Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Father and Son Using ipads at the Rapid City Public Library
Father and Son Using ipads at the Rapid City Public Library
Rapid City Public Libraries

Rapid City Public Library

The Rapid City Public Library have been a cornerstone of the Rapid City community since the founding of Library Hall in 1888. Library Hall served the community not only as a library, but as the Methodist and Congregational churches, as civic center for social, political, and civic activities, lectures, concerts, ballroom dances, and funerals.

A new Carnegie Library opened its doors on February 24, 1916 on the corner of Kansas City Street and 6th Street, funded by a $12,500 Carnegie grant. In the 1930s the library underwent a WPA project expansion. In 1965 discussion began about replacement of the Carnegie Library due to insufficiency of physical space. Planning began for a new library to serve the growing community. The Downtown Library was built in 1972 on Quincy and 7th Street.

In 2002, after several years of planning, the Rapid City Public Library presented an expansion plan to the City’s Vision 2012 capital improvements program. Approval for a new 19,000 sq. ft. addition to be built above the west parking lot was given on the condition of the library successfully raising $500,000. The Library Foundation successfully raised over $650,000.

The project also provided renovation funds to convert the old entrance to a solarium, the creation of a South Dakota Research and Genealogy Room, study room additions and Reference Desk improvement.

In 2002, the Youth Services department was moved upstairs into the new expansion space which included an expanded Young Adult area, study rooms, aviary, and reading loft for young children. A dedication ceremony for the new expansion took place on September 21st.

Today, the Rapid City Public Library has two locations: The main branch Downtown and a North branch at General Beadle Elementary.

The libraries offer a variety of services and conveniences including: online and mobile reference services, several downloadable collections, programming for people of all ages, Internet and Wi-Fi access, Homebound Delivery, books for book clubs, Special Collections, and meeting and study rooms.

In 2008, USA Today ranked the Rapid City Public Libraries as one of the top ten libraries to visit in the country. Each year close to half a million people visit the Rapid City Public Libraries and for three consecutive years, the library has circulated over a million items. 

For a more detailed look at the Rapid City Public Libraries, watch Library Director Greta Chapman's 2013 State of the Library address.


Links & Resources

Rapid City Public Library Website

Search the library catalog

History of the Rapid City Public Library

Newspaper Articles (1905-2014) about the Rapid City Public Library in the Black Hills Knowledge Network Online Digital Archives

Archived Annual Reports and Correspondance of the Rapid City Public Library in the Black Hills Knowledge Network Online Digital Archives

Programs, Pamphlets, Reports, and Histories of the Rapid City Public Library in the Black Hills Knowledge Network Online Digital Archives

Picture Anthology of the Library Contruction of 1972 in the Black Hills Knowledge Network Online Digital Archives

Library Policies

Library Department Information Summary

Board of Trustees webpage with member index, links to agendas, and Speaker Request Forms



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525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]