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Richmond Memorial Library

April 6, 2018 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia, arts, entertainment.

Press release:

A group of local residents who read and write poetry has come together to host a poetry reading featuring JoNelle Toriseva as well local poets who attend the reading. It will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the Reading Room at the Richmond Memorial Library.

The organizers are interested in meeting with other people in the community who enjoy poetry and might be interested in coming together more frequently for readings and workshops.

“We suspect there are several people locally who write poetry but don’t have an outlet to meet with other poets and that there are a number of people who simply enjoy poetry and would attend readings,” said one of the organizers, Howard Owens. “We hope this initial event will attract those people and show there is enough interest for regular gatherings.”

Toriseva will be the featured reader, but there will also be time for an open reading with each person invited to read one short poem of their own or of another author.

Other organizers include Eric Zwieg, Bill Kauffman, Bob Conrad, JoNelle Toriseva, and Lucine Kauffman.

About JoNelle Toriseva

JoNelle has won the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry from Cutbank. Her work has appeared in, "The North American Review," "Salt Hill," "The Literary Review," "The Saranac Review," "The Cincinnati Review," "Descant," and "JACKET," among others, and included in Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound from City Lights, and Best Canadian Poetry in English.

She is the director of English, Communications and Media Arts, and an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY-GCC, Toriseva has also taught for Mills College, California Poets in the Schools, San Francisco WritersCorps, and Literary Arts of Portland, Ore.

March 13, 2018 - 1:56pm

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Press release:

Tonight at the Richmond Memorial Library (19 Ross St., Batavia) from 7:30 to 8:30 "No Blarney" will be performing traditional Irish music with Rich Conroy and Don Bouchard.

This free program is sponsored by the library.

Then on Thursday the duo performs again at the Holland Land Office (131 W. Main St., Batavia) from 7-9 p.m.; cost is $5.

February 1, 2018 - 4:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Event, Richmond Memorial Library, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
February 17, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia, is hosting “A Fireside Tribute to Howard Frank Mosher” on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 1-2 p.m. in the library’s Reading Room.

The late Howard Frank Mosher was the Tale for Three Counties’ author in 2004 and was well-known for his travels to bookstores and libraries across the country to read and talk about his books.

December 15, 2017 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, theater, arts, entertaiment, batavia, news.

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Mike Randall, WKBW's chief meteorologist and an actor, performed a reading of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens last night at the Richmond Memorial Library. In Randall's live solo performance he takes on the role of 25 characters from the story.

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December 1, 2017 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, writers, Local Authors, news.

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The Richmond Memorial Library hosted a Local Author Book Fair on Thursday evening with about two dozen local authors participating.

The evening included a panel discussion about writing and publishing featuring Steven Huff, JoNelle Toriseva and Bill Kauffman.

The library also hosts a monthly Writer's Group, which meets the second Wednesday of each month, 6:30 p.m.

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October 20, 2017 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

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The Richmond Memorial Library was inducted into Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame on Thursday, becoming the first building in Genesee County inducted since the recognition was created five years ago.

There have been 24 buildings inducted into the Hall of Fame, which recognizes outstanding examples of architecture using Medina sandstone.

Other new inductees include the First Presbyterian Church in Albion, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, and First Lutheran Church of Jamestown.

The Presbyterian Church is the ninth site from Orleans County in the Hall of Fame. Genesee has its first entry with the library in Batavia. Jamestown and Chautauqua County are also making their debut in the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame with the First Lutheran Church. Holy Sepulchre is second site from Rochester to join the HOF.​

From the story by Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub:

The Richmond Memorial Library is a beautiful example of light gray Medina Sandstone and red Albion stone. The style is Richardsonian Romanesque and was designed by Rochester architect James Cutler. The Richmond Library employs the style of two-tone sandstone in a random ashlar pattern with a battered foundation and a steep gable roof.

Mrs. Mary Richmond donated a piece of land at the rear of the family property and construction of a library began on July 11, 1887 and was dedicated on March 12, 1889. Mrs. Richmond donated $24,000 towards the cost and insisted on using local labor to build this magnificent building.

The library was named after her son Dean Richmond, Jr., who died in his youth. Mrs. Richmond, noted for her charity, then donated the library to the Union Free School District. The Richmond Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was registered on July 24, 1974.

***

Rob Conrad, library director, said he and the staff are thrilled to see the library go into the Hall of Fame. He praised the Batavia City School District for its ongoing commitment to maintain the site. Conrad said he is impressed by the communities that rallied their dollars to build such impressive buildings in the region, using Medina Sandstone.

"You see the beauty of the buildings and their ingenuity," he said.

Story and photos courtesy Orleans Hub.

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Jim Jacobs, Batavia schools facilities director, Rob Conrad, and Chris Dailey, school superintendent. School district owns and maintains building;
will have a little more later.
September 11, 2017 - 3:29pm
Books and science collide with a story and hands on project! Join ages 5-10yo Saturday, September 23rd @ 10:00am at the Richmond Memorial Library as we discover seashells from the North Carolina seashore. Registration is appreciated: 585.343.9550 ext 4  www.batavialibrary.org
May 5, 2017 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

The 2017-18 budget for the Richmond Memorial Library, with a $25,044 in spending, was approved by voters with 87 percent, or 211 people, voting yes.

Rebecca Long was elected to a five-year term to the Board of Trustees, filling a vacancy to be left by Beth Stich, whose term expires in June.

December 7, 2016 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

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It was story time with Santa at the Richmond Memorial Library last night.

Photo courtesy Adam Tabelski.

November 3, 2016 - 9:45am
posted by James Burns in batavia, art, Richmond Memorial Library.

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Bernice Yunker, in photo below, and Terry Weber, in bottom photo, are the featured artists this month at the Richmond Memorial Library. Bernice is exhibiting a retrospective of her work. Terry is exhibiting work inspired by her recent trip to the Eastern Seaboard and Maine fishing villages.

When you get a chance stop by the library’s Gallery Room to see the 34 works currently on exhibit. 

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October 3, 2016 - 4:05pm

During the month of November, Richmond Memorial Library is celebrating the 150th birthday of author and illustrator Beatrix Potter and will host several different events marking the occasion.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 10:30 a.m. get dressed up for the Peter Rabbit Tea Party, perfectly fun time for ages 2 to 10 accompanied by an adult.

This is a free program but please register as space is limited.

The library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia. Phone is 343-9550. Visit online at www.batavialibrary.org

June 30, 2016 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

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In a ceremony at the Richmond Memorial Library yesterday, two original works by Roy Mason were dedicated to the memory of Ted and Rosemary Surowka, who both dedicated many years of service to the library and the NIOGA library system.

Director Bob Conrad said library officials have been looking for a way to honor the Surowkas after Rosemary's death a year ago and when they realized one of the Mason paintings at the library had hung in Ted's school district office for 30 years, before Rosemary had it moved to the library after his retirement, it seemed natural to rededicate the paintings in their honor.

Plaques will be affixed to the wall next to the paintings.

Ted, who died in 2001, was the business administrator for Batavia City Schools for 36 years and served on the NIOGA Board of Trustees. Rosemary was a trustee of the library from 1995 to 2011 and board president from 1997 to 2011.

Mason is a significant American artist who worked mainly in watercolor. He moved to Batavia as a child when his father took over a family label-making business. After pursuing a career as an artist for a time, he returned to Batavia to work in his father's business. He retired in 1959 and moved to La Jolla, Calif., (San Diego County) and lived there until his death in 1972.

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Martha Spinigan, director of the library for 28 years, said both Ted and Rosemary were steadfast in their work for the community and support of the library. Ted was a force behind moving the library expansion forward and getting it completed in the 1970s.

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Beth Stich, current board president, read two resolutions dedicating the paintings.

June 27, 2016 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, news, Richmond Memorial Library.

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When Marilynn Palotti, a retired art teacher, traveled to Alaska two years ago, she had no idea it would unleash a flurry of creativity when she returned, but it did. She's painted dozens of pictures capturing what she saw and experienced while on the trip.

Speaking even now about the trip, she's still filled with wonder.

"It’s such a unique place," Palotti said. "It’s so isolated in places. The people are so fiercely independent, yet are so willing to help each other. It’s very hard to describe to someone else what Alaska is, all its idiosyncrasy. It has only 12,000 miles of paved roads and it has millions upon millions of acres of national parks and refuges that are so isolated that you can’t get into them except by flying."

Palotti's show is on display now at the Richmond Memorial Library. The show runs through July and the opening is Thursday, July 7th from 6 to 9 p.m.

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May 4, 2016 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

The Richmond Memorial Library budget was approved by voters yesterday with 219 yes votes to 46 voting no.

The proposed budget includes a spending increase of $23,945.

Jennifer Cascell was elected to a five-year term on the library's board of trustees, filling a vacancy to be left by Dana Warren at the expiration of her term this June.

May 2, 2016 - 3:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

Richmond Memorial Library's budget vote and trustee election takes place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3rd. Voting takes place in the library's Gallery Room. Any registered voter residing in the Batavia City School District is eligible to vote.

The library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

April 27, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by James Burns in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, genesee.

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Tuesday evening the Richmond Memorial Library celebrated a new program, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, providing free books to children from birth to up age 5 (but not including age 5). The library hosted a special story time featuring a certain librarian imitating Dolly Parton and guest storytellers.

Leading off story time was Tim Richter (pictured in red below) from the Richter Family Foundation. The foundation is funding the program is assisting with the launch of the Batavia Imagination Library, which is only available to children age 4 and under in the Batavia City School District.

Each participating school district funds and sponsors its own Imagination Library, under the auspices of, and with the assistance of, the Richter Foundation. To date, the foundation has helped launch Dolly Parton's program in Oakfield, Elba, Pavilion and Pembroke.

(Previous Coverage) To sign a child up get free books visit the library or apply on line

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April 25, 2016 - 9:29am
posted by James Burns in batavia, Genseee, Richmond Memorial Library, news.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, in cooperation with the Richmond Memorial Library and the aid of the nonprofit Richter Family Foundation, is offering free books mailed to every child’s home -- once a month, from birth up to 5 years old -- if the child lives in the Batavia City School District. 

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The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a 60-volume set of books beginning with "The Little Engine that Could." Each month a new book will be mailed, in the child’s name, directly to the home.

Dolly Parton started this program in 1995 in her native East Tennessee area. The program proved to increase early literacy in children and was taken nationwide in 2000, and soon after, worldwide. This program is now available to all children 0 to 4 residing in the Batavia City School District. The program is also available in many neighboring areas here in Genesee County. (Previous coverage)

Robert Conrad, Library director for the Richmond Memorial Library, is very excited about this program now being available to children in this school district. Not just for the help it provides for young children but for the fact it expands the scope of what a library is.

“Fundamentally this changes the way a library works, book are not just stored here at the library but are sent to directly to the home for the children to keep,” Conrad said.

Andrea Fetterly, Youth Services librarian explained how even for an infant, who is too young to read this program provides benefits. She says that, with their own book that they can look at and turn the pages they start to learn how stories are laid out and communicated. This helps in the child’s learning and development. Of course, the best way for an infant or small child to enjoy and learn from a book is to have a loved one read it to them and share the experience.

If you would like to sign a child up for the program, call or visit the Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia, or (585) 343-9550. You can also visit online

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To celebrate this great new free book program the library will host a special Story Time with surprise guest teaders April 26th at 6:30 p.m. Library staff will be on hand to help register children for the program and there will even be refreshments for all in attendance. 

The Imagination Library is a not-for-profit that needs to partner with local not-for-profits for a selected city or town to provide books for this program. If you are interested in sponsoring a geographical area please visit this Web site.

April 5, 2016 - 11:14am

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Batavia Photography Club member Don Fryling talking to Club President Scott Neumann about his photo display.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

Don’t be afraid to show some photographs 'cause you never know, you might have some good ones, said Batavia Photography Club President Scott Neumann on the opening gala night for its month-long exhibit at the Richmond Memorial Library.

The club holds this annual event so local photographers can showcase various prints of people, landscapes, animals and more, for the public to view and enjoy.

This year, three studio nights were offered instead of two, Neumann said. Some club members show off their expertise by teaching things like fantastic photography, neutral density filters along with guests from various clubs in the vicinity, too.

The Batavia club meets the first and third Monday of each month -- September through May -- starting at 7 p.m. at the Northgate Free Methodist Church, located at 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia. Come as a guest and to learn more go to http://batavia.photoclubservices.com/

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November 9, 2015 - 11:06am

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If you haven't heard yet, coloring books are now a thing. OK, sure, we all had coloring books as kids, but now that we're all grown up, we're finding coloring books again, but not the "see spot run" type of coloring books, the pirate-on-the-ship coloring book that 3-year-olds scribble on, but books with pages of complex designs, fine lines and thin strips of blanks awaiting our choices of ruby, ginger or burgundy.

Adult coloring books are the hottest item at Karen's Yarn, Paper, Scissors, said owner Karen Crittenden. Her Saturday morning coloring sessions are popular enough that reservations are required and she's added a monthly evening session. This Saturday, more people than anticipated turned out for a coloring group at the Richmond Memorial Library.

"I find it very soothing to take a thing that is just black and white and turn it into something that is beautifully colored," said Lynn Bartlett Taylor during Saturday's event at the library. "Even though I'm not an artist, it makes me feel like I am in my own way."

Read articles or talk to participants and the common themes of why adults color in coloring books are it's meditative and it's a stress reliever.

In a recent article for Parade Magazine, psychologist Alice Domar, Ph.D., executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Boston, said one reason adults find coloring so relaxing is it engages the entire brain. It's impossible to multitask or worry about kids or money when both sides of your brain are absorbed in coloring between the lines. 

“It’s impossible to worry about dinner or the laundry or anything else when your mind is completely engaged,” Domar explains. “With knitting or other crafts, you can watch TV or multitask, but coloring really requires you to be in the moment. And that makes it meditative.”

She suggests coloring to patients who need stress relief, particularly those who loved the activity as a child.

“Coloring brings you back to a simpler time. It’s pleasurable. It’s a chance to sit and be mindful -- and at the end you get this beautiful result. You have a real sense of accomplishment.”

Taylor said she gets totally absorbed in the pictures she's creating.

"It's very meditative," said Taylor, who started coloring with her grandchildren in 2004, then stopped for awhile, then came back to it after hand surgery as a form of physical therapy.

"I can't make pictures of my own but I can fill in the colors for somebody else and everyone turns out different and I can't see the picture when I start out, but as I add the color, it starts coming alive. It's like each picture has its own personality."

For somebody just getting into adult coloring, Crittenden said they have a lot of options, from whether they want to start with complex designs, what themes to choose (mandalas are popular, but there is a host of other subjects available from birds and flowers to fanciful landscapes and seascapes), the medium to use (pencils, markers, crayons) and whether the colorist has enough skill and experience to handle more artistic expressions such as gradients and shading.

"The biggest thing I don't want them to do is get frustrated," Crittenden said. "They'll look online. They'll look in the stores. They'll look at the picture books and say, 'I want to do that,' and a lot of those techniques out there take some time and practice and some skill."

New colorists can also get started cheaply, if they like, or make a pricier splash, depending on their budget.

"There are $4 coloring books and you can get a set of pencils for $7," Crittenden said. "It's not expensive to get into, but you can go upwards. I mean some of these coloring books, like this one, it's an actual book. That's $25, and you can go on up from there."

Part of the thing of color is it works both as a solo pursuit and as a social activity. Across the country, adults get together in small groups on a regular basis to color together. There are Facebook and Pinterest groups dedicated to adult coloring. Colorists loving sharing their work.

But seeing all of this public activity it would be tempting to think adult coloring is just a woman thing, but that's not the case at all, Crittenden said.

"I'm finding that a lot of men are doing it, too," Crittenden said. "The last time we had a set of insect coloring books in, they went out of here fast. A lot of women were buying them for their men. A lot of men color with their wives. They're like secret colorers. A lot of times on Facebook women will post and say 'this one belongs to my husband,' or 'my husband did this one.' The wives are posting about them. It's probably just that more women are open about coloring."

After all, men have stress, too.

Crittenden herself using coloring to relax her mind.

"I have the skill to draw this, but drawing this takes too much of my concentration," Crittenden said pointing to a design in a book. "If I'm coloring this, I'm coloring it at the end of the day. My coloring books are up by my bed with my pencil tin. When I do this, I'm doing this at bedtime. For me, it gets my brain to stop, because I have a brain that doesn't stop.

"It's going like all the time and if I don't stop it at bedtime, I can't sleep because my brain keeps going and going and going and going and going. Ideas just keep flying into my head. If I don't stop, it just keeps going and this helps my brain stop working enough so I can fall asleep."

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September 28, 2015 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia.

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It's amazing what a bit of new carpet can do to freshen up a room, especially when what you're replacing is 20 years old and been trod upon by hundreds of thousands of feet, but the interior of the Richmond Memorial Library has a whole new feel to it after being close for two weeks for some renovations, including new carpet. 

Workers covered 26,000 square feet of floor space in that span of time.

“This is part of the massive capital improvement campaign that was approved by Batavia City School District voters in 2013,” said Library Director Bob Conrad (pictured). “When I started here in July 2014, the roof was already being replaced. Two ADA-compliant parking spaces and a new driveway were added this summer. We appreciate the public’s patience as those improvements were made.

There’s a lot more to come, like energy-efficient windows and a drive-up book return, but the library will be open through the remainder of the renovation. Just for the carpet, we had to close, because we had to move pretty much everything in sight.”

Moving everything in the library was not a simple undertaking.

“School district crews had to move all of the shelves and desks and furniture to one side of the library so the old carpet could be stripped," he said. "Then as soon as the new carpet was down, they had to put everything back. And then, back and forth again, to do the other side. This was going on upstairs and downstairs simultaneously.

"But before school crews could move anything, library staff and volunteers had to move all of the music and movies and most of the books. We had them in piles and in rows in all of the uncarpeted rooms. It was hectic at times but I’m pretty sure we got everything back in order."

Next on the agenda for the library is expanding media and youth services.

“We’ve budgeted to get some additional shelving to expand the Media collection," Conrad said. "It’s a full 30 percent of our materials circulation, but it does not command a 30-percent share of our floor space. You have to take a merchandising approach to what the community is using and let popular collections grow.

"And we’re looking at ways to bring console video games into the library, in a limited way at first. The people who ask us for video games are not who you probably imagine, kids and teens and such. They are adults in their 40s and 50s. We seem to be overdue for their inclusion.”

Conrad reminded parents that the library is still a great place for after-school study help. Children under 10 must be accompied by a parent or supervising adult.

“We have a certified teacher in the library every day after school – she’s there for crowd control as much as for homework help, that’s just how busy we are," Conrad said. "And we have an expanded Youth Services team in place, led by our new Youth Services Librarian, Andrea Fetterly. Andrea was our Teen Librarian until very recently.

"When we had two Children’s librarians resign in rapid succession, I asked Andrea, who has a degree in Child and Adolescent Development and years of supervisory experience, to schedule herself in the Children’s Room and supervise the team of Library Associates I assembled to get us through the Summer Reading Program. That left the Teen Corner unstaffed for some of the summer, but Children's Services are the higher priority.

"Now, it’s counter-intuitive, but putting Andrea in charge of both areas actually allowed us to bring on more hands to cover both service points, at no extra cost. We were able to double the number of Library Associates on staff by provisionally appointing Katie Elia to a full-time position at our board meeting last week. She’s been with us for nine years on a part-time basis, and has her background in Psychology and Social Services to families and children.

"She joins Kelly March, who’s been with us nearly as long and is formerly the director of the Corfu Free Llibrary. Finally, we retain two part-time recruits, one of whom is a library graduate school student at the University of Buffalo – a future Children’s Librarian in the making. The goal is to expand on Teen and Children's programming, and to keep that Teen Corner more consistently staffed after school and in the summer.”

After-school programs will include craft projects, supervised computer gaming, Lego Club, Coder Club, Chess Club, and pick-up matches of collectible trading card games like Yugioh and Magic: The Gathering.

“But nothing’s on the calendar yet!” Conrad said. “We went right from Summer Read to being closed for renovations, and the staff appointments weren’t finalized until last week. Believe me though, there will be plenty of opportunities for kids to spill glitter on the new carpet -- we're here every day.”

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