While many South Dakota State students use the Hilton M. Briggs Library, the Brookings Public Library offers services for anyone looking for a quiet place to study or free activities.
Director of Library Services Ashia Gustafson said students have told her they prefer the public library because it’s quieter.
Morgan Aasness graduated in consumer affairs last May. She went to the Briggs Library while she was in school, but now chooses the Brookings library.
“It’s smaller, so you get a different atmosphere than having to go through the higher bookshelves trying to find a little study space,” she said.
Along with DVDs, CDs and physical books, the public library offers thousands of ebooks and e-audiobooks free with a library card and a mobile app.
To get a library card, students need a photo ID and a Brookings County address.
A library card isn’t needed to use the study space, including two private study rooms and many study tables, or attend any events. Events include crafting, movie nights twice a month, book clubs and, beginning in either February or April, a murder mystery evening.
Programming Coordinator Rae Brecht said the murder mystery evening can have between eight to 28 characters.
“They will receive information on what they should wear and what their character is all about. They’ll come that night and encounter a mystery where somebody died and they have to figure out who did it,” Brecht said.
Sign-up will occur in either January or March, depending on when the event takes place.
The library is expanding its programs, and along with new events, they have board games and will offer an Arduino collection. Arduino kits are an easily-accessible way to create circuits and electrical components.
Currently, the library has 10 to 12 board games including Settlers of Catan and Pandemic. Technology Services Librarian Nancy Swenson said she is packaging them up so they should be ready for use soon.
Gustafson and Brecht hope to offer free classes on using the Arduino kits and classes on bullet journaling, a new trend merging to-do lists and journaling into one notebook. They are also open to suggestions from students on how to target their events for a college-aged audience.
The public library also has a coffee shop on the second level. Food and drink can also be brought into the library.
“You can order from any delivery service and have them deliver to the library,” Gustafson said.
The library’s newsletter, found at the library’s website, has a calendar for events.