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Richmond Memorial Library

October 29, 2019 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, Bataiva, news.


Richmond Memorial Library hosted a trick-or-treat party Monday night with Batavia police officers offering parents safety tips and reading a story to the children, who then trick-or-treated through the library.

Top photo: Det. Matthew Wojtaszczyk and Officer Kevin DeFelice with little officer Aiden Scott, age 3.





October 5, 2019 - 2:12pm

Submitted photos. 

By Samantha Stryker, Richmond Memorial Library Community & Adult Services librarian​

On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 26, the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library was filled nearly to capacity for the inaugural Richmond Reads author visit.

The purpose of the Richmond Reads one-book program was to bring the community together through the common experience of reading a book, engaging in thoughtful discussions about it, and hosting a visit from the author.

This year’s selection was the novel "Southernmost" by Silas House, who visited the library that evening to share a reading, give a talk and, as he put it, “have a conversation” with the audience.

The Richmond Reads program began months prior, when the book selection was announced in February. Many related events followed, including a contest during Summer Reading for a chance to win attendance to a tea with the author, a Joni Mitchell tribute concert by artist Leah Zicari to celebrate the musical influences in "Southernmost," a film screening of the documentary "Hillbilly" and community book discussions.

As homage to the Tale for Three Counties program, the Richmond Reads committee also decided to revive the review contest that had been a hallmark of Tale. Four winners were selected to attend a small tea event with the author for a chance to interact one-on-one prior to the main event.

Reviews were judged anonymously by the Richmond Reads committee for creativity, originality and writing quality. The four contest winners chosen were Ruth Andes, Sue Blanchard, Laurie Mastin and Rita Nan Tresco. Excerpts from their review are included below.

Ruth Andes (Elba):
"Southernmost requires each of us to look back at pivotal points in our lives. We confront the beliefs we hold and realize that they no longer fit the person we have become. The two gay men forced Asher to take that public stand. Once confronted, we cannot go forward in the life we have constructed. Change is required and often that change is radical.”

Sue Blanchard (Lockport):
“While reading this story, you can’t help but put yourself in the same set of circumstances and examine your own prejudices, values, morals, and beliefs. Not only was the book a well written story, but it challenged my thinking. I admire Asher for standing up for what he believed was right, despite the negative impacts, and, in the end I believe he made the right decision. Southernmost illustrates the struggle that judgement and hatred cause – Asher was judged by his community, and he judged his brother - both situations caused emotional turmoil. Tolerance is indeed a hard quality to embrace.”

Laurie Mastin (Pavilion):
“ 'Brainwashed: persuaded, convinced, indoctrinated, molded.' (courtesy-- Thesaurus: English (U.S.))
The term was only used twice in this book but it struck me as a central theme. Aren’t we all brainwashed by the experiences we’ve had and the people we are surrounded by?

"Reading this novel was thought provoking at a time when our country is being divided by extremely different points of views on many of these issues. It’s time to reconsider our past brainwashing, and use critical thinking to reach common ground.”

Rita Nan Tresco (Batavia):
“To flee with his son Justin is the only option Asher Sharp, a small Tennessee preacher feels he has after examining his conscience and finding his voice to speak to his congregation, on the topic of tolerance and human kindness. Preacher Sharp loses everything; his wife, family, and congregation and is also shunned by his community. With little access to the son he loves above all else, he sees no way out but to run…Along the way, as the story unfolds, we find our author, Silas House, weaving his words to be like a musical river of honey with many bends, twists and turns. The lovely conclusion has a beautiful message of learning to care for others through kindness, finding forgiveness in your heart, and being tolerant and respectful of each other. But mostly this lovely story is about finding the voice and the courage to love all of humanity.”

The Inaugural Richmond Reads Event

During his talk Sept. 26, Silas spoke to the themes in the book as they related to his personal experiences, ranging from his own journey as a father to his experience growing up in the evangelical church. He read passages from the text, particularly those that spoke to his theory that dogs are symbolic of “the presence of the divine.” Indeed, throughout the book, we see the pivotal part that dogs play as a metaphor for the lost and found faith of the main characters.

During an interactive discussion with participants, House graciously answered questions ranging from “what are you working on now?” (he said he has many “pots on the stove,” or projects, all at once -- one of which is a novel about a man and dog traveling across Ireland, set in the near future) to “what are you reading now?” ("Whiskey When We’re Dry" by John Larison, which he highly recommended, along with "Women Talking" by Miriam Toews) and answered many questions about his themes and characterizations in the novel.

The only question he declined to answer (to avoid spoilers) was what he thought happened to his main character, Asher, after the end of the book. He did note, however, that he likes to end his books with hope, which was certainly the case with "Southernmost."

After his talk, House signed books and interacted even more with attendees, sharing his open and generous spirit. He was warmly received, with one attendee showing him true Western New York hospitality by gifting him with some heirloom tomatoes to take home!

Making it Possible

This project would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the Richmond Reads Planning Committee, comprised of Sue Briggs, Sue Chiddy, Leslie DeLooze, Irene Hickey, Frances McNulty and Judy Sikora. Thanks also to Lift Bridge Book Shop, of Brockport, for selling books at the event. 

Richmond Reads was sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library, as well as through a grant through GO ART!

This project was also made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

About Silas House

Hailing from Kentucky, Silas House is the best-selling author of six novels, three plays, and a book of creative nonfiction. He is a former commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” is the recipient of three honorary doctorates and has won numerous prestigious awards for his work. "Southernmost" in particular was long-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was honored with many more awards.

House recently produced, wrote, and was featured in the documentary "Hillbilly," which examined the myths and stereotypes of Appalachia, historically and in the context of the 2016 election season. "Hillbilly" was chosen as the winner of the Best Documentary at the L.A. Film Festival and was long-listed for an Academy Award.

Silas currently lives in Lexington, Ky., with his husband, Jason, and has two children. 

Top photo: The Richmond Reads Planning Committee pictured with author Silas House. Back row, from left: Irene Hickey, Sue Briggs, Sue Chiddy, Judy Sikora and Leslie DeLooze. Seated: Samantha Stryker, Community & Adult Services lbrarian and Richmond Reads coordinator, and Author Silas House. (Not pictured: Frances McNulty) (Photo credit: Jim DeLooze)

Photo below: Author Silas House speaks to a packed room at Richmond Memorial Library for the inaugural Richmond Reads Program. (Photo credit: Jim DeLooze)

Below: Summer Reading and Review Contest winners attend a small one-on-one event at GO ART! with the author ahead of the main event.

Below: Author Silas House signs books following his talk for the 2019 Richmond Reads Program. (Photo credit: Jim DeLooze)

September 25, 2019 - 12:48pm

Press release:

The "All Weather Gang" founded by Batavians -- the late John Hodgins and Don Grieger -- originally known as "The Group of Two"
has grown to 12 members.

For nearly 40 years the AWG has wandered the back roads of Western New York, painting the unnoticed, the ignored and the unappreciated.

Their show titled, "CAUTION! -- Men Working -- paintings by the All Weather Gang," will be held at the Richmond Memorial Library during the month of October.

A reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7.

Batavian Kevin Feary and former Batavian Bill Mancuso are also "Gang" members participating in the show. A book entitled "The All Weather Gang" written by Mancuso is in the library's collection.

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

September 25, 2019 - 12:33pm

By Samantha Stryker, Community & Adult Services Librarian

The fall series of Books Sandwiched In will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at Richmond Memorial Library and will run each Wednesday through Oct. 30.

All sessions begin at 12:10 and run until 1 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch; coffee and cookies will be served.

You do not need to read the book to attend these sessions! A gift card to a local lunch establishment will be given at each session as a door prize!

A longstanding program at the library, Books Sandwiched In invites community members to share reviews of books, often works of nonfiction. As always, this fall’s series will present a wide array of topics from presenters with a variety of backgrounds. 

First up on Oct. 2, Millie Tomidy-Pepper will present Melinda Gates’ "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World" (2019)Tomidy-Pepper is the executive director of the YWCA of Genesee County and was previously the executive director for the Mental Health Association in Genesee County.

Gates’ debut work rests on the theory that, “if you want to lift a society up, invest in women,” and has been called “a timely and necessary call to action for women's empowerment.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Scott Herring will discuss "The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West" by David McCullough (2019). A native of Otego, Herring worked with the Farm Credit System throughout the Northeast until his retirement in 2015.

The newest book from popular historian McCullough uses the experience of five pioneers to explore the settlement of the Northwest Territories of the United States.

Greg Van Dussen, Ph.D., will join us on Wednesday, Oct. 6 to review "Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World" by Cal Newport (2019). Van Dussen is a resident of Batavia and an adjunct professor at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, having also retired from the United Methodist Church as a pastor.

In Digital Minimalism, Newport applies the theory of minimalism (“the art of knowing how much is just enough”) to our use of technology. Van Dussen says that Newport “sees clearly the price our society is paying for constant connectedness and offers a workable plan for using technology wisely.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Peggy Grayson will examine Jeff Dondero’s "Throwaway Nation: The Ugly Truth about American Garbage" (2019). A resident of Stafford, Grayson is the recycling administrator for GLOW Region Solid Waste Management Committee.

This book examines the problem of waste in the United States, examining the environmental impact and “not just how we got here and where we're headed, but ways in which we might be able to curb the tide.”

Lastly, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, Jim Lewis will present "More Deadly Than the Male: Masterpieces from the Queens of Horror" (2019), our only fiction selection for this series.

Edited by Graeme Davis, this anthology of classic and “unexpected” horror stories includes tales from authors such as Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

A Navy veteran and retired Batavia City Schools Social Studies teacher, Lewis is active in the community with organizations such as the Friends of Richmond Memorial Library and the Batavia Players.

For more information about the Books Sandwiched In titles and presenters, visit our website at batavialibary.org/events. 

For more information about these or other events, visit us online at batavialibrary.org, at the library, or call the library at 585-343-9550.

Richmond Memorial Library, located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia, continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

August 28, 2019 - 11:26am

Press release:

The Richmond Reads Committee is pleased to announce the following events as part of “Richmond Reads,” the one book program designed for the Richmond Memorial Library community.

All programs are free to attend and participate in.

Community Book Discussions

Join us to discuss the novel "Southernmost," written by Silas House. Discussions will be led by Samantha Stryker, Community & Adult Services librarian, and members of the Richmond Reads Committee.

The only requirement to attend is that you’ve read the book!

Copies are available at the library in regular print, audio and large print.

Ebook and audio copies can be accessed via our Hoopla and OverDrive Apps at batavialibrary.org

(Editor's Note: For the Kirkus review / synopsis of "Southernmost," click here. For the interview of Silas House published in Kirkus about his newest book, click here.)

Book Discussion Dates:

  • Monday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 8 a.m. at Richmond Memorial Library
  • Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at GO ART! (featuring cash bar), 201 E. Main St., Batavia
  • Saturday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. at Moon Java Café, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. Refreshments will be served at Moon Java.

Richmond Reads Reel Discussion

Thursday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at Richmond Memorial Library

Watch the documentary "Hillbilly," which was produced and written by our Richmond Reads author Silas House. He also appears in the film. "Hillbilly" examines the iconic hillbilly image in media and culture. "Hillbilly" was the winner of the Best Documentary Feature at the L.A. Film Festival in 2018.

Concert: The Songs of Joni Mitchell by Leah Zicari

Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at Richmond Memorial Library

Join musician Leah Zicari for a free concert dedicated to the music of Joni Mitchell. The impact of music in our lives plays a huge role in "Southernmost."

One character in particular -- Bell -- finds solace in the music of Joni Mitchell, such as the tune with the same title as Mitchell's debut concept album "Song to a Seagull." (This is reflected in the name of the complex of rental cottages owned by Bell.) "All I Want" is a number from Mitchell's fourth studio album released in 1971, "Blue," and House cites the song as central to Bell's character and the album itself as playing a pivotal role in his book.

(Editor's Note: Find the music playlist chosen by Silas House for "Southernmost" here.)

Review Contest -- Win a chance to meet the author one-on-one!

Submission deadline: Monday, Sept. 9.

Submit a review of "Southernmost" for a chance to attend an afternoon tea with Richmond Reads author Silas House before the main author event on Sept. 26! The review should be 200 words or less.

Four winners will be chosen anonymously by the Richmond Reads Committee. Summer reading contest winners will also be in attendance. Visit our website or the library for all rules, information and the entry form.

Author Event: Silas House & 'Southernmost'

Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at Richmond Memorial Library

Author Silas House (inset photo right) will join us for a reading, talk and book signing. Copies of the book will be available for sale. All are welcome to attend this free event!

For more information, visit batavialibrary.org/Richmond-reads.

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment. Learn more at www.batavialibrary.org.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

Richmond Reads is sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library and made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature and administered by GO ART!

Photo of Silas House courtesy of Tasha Thomas.

July 1, 2019 - 3:19pm

By Frances McNulty, committee member Richmond Reads

Do you remember the former Tale for Three Counties community reading project? The program was extremely popular and after its conclusion in 2016 readers and library patrons expressed their disappointment and often asked whether it might revive sometime in the future.

Although not as far-reaching as the Tale project, the new Richmond Reads community reading project, hosted by Richmond Memorial Library, hopes to satisfy those requests.  

Readers are encouraged to read the featured book, "Southernmost" by Silas House, and after doing so to write and submit their review of the book.

Details of the review contest are available below and on the Library’s website and include suggestions of what to consider when preparing your review and comments.

One does not need to be a professional or creative writer to participate.

The suggestions provided should prove helpful for composing your review. Reviews will be judged anonymously by the Richmond Reads Committee, using the criteria of creativity, originality, and writing quality.

The reading project will include several opportunities for folks to join in discussions about the book. If you have never participated in a group book discussion, and choose to do so, you may be pleasantly surprised and find it to be a very satisfying and socially enjoyable experience.

There will be an occasion to hear the author during his visit and talk about the book.  

But consider the benefit of winning the review contest. Four winners, who are anonymous to the selection committee members, will be invited to a special event to meet the author one-on-one.

This is a wonderful chance to have a firsthand encounter, ask questions, and have a book signed. It will provide an unforgettable memory.

I know, because I was fortunate to have had such an opportunity in the past, and can attest to its worthiness. I encourage readers to consider reading the book, to participate in the programs, and submit a review. 

How to enter:

  1. Read "Southernmost" by Silas House. Copies are available on audio, regular print, large print, and as and e-book and audiobook on Hoopla and OverDrive. Copies of the book are also available for purchase at the library compliments of Lift Bridge Bookstore in Brockport.
  2. Write a review of the book in 200 words or fewer. Instead of simply summarizing the book, consider the following as you write your review:

How did this book impact you? Were you able to relate to any characters or situations?

What were the most significant moments in the plot?

What truths do you think were expressed through the ending?

How does the setting affect the story?

  1. Submit your review by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9. Reviews can be submitted at the library, via our online form at batavialibrary.org or mailed to: Richmond Reads Review Contest c/o Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia NY 14020

Contest rules:

  • Reviews must be received by 5 p.m. Sept. 9. This is a firm deadline and postmarks cannot be considered.
  • Review forms are available at the library or on our website batavialibray.org/richmond-reads. If not using a form, include your full name, town in which you reside and telephone number. Reviews will not be considered for selection without this information.
  • Reviews must be written legibly or typewritten if possible.
  • Reviews will be judged anonymously by the Richmond Reads committee. 
  • Winners will be announced on Sept. 12.
  • Any reviews submitted may be shared for marketing purposes by Richmond Memorial Library via printed materials, on our website and through social media.

 Richmond Reads is a program of Richmond Memorial Library. The program is sponsored by The Friends of the Library and through a grant from GO ART!

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

Learn more at www.batavialibrary.org

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

This project was made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!

May 12, 2019 - 3:34pm


Matthew Liebler was awarded this year's Virginia Carr-Mumford Scholarship from the Batavia Society of Artists on Thursday at the BSA's annual spring show opening at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Liebler is from North Java and just completed his first year at Genesee Community College, where he's majoring in Digital Arts.


The spring show's first-place award went to Richard Ellingham for "Dusk Reflection."


David Burke received a second-place award for "The everchanging beauty of this body that I share with every living thing." He also received a third-place ribbon for "Still life with skull and mannequins."



May 3, 2019 - 7:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

Voters approved the Richmond Memorial Library budget, with a spending increase of $25,350, by an 82.3 percent margin, Director Bob Conrad announced.

Norm Argulsky, board president, won a second five-year term and Jessica Ecock-Rotondo was elected to her first five-year term.

The libraries total budget for 2019-20 is $1,521,067. 

Under the state's tax cap law, the library could have increased tax revenue by $60,000 but the trustees held the increase to $25,350.

The library tax rate will be .0288 cents per thousand or less than $3 for a home assessed at $100,000.

Full budget details can be found in the library's newsletter (pdf).

April 19, 2019 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Richmond Memorial Library, batavia.
From the library:
Due to another sewer backup, the Richmond Memorial Library will close early today, April 19.
We expect to open for regular hours tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April 12, 2019 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Richmond Memorial Library, news, arts, entertainment.


Lynn McGrath, a Rochester-based classical guitarist who has performed on four continents and has upcoming solo performance dates in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Albuquerque, and Miami, performed Thursday night at the Richmond Memorial Library.




March 28, 2019 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Richmond Memorial Library.

Due to a sewer backup and loss of access to running water, the Richmond Memorial Library closed at 2:45 p.m. today.

Tonight's movie and other programs are cancelled.

We all regret the inconvenience, but we are expecting to reopen at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Thank you.

Bob Conrad,

Library Director

March 12, 2019 - 3:50pm

Press release:

Voters who turn out for the Richmond Memorial Library’s annual budget vote and trustee election this year will see something new on the ballot: two vacancies. The current board authorized the creation of a sixth trustee position at its February meeting.

Now they seek candidates to fill it in the election to be held Thursday, May 2.

“They don’t only want to grow in size, but in skill and in diversity,” Library Director Bob Conrad explains. “We have always needed people with legal training and financial training, [and] people who are big readers, obviously. That hasn’t changed.

"But now libraries need people with IT skills and A/V skills, and people who watch movies and play video games.”

Library trustees are publicly elected volunteers who provide fiduciary oversight of the library’s spending. They also advise the Library Director on operations and in setting long-range goals.

“We’re lucky to have an HR professional on our board,” Conrad gives as one example. “But we have this beautiful old building, and nobody from the building trades on our board.”

The Richmond board meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday almost every month. Meetings last about two hours, and a single term is for five years, starting at the July 8 meeting.

A full description of the duties and responsibilities of a public library trustee in New York is available in a handbook published by the Division of Library Development: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/trustees/handbook.

To qualify for the ballot, candidates need to have lived in the library’s service area – the Batavia City School District – for at least three years preceding the election. They must also file a petition with the library, signed by at least 25 other residents, by 5 p.m. on April 2.

Blank petitions are available at the library now, during regular hours. The library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

After the May 2 election – which also places a library budget increase of $25,350 on the ballot – the library’s bylaws permit the board to continue growing annually, through election and appointment, up to 15, the maximum allowed by charter.

For more information, contact Library Director Robert Conrad at 585-343-9550, ext. 7, or at [email protected]

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment. Learn more at www.batavialibrary.org

January 7, 2019 - 4:52pm

Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library is thrilled to announce a new initiative entitled “Richmond Reads -- A Community One Book Program”!

Since the end of "A Tale for Three Counties," the community has frequently asked if there will be a replacement program. We are happy to share that a committee has been hard at work to make this a reality, which will begin with an inaugural program this fall.

Richmond Reads is a community reads project created especially for the Richmond Memorial Library community. Much like the Tale program, we will invite our community to read a book and join in discussions about it -- culminating in a visit from the author!

Adult & Community Services librarian Samantha Stryker says that “the author chosen by the committee has received prestigious recognition for their work and we are excited to bring this program to our vibrant community of readers!”

We will host a reveal event to announce the chosen title and author for Richmond Reads on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Reading Room at the library. More information about the program will be shared at this event. The event will include light refreshments and a chance to win a copy of the chosen title.

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

Learn more here.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

August 14, 2018 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.


Ty Acquard, from Alexander, selects a flower to add to an arrangement he's building with the help of instructor Jan Goodenbery during a free flower arranging class at Richmond Memorial Library on Monday evening.

Goodenbery is a master gardener and owner of Rooted in Joy Farm in Oakfield.

Ty is proprietor of Ty's Worm's, a stand he runs at Mooch's Auto Glass in Alexander. He plans to expand his business to include flower bouquets. 


August 2, 2018 - 5:27pm

Local library directors are asking Genesee County to provide $48,000 in funding in its 2019 budget, which would restore the county's share of funding to 2011 levels.

Without committing, either way, several members of county's Human Services Committee on Monday questioned why towns in the county that don't have libraries aren't doing more to assist funding libraries since their residents certainly use libraries, whether it's the Richmond, Haxton, Corfu, Woodward, or Hollwedel libraries.

"You need to make a presentation to GAM (Genesee Association of Municipalities) because there are still significant portions of the county that are not contributing to the libraries," said Robert Bausch, chairman of the County Legislature. "I hate to say that certain people in certain towns are dumber than other people so, therefore, they don’t need libraries. I don’t think that’s true but the bottom line is, this has gone on now since approximately 1986, so this has gone on for 30 years and these other towns have not stepped up."

Suzanne Schauf, director of the Hollwedel Memorial Library in Pavilion, suggested that because of towns without libraries -- such as Bethany, Alabama, Alexander, and Elba -- aren't legally obligated to pay for libraries, any funding that comes from the towns could be precarious and subject to political whim.

Bethany, she said, used to make a contribution to the Pavilion library, but then somebody said the wrong thing to somebody, somebody else got mad, she said, and the funding was cut.

To secure more funding from these towns, libraries would need to recharter to incorporate these towns either in a library district or as part of an appropriate school budget.

That can be a lengthy process, though the Corfu Free Library rechartered as a school district library and became the Corfu Public Library in 2016.

Bausch was actually part of the committee 30 years ago that came up with the formula for the county to provide financial support to all of the libraries. The original plan was for the county share to be $60,000, or $1 per resident.

Over time, that share was reduced and is now less than $48,000, though the county's population is 58,000.

More than half the money goes to the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia and though that is the largest piece of the funding pie, said Director Robert Conrad, it is the smallest portion of the library's revenue stream.

The county share is generally used for the purchase and upkeep of technology and purchasing new books.

The Legislature is asking that the topic be placed on the next GAM agenda.

June 29, 2018 - 10:48am
posted by Billie Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

Press release and submitted photos:

Richmond Memorial Library has seen a lot of change in the past few months in the form of three new faces on its professional staff roster. Mike Boedicker, Jennifer Potter and Samantha Stryker have recently come on board after an outside promotion and an internal retirement incentive created three librarian vacancies.

They join Media Services Librarian Rita McCormack, and all look forward to working with and serving the community!

(Photo: Mike Boedicker, Nonfiction, IT, Webmaster and Genealogy librarian)

Mike Boedicker has his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from SUNY Oswego and attended the University at Buffalo for his Master of Library Science. He was raised in Binghamton and started his library career there as a page and clerk at the Broome County Public Library.

After earning his MLS, he worked as audiovisual librarian and then assistant director at the Danville Public Library in Illinois.

Mike shares that a desire to stay in public libraries brought him to Batavia.

“After 17 years in the Midwest, my wife and I moved back to NYS for her new job (she's director of the Parma Public Library outside Rochester)," he said. "I wanted to remain in public libraries and applied to RML.”

Boedicker has several goals as he begins here at RML. He wants to learn the ropes and discover more about the community by developing a community needs assessment. He hopes to help the library address the community’s changing needs. He’s also planning a website redesign and would like to offer more technology programming.

Since he began here, Boedicker has noticed that Batavians are active users of the library and a friendly, approachable, diverse group.

“This is a special library; I could feel that from my first visit," he said. "I want to help make sure the library remains a well-used resource in the community."

Why should people visit Richmond Memorial Library? "It's a cultural hub of the community, offering great collections and services, diverse programming, and a dedicated staff that cares."

(Photo: Jennifer Potter, Youth Services librarian)

Jennifer Potter comes to Batavia from the Niagara Falls Public Library and Niagara University. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Binghamton University and received her Master of Library Science Degree at the University at Buffalo.

She has always dreamed of being a Youth Services librarian! She finds Richmond Memorial to be active and inviting. Potter says her goals are “Reaching more children, parents, and caregivers so that they know what we offer at the library and understanding what the community wants in children's and teen programs and materials.”

In her short time here, Potter has found that even though Batavia is a city, it has a warm small-town feel to it. She wants the community to know that they can start clubs and meet here. For example: homeschoolers, at-home moms, or a teen robotics group. There are guidelines to use our meeting rooms, but people can use the library for many clubs and gatherings. 

Why should people visit Richmond Memorial Library? "To get free, reliable information and to relax and read in a comfortable environment away from life's pressures -- among other reasons."

(Photo: Samantha Stryker, Community and Adult Services librarian)

A lifelong resident of Genesee County, Samantha Stryker received her Master of Library Science from the University at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Arts in English from SUNY Fredonia. She has been working at the library part-time for several years and is excited to begin a full-time position here.

Most recently she worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County and the Leadership Genesee program as an Executive Assistant.

“My past experiences helped me create a strong network in the community and learn what our challenges and opportunities are in Genesee County,” Stryker said, noting she has “big shoes to fill” (those of her predecessor Leslie DeLooze).

She hopes to use her knowledge of the community to bring new programs to the library and seek out more partnerships.

“It’s already been such a pleasure getting to know our patrons more," Stryker said. "We truly have a wonderful community in Genesee County. I always joke that we are a ‘small big town’ but it’s true -- in the sense that everyone seems to know everyone, but also that people are very friendly and truly want to do whatever possible to help our community succeed. We have a lot to be grateful for here.”  

Why should people visit Richmond Memorial Library? "Summer is a great time to visit the library! Come for the air conditioning and stay for the many resources and summer programs. We have an awesome youth services staff planning a full summer of activities and adults can participate in our Summer Reading BINGO challenge."

We had to ask: What are you all reading?

Mike: "Reporter" -- a memoir by investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh.

Jennifer: I'm reading a funny book called "The Fakir who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe" by Romain Puertolas, Barbara Eherenreich's "Bright Sided" and a funny Young Adult book called "My Lady Jane."

Samantha: I’m reading Ruth Hogan’s "The Keeper of Lost Things" for adult book discussion in July (shameless plug) and I’m also reading "Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History" -- a nonfiction book by Tori Telfer.

May 2, 2018 - 8:00am
Press release:
Richmond Memorial Library's budget vote and trustee election takes place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 3rd. Gregg McAllister is running for the board seat unopposed.
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., Batavia.
April 27, 2018 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in O'Lacy's Irish Pub, batavia, news, Richmond Memorial Library.


Kent Ewell, owner of O'Lacy's Irish Pub, and Bob Conrad, director of the Richmond Memorial Library, during a fundraising event last night at O'Lacy's in Batavia.

Patrons who arrived early enough at O'Lacy's could purchase a Guinness glass and have it personally engraved and then enjoy a pint perfectly poured by an O'Lacy's bartender.

Proceeds from the sale of the glasses benefit the Richmond Memorial Library.

This is the third year for the event and it was the largest turnout ever. Ewell said O'Lacy's sold out of glasses and that more than $1,000 was raised for the 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


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.

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