit the Teen Blog at teenblog.rapidcitypubliclibrary.com 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 www.rapidcitylibrary.org.

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