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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.

Hands-On Adult Coloring: Color Yourself Calm at the Downtown Library

AdultColoring-webDo you need a break from your busy routine? Would you enjoy an activity which encourages your creativity and promotes mindfulness? If this sounds like you, join us on Thursday, April 28 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, upstairs) and color yourself calm with our adult coloring pages. All supplies are provided.

Visit our website at and click on the Event Calendar to find out about and register for each month’s hands-on event. Limit 20. Spaces still available.

From Back Porches to the Library: Folk Songs 101

Music_wall-600x600Folk music is experiencing a surge in popularity. Learn more about its history and the instruments used to create those beloved tunes which have survived for generations. Mark your calendar for Friday, April 29 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy, upstairs) and experience a musical “show and tell” of folk instruments and music that will be fun for the entire family. Tracy Heeter and friends will introduce you to a whole range of musical instruments including guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass, ukulele and autoharp.

For more information about library programs, including live music events, please visit our website at

AT THE LIBRARY: May full of notable events

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on April 24, 2016
By Janet Parr Rapid City Public Library

Who else is excited about it being one month closer to summer? Before we lose ourselves in summer, however, May is full of many celebrations worth noting. For example, No Homework Day, for which my son keeps texting me calendar reminders.

The first week of May is Children’s Book Week, a national literacy celebration dating back to 1919. We celebrate our young people and the joy of reading with a craft day inspired by favorite children’s books from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 7.

The second week of May starts with Mother’s Day. Why not treat yourself to an evening of hands-on terrarium making? Our DIY Air Plant Terrarium is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 5. Registration is required. DIY is from Ciera Design Studio blog (

Be good to yourself with an evening of yoga from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 9. Teachers from Sōl Yoga Collective will guide you as you stretch and grow.

May brings warmer evenings to relax and unwind. What better way than to kick back on one of our Black Hills lakes and cast a line? “Dr. Auger” aka Scott Olson will guide you through the best spots to fish and best gear and tackle for any number of fish species from 6:30 pm. to 7:30 p.m. May 12.


May is also National Historic Preservation Month. Stop by the Rapid City Historical Collections Room downtown during regular hours on May 12, 13 and 14. Our trained staff will start you on the path to digitizing your historical photos, documents, slides and other objects.

Laugh in May with syndicated humor columnist Dorothy Rosby during our Lunch and Learn from noon to 1 p.m. May 18. Rosby will touch on topics from her latest books “I Didn’t Know You Could Make Birthday Cake from Scratch: Parenting Blunders from Cradle to Empty Nest” and “I Used to Think I was not that Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better” published in 2014.

Join us for Book to Film Movie Night when we show “The 33” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. May 20. The film details the real events of the 2010 mining disaster in which 33 Chilean miners were trapped inside the San José mine for more than two months.

Our Live Music program features Arjun and Aparna Ayyangar from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 23. Both are multi-instrumentalists and, although currently only 17 and 13 years of age, they have been performing and playing nationwide for many years.

Finally, we are thrilled to announce magician, illusionist and entertainer Reza performing from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 27. Originally from Brookings, Reza left his hometown at age 15 for a six-week run in Branson, Mo. Now he performs to soldout venues from New York to Los Angeles entertaining millions. Reza’s short performance will be followed by a hands-on teaching style workshop and question and answer session. Bring the family and prepare to be amazed with the fresh, cutting-edge magic of Reza.

Rapid City Public Library Releases 2015 Annual Report

Rapid City Public Library released its Annual Report for 2015 and for the 7th consecutive year surpassed 1 million circulations. Notably reference and reader’s advisory questions were up 69% with an average of 1,151 people walking through the libraries’ doors each day. Online, patrons checked out 114,469 digital items and averaged 15,000 interactions on the library’s social media pages. There was a 38% increase in children’s programming attendance with nearly 13,000 of our community’s children served with literacy, educational and entertainment programs.
Rapid City Public Library offered new services in 2015 including the CHAOS Maker Space, the Rapid City Historical Collections Room, a Friends of the Library Bookstore, a new library catalog and iPad lending.

The 2015 Annual Report can be found online:

Teen “Think Green” Celebration @ the Library

Library_Teaser_Teen-Think-GreenTeens are invited to come to the downtown library on Friday, April 22 from 5 – 7 p.m. (610 Quincy Street, downtown) for a new twist on Earth Day celebrations. Our teen librarian has planned a “Think Green” party including an after-hours geocaching challenge, crafting an upcycled bottle cap necklace, snacks and more! Bring friends and hang out at this teen-only event.

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

In the News: Youth program brings kids closer to nature

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on April 15, 2016
By Christy Hammond, Journal correspondent

Jane Amiotte’s office at Pennington County 4-H is a curious collection of empty wasp nests and assorted bird nests, tree rings, photos of her hiking with her family, and a jar of live worms.

Hired last year to be a 4-H Youth Program adviser, Amiotte’s role is to offer environmental education outreach programming to the community.

On Tuesday mornings she is at the downtown Rapid City Public Library hosting a preschool-aged class called Story Time and Crafts with Jane, a lively mixture of stories, age appropriate activities like the pollinator game, and art projects relating to that day’s topic.

Her youngest participants have learned about the vascular system of a tree by making bark vests from paper bags. A class on mountain lions gave them a chance to feel furry hides and a replica mountain lion skull. And a series of classes on animal backbones had them learning about different species’ backbones.

“My program is hands-on learning that I bring to the students,” Amiotte said.

Amiotte has also brought her hourlong classes to elementary school classrooms throughout the Black Hills.

Using a mixture of art projects, science experiments, and outside games, Amiotte keeps the students engaged while they learn about the importance of caring for our environment, respecting the outdoors and exploring nature.

The programming complements the science content that the teachers are covering in their classrooms.

“Exploring nature is a sensory experience. And elementary children are at a key development in their lives when can really learn how to respect their environment and to teach them to have a lifelong love of it,” Amiotte added.

Some classrooms have scheduled her to come in monthly to supplement their science lessons. “Dissecting owl pellets seems to be a popular study with the fifth-grade groups,” Amiotte said.

Additional lessons have included learning about electricity by using potatoes — which Amiotte brings to the classrooms — to make power, animal habitats, and The Journey of the Water Drop, where participants have to use their imaginations to take their water drop through a journey of evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection.

“I think programming with the hands-on is digested better by the students, rather than just doing worksheets,” Amiotte said.

This summer she is already scheduled to work with the Oyate Community Center, where for one afternoon a week they will escape the city and head into the woods. Possible activities will include hiking, water testing of streams, traditional Native American cooking over a fire, and outdoor education.

Amiotte is excited about working with the Oyate Community Center. “This will give the students a chance to get away from the city and the traffic noise and get into nature.”

This free outreach program is available to any teachers, troop leaders, or organization wanting to schedule sessions with Amiotte. “This program is a great opportunity for teachers to utilize, so they can reinforce what they are already teaching. And so we can teach children how to take care of the environment so it will be around for others to enjoy.”

Rapid City Public Library Welcomes Board of Trustees Member

betty-finley-webRapid City Public Library welcomes Betty Finley to the Library’s Board of Trustees. Betty was appointed to the Library Board in March 2016. She served as a Trustee for 12 years at the East Morgan County Library in Brush, Colorado until 2014 when she moved to Rapid City.

When Betty served on the Board for the East Morgan County Library she played an active role in the million dollar addition and renovation of their facility. She enjoyed making a difference and believes that education is enhanced by using a library.

Betty sees the Rapid City Public Library as a beautiful library, has utilized the space frequently and looks forward to serving on the Rapid City Public Library Board of Trustees.

The Rapid City Public Libraries have served the Rapid City area since 1879. Both locations offer print and electronic resources for adults, young adults and children, as well as computers, internet access and a variety of programs and events.

In the News: Rapid City Public Library celebrates National Library Week

Originally published by KEVN Black Hills Fox on April 11, 2016
By: Heather Janssen

The Rapid City Public Library fits those categories and is just one of many libraries across the country celebrating National Library Week.
To show their love for our local book nook, the RCPL has displays of re-imagined classic book covers being showcased in different areas of the library.
The pop-up gallery is just one way they are showing the importance of the local library.

Laurinda Tapper, Community Outreach Coordinator for the RCPL, says, “A library is essential to the community. Basically by using the library even if you can afford books — you’re letting the public know that funding is important for those who can’t afford the books, computers that are used.”

Tapper says the Rapid City Public Library is constantly evolving to meet the community’s needs.
She invites anyone to stop in and check out the fifty covers in the public domain — and to come make your own this Wednesday night at 6:30.

Live Music at the Library: Jill Cohn

JillCohn-600x600Seattle songstress Jill Cohn returns to the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, upstairs) Monday, April 18 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Cohn is touring to promote her latest album, “Heartstrings Touching Ground” produced by Grammy Award winner Malcolm Burn. Her soul-stirring voice and beautifully crafted, bittersweet lyrics convey a universal message of hope. Please plan to join us for this special evening of music. For more information on Jill Cohn, or to sample her music, visit
For more information about library programs, including live music events, please visit our website at

AT THE LIBRARY: ‘Tis the season to be informed

Originally published by the Rapid City Journal on April 10, 2016
By: Jim McShane, Rapid City Public Library
The need to know aids us in making informed decisions — an ability most obviously needed as we view the current political landscape. Yet one has to ask, how important are facts when even our potential leaders don’t bother to check theirs? Is it possible that as a nation we have lost a respect for facts? That wishful thinking and ideology have taken their place? Are we really willing to give up our role as the foundation of “the cornerstone of democracy,” what Thomas Jefferson called “an educated electorate”? Writing for libraries and librarians everywhere, I say “no!” The value of a library is in its ability not only to entertain, but to inform and educate. That is why libraries in America are busier than ever.

The Rapid City Public Library has over 1,000 people a day come through its doors. It offers more materials and services than ever before, and hosts so many meetings and programs that organizers have to plan ahead to use its facilities. Libraries are often the busiest service providers in their cities. Yet people still question the value of their services! On what could they be basing their opinions? (One has to hope it is not Wikipedia.)

Yes, I know … we have Google. Every time I use Google I retrieve thousands, if not millions, of hits. Impressive, but how many users ever go beyond the second or third page of their search results to find what they are looking for? If you are looking for information on a business, its location or phone number, then Google is great (sometimes even Google Maps can accurately show where it is located). But to find reasoned discussion on even the simplest topic you have to wade through pages of questionable resources — unless you are using online resources available through your public library. They are not Google … or Amazon. That is true. And users should be grateful. Libraries are not trying to sell you anything. Their main purposes are in helping patrons find entertainment and reliable information.

April 10-16 is National Library Week and the American Library Association has chosen the theme of “Libraries Transform.” The theme implies that the impact libraries have on their communities can be great and far reaching. To me, however, it also implies that libraries continue to transform themselves and thrive in this digital age. If you have not visited your public library recently, you might be surprised at what you will find. Maker spaces, programs, community, collections and more can be found at your library. Their websites are a cornucopia of electronic resources, streaming music and video, and a lot more. Libraries have transformed. Perhaps our understanding of the idea of a library needs to transform as well.

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