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Richmond Memorial Library

Richmond Library vote to include tax levy increase of $13.8K, two board seats

By Joanne Beck

A proposed budget of $1,696,912 for Richmond Memorial Library includes a property tax levy of $1,395,283, an increase of $13,814 for the 2024-25 school year, and goes up for vote on May 2.

The Batavian has sent several questions regarding the budget to Library Director Beth Paine, and will provide an updated article once responses are received. 

Paine said in the budget newsletter that she looks forward to upcoming programs and initiatives.

“As I look forward in 2024 and continuing into 2025, I see our continuing update projects for technology, a jam-packed Summer Reading Program, some brand new and innovative programs for all ages, like our new Minecraft Mondays that start on April 15, and some outdoor projects to enhance the beauty and use of space on the library’s property. And I am happy to report that even with all of these amazing updates, the Board of Trustees has been able to keep our budget increase to only 1%,” she said. “Our main goal is to not only provide Batavia residents with an open and free library to visit to check out a book, but also a community center where you can learn about everything from how to open an email account to how to create a journal, to getting help filing your taxes. We thank you for your consistent support and for allowing us to continue to serve you and the entire Batavia community.”

The budget is an increase of $15,753. One main question is about how the budget is outlined on the library’s website, but does not include the prospective tax rate increase to coincide with that $13,814 levy increase. How will this affect taxpayers?

The library has a robust race this year for the board, with three candidates running for two seats vacated by Board President Jessica Ecock Rotondo and Norm Argulsky. Those candidates are:

Christina Mortellaro

Christina Mortellaro is a native Batavian and lover of libraries. She is interested in becoming a Library Trustee because she firmly believes that public libraries are cornerstones of democracy, keepers of history, and providers of equitable access to information and space in a community.

Christina is the current Director of the TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC) at SUNY Genesee Community College (GCC), a federally-funded college access program that supports adults who are low-income and potential first-generation students throughout Western New York. She holds an MSEd in Higher Education Administration from SUNY Brockport and a dual BA in English and Communication from SUNY Geneseo.

Prior to working as the director of AEOC, Christina was an Assistant Director and Student Advisor with the TRIO Upward Bound program at SUNY GCC, a similar program for high school students. Before working in higher education, Christina served two terms with Rochester Youth Year AmeriCorps VISTA, a different federally funded program working to alleviate the effects of poverty in Rochester, NY.

Christina currently serves as a Board Member At Large for the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education, Inc. (AEEE), a professional association that supports college access professionals at 125 colleges and universities in New York and New Jersey. She will transition to be AEEE’s Western New York Representative this fall.

Other current and relevant volunteer experience includes being a current volunteer with Richmond Memorial Library’s “Books Sandwiched In” committee, serving on the executive board of GCC’s Inclusive Excellence Committee, and being a former 13-year volunteer with HOBY Leadership.

In her spare time, Christina loves to spend time with family, friends, and the cats in her life. She loves to read, write, craft, travel, and support the arts.

Delipe Oltramari

Felipe Oltramari has been a resident of the City of Batavia for the past 17 years. Along with his wife, they have raised two daughters in Batavia. Felipe works as the Director of Planning for Genesee County and has been working for the department for over 20 years. Felipe graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo and received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science, concentrating in Environmental and Community Land Planning, from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). He is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and accredited with the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNUa).

John Roach

John Roach is from Kenmore, in Erie County. He moved to Batavia in 1974, when he started working for New York State.

He retired from the New York State Department of Corrections as a Senior Counselor after 36 years, starting out as a Correction Officer at Attica. He also worked at the Wyoming, Orleans and Albion Correctional Facilities.

John is a Vietnam War Veteran who served as a Military Police Investigator. He then joined the US Army Reserve and retired after 32 total service as a Master Sergeant, working in Facility Management for the Division Engineer. Other positions in the Reserve were Nuclear Security, Drill Sergeant, Instructor, Training Evaluator and Division Engineer Office.

John was a volunteer with the local Boy Scouts for 29 years.

He served on the City of Batavia Charter Commission twice and on the Mall Operating Committee one term.

John believes in public libraries as a necessary part of a community and wants to help keep ours going.

The vote on May 2 will ask citizens to say yes or no to the tax levy of $1,395,283, and to vote for two out of the three candidates for a three-year term. 

Photos: A partial glimpse of the eclipse at the Richmond Memorial Library

By Steve Ognibene
A partial Eclipse excited viewers from 2:41pm-2:44pm this afternoon in Batavia NY  Photo by Steve Ognibene
A partial eclipse excited viewers from 2:41 to 2:44 p.m. at the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia.
Photo by Steve Ognibene

The sun and moon may have hid behind clouds during the total solar eclipse that passed over Western New York -- with Batavia dead-center in the eclipse path -- on Monday afternoon, but even a glimpse of the partial eclipse from 2:41 to 2:44 p.m. thrill some visitors to the Richmond Memorial Library.

The total eclipse started at 3:19 p.m. and lasted for four minutes. It, however, was shrouded by clouds.

 Photo by Steve Ognibene
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
A Library supporter is wearing Eclipse leggings.   Photo by Steve Ognibene
A Library supporter is wearing Eclipse leggings and hoodie.   
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Kids using a pinhole viewer to see the partial eclipse at 2:43pm  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Kids using a pinhole viewer to see the partial eclipse at 2:43 p.m. 
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Some adults playing pickleball in the library parking lot.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Some adults play pickleball in the library parking lot while waiting for the Eclipse.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Open mic night to honor National Poetry Month at Richmond Library

By Press Release

Press Release: 

Join Richmond Memorial Library to celebrate National Poetry Month with an Open Mic poetry event on Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. Read a poem or simply come to listen and enjoy!

Read your own work or a poem of your choice with due credit to poet. No epic poems. Signups to read will begin at 6:15 p.m. on the night of the event and the time limit will depend on attendance. 

Reading is guaranteed to the first 15 who sign up the night of the event. The event will feature refreshments and door prizes! This program is intended for adults and mature teens.

Please visit to register! (This is just to indicate interest in attending; it does not guarantee reading the night of the event). This event is sponsored by the Friends of Richmond Memorial Library.

For questions, contact Samantha Basile, Community and Adult Services Librarian at

Take a ‘remarkable journey’ with Books Sandwiched In

By Press Release
Submitted photo.

Press Release:

The Spring 2024 session of Books Sandwiched In will take place on Wednesdays in April at Richmond Memorial Library! The theme for this series is “Remarkable Journeys,” as reflected in the book selections. 

First started in 1981, Books Sandwiched In is a program that invites guest speakers to review books, which are generally non-fiction. Each session will take place from 12:10 - 1 p.m. in the Reading Room and will include coffee, tea, and cookies. 

All who attend can enter for the door prize of a gift certificate to a local lunch spot. Feel free to bring your lunch. You do not need to read the books in order to attend!

Sessions will also be recorded and available to view on the library’s YouTube page following the presentations. The fourth session will feature a raffle of a signed copy of The Wager by David Grann!

Spring 2024 Lineup: 

Wednesday, April 3: Take a Journey to Space

Recent Batavian (and avid reader) Jessica Postle will review The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts by Loren Grush.

“When NASA sent astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s the agency excluded women from the corps, arguing that only military test pilots - a group then made up exclusively of men - had the right stuff. It was an era in which women were steered away from jobs in science and deemed unqualified for space flight. 

Eventually, though, NASA recognized its blunder and opened the application process to a wider array of hopefuls, regardless of race or gender. From a candidate pool of 8,000 six elite women were selected in 1978--Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon.” (from publisher summary)

Wednesday, April 10: Take a Journey to Freedom

Holland Land Office Director Ryan Duffy will review Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom by Ilyon Woo

“In 1848, a year of international democratic revolt, a young, enslaved couple, Ellen and William Craft, achieved one of the boldest feats of self-emancipation in American history. Posing as master and slave, while sustained by their love as husband and wife, they made their escape together across more than 1,000 miles, riding out in the open on steamboats, carriages, and trains that took them from bondage in Georgia to the free states of the North. Along the way, they dodged slave traders, military officers, and even friends of their enslavers. The tale of their adventure soon made them celebrities, and generated headlines around the country. 

Americans could not get enough of this charismatic young couple, who traveled another 1,000 miles crisscrossing New England, drawing thunderous applause as they spoke alongside some of the greatest abolitionist luminaries of the day.” (from publisher summary) 

Wednesday, April 17: Take a Journey of Faith 

Retired teacher Jim Kelly reviews: Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain by Jack Hitt. Jim will also share about his own personal pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago!

“When Jack Hitt set out to walk the 500 miles from France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, he submitted to the rigorous traditions of Europe's oldest form of packaged tour, a pilgrimage that has been walked by millions in the history of Christendom...Along the way, Jack Hitt finds himself persevering by day and bunking down by night with an unlikely and colorful cast of fellow pilgrims. In the day-to-day grind of walking under a hot Spanish sun, Jack Hitt and his cohorts not only find occasional good meals and dry shelter but they also stumble upon some fresh ideas about old-time zealotry and modern belief.” (from publisher summary) 

Wednesday, April 24: Take a Journey at Sea 

RML Media Services Librarian Laura Dumuhosky reviews The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann.

“On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty's Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes. But then... six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes - they were mutineers.” (from publisher summary)

This session will also feature a raffle for a signed copy of The Wager!

Richmond Memorial Library 2024-25 budget and trustee election information

By Press Release

Press Release:

Richmond Memorial Library Trustee Position

Any qualified voter of the City School District of Batavia and a resident of the City School District for at least 1 year immediately preceding the date of the election (May 2, 2024) can run for one of two Richmond Memorial Library Board of Trustees seats. They are for 3-year terms which start July 1, 2024.  

Petitions for the positions can be picked up at the circulation desk. At least twenty-five (25) signatures are required from qualified voters of the School District. The petition must be turned in at the circulation desk between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on or before April 2.

Public Hearing April 8

A Public Information Meeting on the 2024-25 Richmond Memorial Library Budget will be held in the Richmond Memorial Library Gallery Room on Monday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. Future plans for the Library will be presented along with the 2024-25 budget. The regular monthly meeting of the Library Board of Trustees for April will take place immediately following the public meeting.

RML Voter Registration Day April 9

Any person qualified to vote who is not currently registered under permanent personal registration in the election district in which he or she resides, or who has moved to another residence within that district following the date of such registration, or who has not voted at a general election at least once in the last four successive calendar years, should, in order to be entitled to vote, present himself or herself personally for the registration or otherwise register at the Genesee County Board of Elections. 

Voter Registration for this year’s Library Vote will be held at Richmond Memorial Library on April 9 from 1 - 5 p.m. and from 7 - 9 p.m.

Richmond Memorial Library Budget Vote/Trustee Election May 2

Richmond Memorial Library’s Annual Budget Vote/Trustee Election will be held in the Library’s Gallery Room on Thursday, May 2 from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Any registered voter residing in the Batavia City School District is eligible to vote.

Richmond library takes over, pays for financial duties once performed by city school district

By Joanne Beck
Beth Paine Feb. 2023
2023 File Photo of Richmond Memorial Library Director Beth Paine
Photo by Howard Owens

For the first time in decades, Richmond Memorial Library will be taking care of its own financial duties versus allowing the city school district to provide an in-kind service as part of its landlord-tenant relationship.

The district was made aware of the change with a letter from library Board President Jessica Ecock-Rotondo, who wrote to inform the district that as of 2024, the library “will be departing our accounting and payroll from the Batavia City School District” and will be working with RPM Payroll and Rupert Accounting. 

Given that the library had receive this as an in-kind service at no extra charge, The Batavian asked library Director Beth Paine, who just celebrated her first year in Batavia, about the additional costs now being incurred, and how to explain that to taxpayers. 

Paine said that this new arrangement was something that she had been used to from her previous position before coming to Batavia.

“The board and I agreed that we prefer to have everything in-house so that we have direct control over our finances. In my previous director position at a school district library, all financial functions were done in-house and it made the whole process more streamlined and it was much easier to deal with time-sensitive issues,” Paine said. “It could be difficult to deal with any changes that needed to be made quickly when we needed to contact the district each time before we could proceed. We also preferred to do our own payroll as it was easier to track our staff leave time and again to make any changes that were needed immediately.”

She has taken over the payroll and related duties, she said, and the library accounts payable clerk and accounts receivable clerk have taken over the bookkeeping tasks. The library has hired an outside accountant to “oversee all of these functions, and we have hired a payroll company to process our payroll.,” she said.

“The cost of the change was minimal, as we were already paying Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES for the financial software and administration of the accounting functions,” she said. “We also recently switched from a higher-priced human resources company to a company with a much more reasonable pricing scale for the same services. The savings from that change more than cover the small increase in our accounting costs.” 

Batavia School Superintendent Jason Smith said the district has a “long history of providing this in-kind support to and for the Richmond Library.”

“And have been glad to do so, as the library was bequeathed to the district by Mary Richmond many, many years ago,” he said. “We essentially have a "landlord/tenant" relationship with the library, where we provide for upkeep (a part of our recently approved Capital Project includes improvements at RML), and up until Dec. 4, 2023, provided in-kind financial support.”

The district has been providing these financial services to the library for “a very long time,” he said and also performed purchasing on behalf of RML before that was taken back as well. 

“The district has the capability, understanding and staff to perform the accounting and payroll functions for RML,” he said. “These are the main reasons why the district performed these tasks on behalf of RML.”

The library’s tax levy this year was $1,381,469, with a tax rate of $1.19 per $1,000 assessed value. So for a house assessed at $100,000, that’s an extra $119 a year for library services in addition to city school taxes of $17.18 per $1,000, or $1,718.

Richmond Memorial is calling artists to participate in first ever Tiny Art Show

By Press Release

Press Release:

Interested in participating in a small program that is taking over libraries around the country? Richmond Memorial Library is excited to announce the first-ever Tiny Art Show.

Starting Friday, March 1 register online to reserve a kit that will be available for pick-up starting Monday, March 4 from the library’s Reference Desk. Each take-home kit includes a 4”x4” canvas, paints, a palette, and brushes. 

This program is for ages 12+ and is open to the first 30 who register. Using the supplies provided and/or your own materials, create a tiny artwork (no larger than a 4-inch cube). 

This is an art show for ages 12 and up please create your art with that audience in mind. The artwork must be suitable for display in a public space for all ages. 

Objects, paper, and materials of any kind except food may be glued to the canvas or turned into a sculpture, but artwork must be 4" in all directions or smaller. 

Nonfiction and IT Librarian Elizabeth Beardslee shares that, “We are excited to offer this program to our patrons! We hope they love the idea as much as we do. We look forward to the tiny art bringing people into the library to see the displays. Our hope is that this is a program that can grow and get bigger each year!”

These tiny artworks will be displayed in the main area of the library, as well as on the library’s social media pages starting April 1. 

The deadline to return the artwork to Richmond Memorial Library by March 29 to be included in the Tiny Art Show. One entry per artist. 

Artwork can be retrieved from the library by the artist after the show, starting May 6. Artwork that is not picked up by June 31 will become the property of Richmond Memorial Library and may be discarded. The library reserves the right to exclude any work. 

The registration link will appear online at on March 1. For more information, contact Librarian Elizabeth Beardslee at or Teen Services Library Assistant Ellen Caton at

Get tax help and e-file for free at Richmond Memorial Library this tax season

By Press Release

Press Release: 

Richmond Memorial Library is pleased to partner with volunteers from the New York State Department of Tax and Finance to offer income-eligible citizens assistance with filing their taxes online this tax season.

Tax Department employees will walk you through your income tax returns, step-by-step, as you complete and e-file your tax return for free.

  • If you earned $79,000 or less in 2023, you qualify.
  • Safe and secure online tax software.
  • Use on-site computers, or your own laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
  • You only need basic computer skills and an active email account.

Sessions will be offered on Thursdays in February, March and April:

  • Feb. 1
  • Feb. 8
  • Feb. 15
  • Feb. 22
  • Feb. 29
  • March 7
  • March 14
  • March 21
  • March 28
  • April 4
  • April 11 

Appointment slots are 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

Those interested must schedule an appointment. For more information or to make an appointment, contact the library at 585-343-9550 x3, or visit the reference desk Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. Find the library online at

Explore the secrets of the Boston Tea Party, 250 years later

By Press Release

Press Release:

Byron-Bergen Public Library and Richmond Memorial Library are pleased to co-host a virtual event; Steeped in Secrecy: The Boston Tea Party, 250 Years Later. 

The program will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. To register, visit This is a chance to attend a library program from the comfort of your own home!

The story of tea has always been infused with intrigue, particularly when it became a flash point for tensions between England and Colonial America. 

Learn about the brewing political problems tea presented in its history with Anglophile and former UK resident Claire Evans. Next, author, genealogist, librarian, and former UK resident Debra Dudek examines the history of the Boston Tea Party’s most famous partiers (and phonies), as well as how to trace bona fide participants through lineage societies and historical groups.

Registration is required at A recording of the program will be available to view for one week following the event. Those who register will also receive an informational resource packet via email.

About the presenters: 

Submitted photo of
Claire Evans

Claire Evans is an author, former journalist, attorney, and college lecturer who started her love of most things British as she and her mother watched countless Britcoms on PBS. She studied abroad in London and, against the odds, she married a Brit she met in Peoria, Illinois. They lived in England for several years. Her business, Tea with Claire, grew from friends asking for travel advice. Her memoir, High Tea and the Low Down is the true story of what it's really like to marry a witty Englishman and move to Britain.

Submitted photo of
Debra M. Dudek

Debra M. Dudek is Head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, IL. She holds a post-graduate certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

For more information about Byron-Bergen Public Library, For more information about Richmond Memorial Library, visit

Richmond Library invites you for a ‘Blizzard of Reading’

By Press Release

Press Release:

Richmond Memorial Library invites adults and teens to participate in A Blizzard of Reading from January 8 – March 1! The program is open to any adult or teen ages 13 – 17. 

In order to be eligible for prizes, participants must have a valid library card from any library in the NIOGA system. Each participant can earn up to 6 grand prize entries! Read four books (or three books and a magazine) to earn entries for a chance to win prizes. Attend a library program and play our literary locations scavenger hunt around the library for a
chance to earn more entries. 

Grand prizes:

  • Adult Grand Prize 1: Wooden book valet- conveniently holds your book and a mug of something warm and cozy.
  • Adult Grand Prize 2: $25 to Author’s Note Bookstore in Medina 
  • Teen Grand Prize: Play for a chance to win your very own book cart! 

All prizes and information are on display in the lobby of the library.

All who participate will receive a custom Blizzard of Reading bookmark at the end of the program. Registration begins at 9 am on Monday, January 8 at the library or and continues throughout the program. For more information about upcoming library events, visit

Local artist featured in BSA Winter Show melds Irish and American traditions

By Howard B. Owens
adrian morris batavia society of artists
Adrian Morris, an Irish immigrant who has made Batavia his home, is the featured artist in the Batavia Society of Artists Winter Show at the Richmond Memorial Library.
Photo by Howard Owens.

The folk tradition of music and art in Ireland informs the work of Batavia artist Adrian Morris, featured in the Winter Show of the Batavia Society of Artists at the Richmond Memorial Library.

The show opened Thursday and features 35 paintings by Morris, both his Irish landscapes and his portraits of musicians, writers, political figures, and commissioned work.

'I'm painting every day, painting all the time, in my spare time," Morris said. "It's just, I can't stop doing it. It's a passion that I've had from a young age."

In 2008, Morris immigrated to the Batavia area to be with a woman from the area. He is with a new lady now, but he stayed and has become embedded in the local art community.  His works are included in showings regularly with the BSA and at GO ART!

His Irish accent is unmistakable, as is his love for his homeland, but his love for America's musical traditions is also expressed through his work.  His portraits on display in the show include Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, John Lennon, Neil Young, and three of Johnny Cash.

What is the fascination with The Man in Black?

"Because I'm Irish," Morris answered. "And we're into folk music, traditional folk music, and he takes a lot of bluegrass and folk stuff into his music. I love folk music, like (Bob) Dylan and Johnny Cash and all those guys, you know. There is honesty in their songs and the stories that they tell. It's all about storytelling."

One of Morris's most stunning pieces is a portrait of James Joyce, the early 20th-century novelist known for his often inscrutable prose and stories deeply rooted in his native Dublin.

All these decades after Joyce's death, with his legacy enshrined in the scholarship of great literature, it might be hard to see Joyce as a folk figure, but that is how Morris sees him, and what draws him to Joyce.

"If you're in Dublin -- Ulysses is set in Dublin -- you can literally track every part of the book," Morris said. "You can go along the train, ride along the train along the coast, and everything he described in the book is in Dublin, and his cadence of the people (in the book), the way they talk, is purely Irish. A lot of Americans say it's very hard to read, but for me, it's just like, it's, it's my tone, the way their slang words work, you know, it's a rhythm and a regional accent to Dublin,  it's very Dublinesque, and, and so that's the beauty of his prose."

Joyce, he said, brings the complexities of life into a real world of real people just trying to get through their daily lives, like any folk artist.

"He goes through the gamut of philosophy and life and all these things, but he does it in a common man's way," Morris said. "You know what I mean? There's no airs about him."

Morris's love of Ireland and folk traditions is also expressed in a portrait that might surprise some -- Frederick Douglass.

"Frederick Douglass is a big he's a big part of Ireland," Morris said. "Anti-slavery with the whole British thing, the colonization, so he was a big part of it.  He was about the abolishment of slavery and so I really respected him even before coming here, and little did I know respecting him as a child that he was such a part of Rochester and the area. I was just like, 'Wow. So I felt like I wanted to pay tribute to him."

In Ireland, Douglass is revered for a speech he gave there.

"I don't know if it's true, but some Irish people had some part in paying for his freedom (NOTE: Irish and British residents raised the 150 pounds to purchase his freedom)," Morris said. "When he went over there, he moved the Irish people so much, that might have sown the seed for them to launch a free country because they were under the rule of the British for so long, and they wanted their freedom. So it's a political thing, but it's rooted in my culture."

The BSA Winter Show is on display through December and is open during regular library hours.

batavia society of artists winter show
Photo by Howard Owens
batavia society of artists winter show
"Needs no introduction" by Linda Miranda Fix.
Photo by Howard Owens.
batavia society of artists winter show
"An Urban Mood" by David Burke.
Photo by Howard Owens
batavia society of artists winter show
Adrian Morris, standing with a collection of his landscapes and nature paintings, mostly focused on his native Ireland, discusses his work with an attendee during the BSA's Winter Show opening at the Richmond Memorial Library.
Photo by Howard Owens.
batavia society of artists winter show
"Guardians of Ireland" by Adrian Morris won the People's Choice Award.
Photo by Howard Owens.
batavia society of artists winter show
Teresa Tamfer's "Still Standing" took second place in the People's Choice Awards at the opening of BSA's Winter Show.
Photo by Howard Owens.
batavia society of artists winter show
"Spring Pond" by Richard Ellingham took third place in the People's Choice Awards at the BSA's Winter Show.
Photo by Howard Owens.
batavia society of artists winter show

Zonta Club donates to Richmond Memorial Library's 'Comfort Boxes'

By Press Release
Submitted photo of (left to right): Karen Czajka, Samantha Basile, and Andre’ Miller

Press Release:

The Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County has partnered with the Richmond Memorial Library to tackle Period Poverty in our community. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, members of the Zonta Club delivered $500 of menstruation products for the library's ‘Comfort Boxes’.

Richmond Memorial Library began providing these ‘Comfort Boxes’ in their restrooms to anyone in need of personal hygiene products. The Journal of Global Health Reports disclosed that two-thirds of the 16.9 million low-income women in the United States were unable to afford menstrual products in the past year, with half of this number having to choose between menstrual products or food. 

The Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County partnered last year with donations to the Community Closet and will donate further products to Community Action of Orleans and Genesee later this month.

Re-Think Thanksgiving at Richmond Memorial Library

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Perry Ground.

Press Release:

Join the Richmond Memorial Library on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. as Perry Ground shares “Re-Thinking Thanksgiving: A Native American Perspective on an American Holiday.” This program is free and open to all. Recommended for families with children in 4th grade or higher and all adults.

Much of what people ‘know’ about Thanksgiving is actually a blend of fiction, myth, and history that has become widely accepted as truth. But the events of what we call “the First Thanksgiving” are nothing like our traditions today.

The creation of this holiday has little to do with the feast that took place in 1621 between the Pilgrims and the Indians. Storyteller and Cultural Educator, Perry Ground will give an overview of this very misunderstood holiday.

The presentation will discuss the actual events of 1621, including the feast, and the relationship between English settlers at Plymouth and the Wampanoag, the Native people who inhabited the area. The concept of Thanksgiving held by many Native Americans will be emphasized through the presentation. Learn the true story and re-think Thanksgiving- a great educational opportunity for all ages.

Presenter Perry Ground is a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy.  He has been telling stories for over 30 years as a means of educating people about the culture, beliefs, and history of the
Haudenosaunee. Perry learned many of the stories he shares from elders of Native American communities and feels that practicing and perpetuating the oral traditions of Native people is an important responsibility. 

Professionally, Perry has worked in several museums including The Children’s Museum of Houston, Sainte Marie among the Iroquois, and Ganondagan State Historic Site. He has shared stories at countless museums, libraries, classrooms, and festivals throughout the northeast and has guest lectured at numerous colleges. 

Perry is the former Project Director of the Native American Resource Center within the Rochester (NY) City School District and served as the Frederick H. Minett Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for the 2021-22 academic year.

For more information about Perry Ground, visit Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. For more about the library, visit

Annular eclipse viewing at Richmond Memorial Library

By Press Release

Press Release:

Join Richmond Memorial Library staff from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 to watch the partial Annular Eclipse! We will have our Sun Spotter telescope available for viewing, and science stations to learn about citizen science and how you can help record data for NASA. 

The event will include lawn games and Genny the Cow from the Chamber of Commerce will be on hand for pictures. Each registered participant will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses, too!

An Annular Eclipse occurs when the Moon obscures all but an outer ring of the Sun. For this reason, glasses must always be worn for viewing, even in areas that are in the direct path. 

GeneSEEtheEclipse commemorative ISO-certified-safe eclipse glasses will be given to each participant. When you look up, do NOT remove eye protection at any point. The moon will partially cover the sun. Looking directly at the sun can cause serious damage to your eyesight or blindness.

This event is free to attend, but please register at Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia.

Musician and educator Haley Moore to present lecture, play at GCC

By Press Release

Press Release: 

Photo of Haley Moore courtesy of GCC.

Thursday, September 28, in the Stuart Steiner Theatre from 6 - 7 p.m. Musician and Educator Haley Moore will present a lecture and play Appalachian music from the 1920s. The presentation and performance are based on Jeannette Walls novel "Hang the Moon." 

Listen to music that was popular during the time and hear all about the story of an indomitable young woman in prohibition-era Virginia. The presentation will be both educational and entertaining and is free and open to the public.

Richmond Reads is a community one-book program designed for the Richmond Memorial Library community. Each year, a committee selects a book and builds programs around the selection, culminating with a visit from the author. The 2023 selection is "Hang the Moon," the latest publication from New York Times bestselling author Jeannette Walls. This year's events include historical programs, book discussions, a film screening, and more. 

The library is excited to partner with Genesee Community College and Batavia High School as they incorporate "Hang the Moon" into their curriculum and participate in a student book review contest. Richmond Reads is generously sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library. 

To learn more about attending events or supporting the Richmond Reads program, visit the library or Live Stream link: For more information please contact: Kathleen Klaiber at

Bartender Challenge Fundraiser Kicks Off Richmond Reads events

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Richmond Memorial Library Director Beth Paine (left) and Board of Trustees President Jessica Ecock Rotondo (right), they will face off against each other in a Battle of the Library Celebrity Bartenders fundraiser at GO-Art! on Friday, September 8.

Press Release:

The 2023 Richmond Reads program will be in full swing in September, with events and programs to celebrate the 2023 selection, Hang The Moon by Jeannette Walls. Richmond Reads is a community one-book program designed for the Richmond Memorial Library’s community of readers.

Jeannette Walls will visit Richmond Memorial Library on Tuesday, October 10 at 7 p.m. for a talk and book signing. Published in March of 2023, Hang the Moon was an instant New York Times Bestseller. The book centers around Sallie Kincaid, a young woman who inherits a bootlegging empire in prohibition-era Virginia. Registration is full for the event, but those interested may be added to the waitlist and may opt to view a live stream of the event from another space in the library. For more information on this Speaker please visit

The Richmond Reads committee has planned a full slate of events! This year’s program also features a partnership with Batavia High School and Genesee Community College for events geared toward their students.

Richmond Reads Schedule of Events: 

Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.: Battle of the Library Celebrity Bartenders at Go-Art! Library Director Beth Paine will face off against Board of Trustees President Jessica Ecock Rotondo to see who can earn the most tips! The event will include snacks, a cash bar, a basket raffle, and 50/50. All proceeds will go to The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library in support of Richmond Reads. Basket tickets are also available to purchase at the library until 5 p.m. on September 8.

Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.: Rolling Out the Barrels- A Look at Prohibition Historian Lynne Belluscio will present about the local history of prohibition. This event will take place in the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library. No registration is required.

Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.: Richmond Reads Reel Discussions Join us as we screen the 2017 film The Glass Castle, based on the memoir of the same name by Jeannette Walls with a discussion to follow. This event will take place at Richmond Memorial
Library in the Gallery Room. No registration is required.

Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.: Music of Appalachia with Haley Moore at GCC Fiddler Haley Moore of the Eastman Community Music School will lecture and perform music from the time of Hang the Moon. Sponsored by GCC’s Inclusive Excellence Committee and the GCC Library. Free to attend and all are welcome. This event will take place in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College.

Monday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 9:30 a.m.: Community Book Discussions The only requirement to attend is to read Hang the Moon. These discussions will take place in the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library. Book Review Contest- Opens Friday, September 1. Write a review of Hang the Moon for a chance to win a dinner with the author on October 10! All rules and information available beginning September 1. The contest closes on Saturday, September 30 at 5 p.m. Visit the library or for all information and link to the review form.

For all information about the book, author, and events, please visit the library or Richmond Reads is made possible by the generosity of The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library.

Richmond Memorial Library announces Books Sandwiched review series in September

By Press Release

Press Release:

Photo of author Will Bardenwerper courtesy of

Richmond Memorial Library will host the Fall 2023 Series of Books Sandwiched In on Wednesdays in September from 12:10 p.m. - 1 p.m. Rounding out its 42nd year, this program invites speakers to present reviews of books, often non-fiction, and features coffee, cookies, and door prizes. Each session will feature a door prize of a gift certificate to a local lunch spot.

This fall’s session brings a little something special – author Will Bardenwerper will present about his own book, The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein and the Twelve Americans Who Guarded Him, published by Scribner in 2017. Described by BookPage as  “a behind-the-scenes look at history that's nearly impossible to put down...a mesmerizing glimpse into the final moments of a brutal tyrant's life," The Prisoner in His Palace takes readers inside the last days of Saddam Hussein. A journalist who has contributed to The New York Times and The Washington Post, Bardenwerper is also a veteran of the United States Army, having quit his job in finance after 9/11 to enlist. Bardenwerper’s latest venture, a book for Doubleday exploring small-town baseball and community, has recently brought him to Batavia.

September’s Books Sandwiched In Line-up: 

  • Wednesday, September 6 at 12:10 p.m.: RML Library Visits Coordinator Lucine Kauffman reviews: The Book of Charlie Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man by David von Drehle, published in 2023.
  • Wednesday, September 13 at 12:10 p.m.: Holland Land Office Museum Director Ryan Duffy reviews: The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America by Karen Abbott, published in 2019 (this is a special tie-in with Richmond Reads!).
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 12:10 p.m.: Author Will Bardenwerper reviews his book The Prisoner In His Palace: Saddam Hussein and the Twelve Americans Who Guarded Him, published in 2017 (feat. a giveaway of a copy of the book). Copies of the book will also be for sale for $20 and can be signed by the author.
  • Wednesday, September 27 at 12:10 p.m.: Dr. Brenda McQuillan, Associate Professor of Social Work and the MSW Program Director at Roberts Wesleyan University reviews: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, published in 2014 (feat. a giveaway of a copy of the book).

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. For information about all upcoming programs, visit the library or website at

Local author to discuss fantasy series at RML

By Press Release

Press Release:

Submitted photo of
Tony Johnson

Join Batavian Tony Johnson on Saturday, August 12 at 10 a.m. in the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library for a book talk and signing. 

Tony will discuss his epic fantasy series, "The Story of Evil." The event will include a talk, Q&A, and book signing. There will be book giveaways, cookies made by Simply Scrumptious, customized bookmarks, and more!

Books in the series include "Heroes of the Siege," "Escape from Celestial," "Three Visions," "The Cursed King," and "Battle for the Kingdom." Tony published the first volume in the series in 2013.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase and will also be available to check out from Richmond Memorial Library.

Tony Johnson is the author of "The Story of Evil," a five-part epic fantasy saga. Tony is an avid reader who enjoys fantasy, classics, and Christian literature. He is a fan of movies, video games, and football, and loves being a husband and father. 

This event is free to attend and all are welcome. 

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St., Batavia. For more information about the library, visit

Guitar duo delivers 'transitional' musical evening

By Joanne Beck
Tom Torrisi and Ken Luk
Tom Torrisi, left, and Ken Luk, entertain a full room at Richmond Memorial Library Tuesday evening during their guitar concert in Batavia. Janus Guitar Duo was formed in 2015 by Tom Torrisi and Ken Luk while they were both doctoral students at the Eastman School of Music. Their name is inspired by the Roman god Janus: god of gates, doors, and transitions, whose two faces look simultaneously into the past and the future, according to their website material. Likewise, as musicians they look to music of the past, present, and future to create diverse and exciting concert programs, keeping audiences engaged with each stylistic turn. 
Photo by Joanne Beck.
Guitar duo with crowd
Janus Guitar Duo drew many listeners to Richmond Memorial Library Tuesday for a free soothing musical concert. 
Photo by Joanne Beck.


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