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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.

Back-to-School Week Fun at the Downtown Library

colored-pencils-388484Set your inner artist free after school at the downtown library on Tuesday, August 26 and Thursday, August 28 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. On Tuesday, join us upstairs for a Free Draw Afternoon. Art supplies will be provided as well as books to fuel your imagination. On Thursday, we will be outside on the front sidewalk for a Sidewalk Chalk Art Afternoon. Chalk will be provided. Bring friends and exercise your creativity.
For more information about upcoming kids programs and events, please visit our website at

Turn the page and become a human book

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on August 14, 2014
Written by Danielle Wood Rapid City Public Library


As a librarian, I am constantly looking for new ways to help people access information. To do so, I have to look at how people go about finding information as well. It struck me that one of the key resources we as individuals use for information is our peer groups; we ask questions and gather advice from our family, friends and colleagues.

Tapping into this knowledge bank of people has only been done in conversations today — we share contacts with one another. But this is where that peer-to-peer information sharing ends until now.

Last year, NPR wrote an article titled “Beyond Books” in which they talk about a library program where people could check out time with various individuals and have conversations about their life and experiences.

This allowed people to gain insight into lives ranging from refugees to police officers and even ex-convicts. The project’s goal was to show that learning through others’ experiences can be an important way to open your eyes to differing perspectives and ideas.

Upon reading this article, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head. In our lives we are constantly networking for information — so-and-so’s husband knows how to do that, or my friend is an expert on that topic.

We ask our friends and our colleagues for information, and these people know others who have further expertise. I am constantly amazed at the wealth of knowledge at our fingertips just by asking those people we know and trust. So shouldn’t the library, the center for collecting print and digital information, be a centralized place to bring people together and promote our community?

This is where the Community Knowledge Project comes in. The Rapid City Public Libraries is asking for our community members to share what they know with others. Maybe you’re looking for the best hiking in the Black Hills, or maybe you have questions about fishing, or maybe you’d like to figure out why the plants in your garden keep dying.

Where do you turn to find this information? Your local public library. Searching the Rapid City Public Libraries’ catalog for hiking will bring up a number of entries on local hiking aficionados. These people are known as our Community Knowledge Mentors. Email them your questions and suddenly you have a great contact for finding some neat places to explore in your spare time . You’ll never know what kind of mentor may be in the catalog; our community members have a vast diversity of interests and talents, and the library can now be the place to be able to connect these people.

Does this sound interesting to you? Do you like to talk about your passions, or take pleasure in helping people with similar interests? Would you care to volunteer your time to answer questions from individuals seeking information on one of your passions? If so, apply to be a mentor on our website ( today.

Community Voices Presents: Shore Fishing 101

shore-fishing-webConfused by fishing terminology? Baffled by all the gear choices? We can help! Plan to attend the Community Voices program on August 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Rapid City Public Libraries downtown location (610 Quincy Street, upstairs in Meeting Room B) to get answers from expert local fisherman Scott Olson. Novice and experienced anglers alike can find something to enjoy in this program as Scott demonstrates setting up a fishing rig, explains picking out a fishing rod, familiarizes you with fishing terms, and gets you ready to fish the shores of the beautiful Black Hills.
For more information on activities and events available at the libraries, visit our website at

Book Trivia Night at the Downtown Library

book_sunglassesGet your book geek on, Friday, August 15 at 7:00 p.m. upstairs at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street). Bring friends, enjoy appetizers, and test your knowledge of books with this trivia contest night. The books we will be using for the trivia questions are listed on the library’s website, We also have a display of many of the titles and a list of the books on a kiosk at the downtown library.
Whoever correctly answers the most questions can win a gift card from Mitzi’s Books with a first place prize of $35, second place of $25 and third place of $15.
Find out more about library events for adults by visiting the Rapid City Public Libraries website at

Quick Pick Picnic: Take a book to lunch!

Picnic_basket_01-webJoin us at the Rapid City Public Library downtown location (610 Quincy Street) on Wednesday, August 20 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Helen Hoyt Room. Books being discussed range from romances to biographies — and everything in between. Participants share suggestions about what to read next. Whether you read on an electronic device or tablet, or enjoy sitting in your lawn chair with a printed book, come and share what you enjoy at our Quick Pick Picnic.

There is no charge to attend and all are welcome. For a lunch provided by Friends of the Library, please register online at through our events calendar or call 394-4171 by noon on Monday, August 18. Lunch is limited to the first 50 registered. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or attend without having lunch.

Find out more about library resources and events by visiting the Rapid City Public Libraries website at

Pizza & Planning Party for Teens!

Pizza Planning Party_August_2014Make your voice heard! Teens and tweens are invited to a Pizza & Planning Party on Wednesday, August 20 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. upstairs at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street). We will pick an upcoming teen event and plan it out. We are also gathering ideas for the teen area of the downtown library. Bring a friend, grab a slice of pizza and let us know what you think!

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

Rapid City Public Libraries Welcomes New City Council Liaison to Board of Trustees

Darla_Drew2014Rapid City Council member Darla Drew was appointed City Council Liaison to the Rapid City Public Libraries Board of Trustees in July 2014.
Representing Ward 5, Alderwoman Darla Drew is a lifetime Rapid City resident and civic advocate. At 22, Drew (aka DD from DD & The Fayrohs) founded Black Hills Talent, an entertainment agency in Rapid City, and operated the business for 25 years. She created the Readiatrics book drive in 2001, raising over 100,000 books for area children in need. She was the Assistant Director for the Rapid City Arts Council at the Dahl until 2010. Currently, she is the Media and Community Relations Coordinator for SD GEARUP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a federally funded grant program that works to increase access to post-secondary education for American Indian and low-income students. In addition, Drew has volunteered for many boards and committees throughout the community.
Darla and husband, Don Lerdal, raised their family in Rapid City. Their children, Drew Lerdal and Mattie Lerdal Loney, their spouses and grandson, now reside in Minneapolis, MN. A concern of Darla’s is to create a welcoming environment for businesses that also creates opportunities for our young people to make their home in Rapid City. “I want to help produce an economic and cultural environment that entices our young people to stay, raise their children, and build their lives in Rapid City,” said Drew.
To find out more about the Rapid City Public Libraries Board of Trustees, go to
For more information about Rapid City Public Libraries’ services and programs, please visit our website at

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Story Time and Activity at the Downtown Library

Hiroshima Childrens MemorialThe libraries are pleased to offer a special children’s event on Wednesday, August 6 from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m., upstairs at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street). Japanese native Kazumi Tinnat will be our guest storyteller for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Story Time and Activity geared towards children in 2nd grade and above.
The bombing of Hiroshima took place on August 6, 1945. Listen as Kazumi talks about the impact of the bombing on Japanese culture and history. She will read Sadako and Her Senbazuru, an original story prepared from collected documents concerning Sasaki Sadako and personal interviews with Sasaki Masahiro, Sadako’s elder brother. After the story, Kazumi will teach participants how to fold a paper crane. All supplies will be provided.
For more information about special events for all ages at the Rapid City Public Libraries, please visit our website at

Book Walk at Founders Park: Boy + Bot

Boy-Bot-inside-coverWhat happens when a boy and a robot meet and become friends? Find out in this charming story written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. This picture book will appeal to even the youngest family members, with its few words and beautiful, heartwarming illustrations. The story will unfold for you as you stroll along the bike path at Founders Park on Saturday, August 9 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The Geek the Library table will also be there, so stop by, visit our photo booth, and let us know what you geek.
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, copyright 2012 © Random House Children’s Books. Used by permission.
For more information about the Summer Reading program and events, please visit our website at

Oral history project begins at library

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on Sunday, August 3, 2014

By: Lucy O’Grady, Library Associate
Imagine 20 years from now hearing the voice of a loved one, or being able to listen to colorful first-hand accounts of historical events from the people who lived through them. Rapid City Public Libraries is developing an Oral History Project to preserve our stories for future generations as part of our mission to anticipate the needs of the community. Do you have a story to tell or know someone who does? We want you to be involved and help make a valuable and often lost resource available to all.

Why oral history you might ask? This method of historic preservation offers access to information from ordinary individuals who might otherwise not be sought out or recognized. Ordinary people often have extraordinary stories to tell. Not just the dry facts in history books but the emotional context available only through the spoken word. Thoughtful questions can uncover interesting details not found elsewhere. History is all about human interaction and what better way to record it than with good old-fashioned storytelling at your local library. By preserving history in a more intimate manner, the libraries are hoping that the interviews collected will be an invaluable archive of voices, wisdom and memories for the future.

Jean Kessloff, current president of Historic Rapid City, has helped procure initial interviews containing personal stories about everything from growing up on a sheep farm to meeting Eleanor Roosevelt. Jean moved to Rapid City from the eastern part of the state when she was three years old and is proud to have roots firmly planted in South Dakota history. As the great-granddaughter of Dakota Territory pioneers, she realized early on that the stories and people of the past help form a community. The Oral History Project is a way to know the Rapid City community and the people who made the city what it is today.

Also assisting in the implementation and interviewing is Bev Pechan, co-founder of the West River History Conference, who has a wealth of experience in print journalism. Her experience with newspapers, interest in history, and interview experience help make the interviews a comfortable and enlightening experience. She says, “I’ve always loved a good story and am interested in people – especially colorful characters. Younger generations need to see all that people of the past endured to survive and yet were able to persevere.”

Funded by the Rapid City Public Libraries Foundation, the project began in June 2014. Interviews are generally 40 minutes long; library staff can record interviews at off-site locations or you may visit the library. Presently, the intention is these interviews will be in audio format and available online through the library’s website.

Long-time residents and other people knowledgeable about the history of the city and county are encouraged to provide personal recollections of everyday life at whatever point in history they would like. If you are interested in telling your story or know someone who is, please contact the library at 394-6139 ext. 2219 or Jean Kessloff at

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