At the Library

A local library can offer a lot, such as this visit from alpacas in February 2019 at the dowtown Rapid City Public Library.

Last month as I prepared for vacation, I eagerly searched for my next great read in Rapid City Public Library’s catalog. As a lifelong library user, I felt the familiar anticipation of escape you find in a great book. Where was I going to go and who was I going to meet in these pages? I have always valued my library card and the access it gives to a plethora of books and resources. Now, I am eager to share what libraries can do for you and for our community as a whole.

Books, whether in print, digital or CD format, are something libraries are historically known for, and are a popular and growing commodity we offer our community. However, for the casual library user or someone who hasn’t visited since childhood, a 21st Century library might surprise you.

Education and access to information is the primary service a library provides, but is not limited to books, movies and games offered for checkout. Online classes and research databases can be accessed remotely. Temperature-controlled archives, citizen oral histories and rare books are available at the library, as well as digital archives.

In the CHAOS Makerspace, hands-on tools like a laser engraver, vinyl cutter and 3D printers give users access to create personal projects and business branding. There is even a sewing machine and knitting materials. Use Adobe Creative Suite to design something or edit photos. Make and record your own music with the ROLI Seaboard.

The library is a community gathering space. On average, 1,200 people walk through the library doors each day to use services as well as meeting rooms for area organizations and study rooms. People gather for library events geared toward all ages, including learning a new hands-on skill or even yoga classes.

Those who visit the library take advantage of free fax and notary services. Having a library card gives you access to test proctoring at no cost.

September is Library Card Sign Up Month, which is the perfect time to discover your library. Signing up is as simple as providing photo identification and a piece of mail verifying where you live. If you haven’t been to the library in some time, chances are your card is due for renewal (every two years). Take a tour of the evolving library space. Hear from helpful staff what new services are available that will interest you.

The incentive to sign up isn’t just having access to information. In September, signing up or renewing your library card will enter you in a drawing for a Kindle Fire HD 10. New this year is a prize for kids: one lucky winner will take home a collection of “Toy Story 4” characters — Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, Forky, Duke Caboom, Bunny and Ducky.

A community that shares access to education, tools and resources is priceless, and those who use the library are cognizant of this gift. Discover what your local library has to offer you.

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