When it comes to last-minute gifts for the holidays, the library is probably the last place you would think to shop. Most people only think of the word "books" when they talk about libraries. However, libraries have changed and it’s not just about books anymore. People can use meeting rooms, download digital movies for free to watch on their device, and attend events that appeal to a variety of interests. Libraries are also emphasizing services that empower people to become makers in addition to being consumers. At Rapid City Public Library, we offer you that same empowerment in our CHAOS Makerspace.

The CHAOS Makerspace is staffed and available whenever the library is open. There you will find a variety of equipment and materials to learn a new skill or create something like, say, a holiday gift. For example, we have a variety of papers, markers, and ribbon that will allow you to make a simple holiday paper ornament from a template. Or you could try your hand at 3-D modeling with the user-friendly design program Tinkercad. You can ask a staff member how to get started with Tinkercad and design your own custom ornament and have it 3-D printed for free! We even give you a hook to take with you for hanging.

If you don’t want to make an ornament, you could always browse thingiverse.com, an online library of 3-D designs, for inspiration for another 3-D printed gift such as a keychain or Pokémon figurine for the gamer in your house.

We also have a big bin of yarn and needles in case you want create something more on the softer side (say, an infinity scarf or some baby booties for a tiny one on your gift list). Or you can use thread to create a cross-stitched message of holiday cheer.

Design a unique holiday card to send to your family or friends. We have plenty of paper and a die-cut machine with a variety of images to punch out for your project. If you want a challenge, you could try to add an LED light to your card with some copper tape, a battery, and some creative engineering.

Ever considered trying to learn how to code? With a coding program called Scratch, you can create your own holiday-themed animation or story to send out to your friends. Or if you just want to record a short video message to a loved one, you could borrow one of our iPads to film and send your greeting.

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If you’re giving photo gifts and want to correct them or add your own artistic flare, the Makerspace has a Mac with Adobe Lightroom for your editing needs.

You can also check out our display of DIY books near the Makerspace for additional ideas! Enjoy CHAOS here or take it home with you. Either way, we would love to start you on the path of becoming a maker. Even if you don’t need a last-minute gift, make the library a destination this holiday season. We’re always happy to see you!

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