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August 13, 2014 - 10:06am

New library director returns to WNY after 22 years in Chicago area

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Richmond Memorial Library.

Richmond Memorial Library patrons and supporters got a chance to meet new director Bob Conrad during a reception Tuesday.

Conrad is originally from Rochester, a 1992 graduate of Eastridge High School. He lived for 22 years in the Chicago area where he earned an undergraduate degree in Radio, TV and Film and a graduate degree in Library and Information Science.

He worked for 10 years in the Chicago library system before he decided he wanted to take his career to the next level. He started looking for jobs in New York and California and when he found the opening in Batavia he said it was "a perfect fit."

As a new director, he's not coming in looking to make a lot of changes. We have something good here in a library, he said, and he wants to keep it that way.

"I want the best library that this community can support and the best library that can support the community," Conrad said, adding, "Right now, I'm just learning the job. I'm delighted that the staff all seem to know what they're doing and that the community really treasures the institution, so my first job is not (to) break it."

Conrad is buying a home in Batavia, but in the meantime, he's staying with family in the Rochester area.

He's very familiar with WNY. His family took annual trips to Letchworth and Watkins Glen and he worked at Seabreeze in high school. But when Conrad started spreading the news that he was taking a job in Batavia, it prompted a little geography lesson for those around him in Illinois. They are far more familiar with another Batavia (their very own).

"I did have to disambiguate to all of my colleagues when telling them where I was going to be library director," Conrad said.

Ed Hartgrove
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Joined: Dec 20 2012 - 11:54am

I'm still smiling as I write this.

"I did have to disambiguate to all of my colleagues when telling them where I was going to be library director," Conrad said.

Who TALKS like that?

When I read that, I immediately thought of the movie, "Ball of Fire".
Eight extremely intelligent individuals attempting to compile a new encyclopedia. Great casting, and quite hilarious!

Good luck to Mr. Conrad in his new position. No blatherskite, he.

Bea McManis
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Joined: May 4 2009 - 9:20pm

Welcome Mr. Conrad. You have one of our jewels in your safekeeping. The facility is not only home to a super selection of multi media material but it has a well qualified staff. Congratulations on your appointment.

Mary E DelPlato
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Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 4:50pm

meh

Mary E DelPlato
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Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 4:50pm

so...no one allready in the system could get a promotion???

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