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August 14, 2022 - 7:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nancy Mortellaro, Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia.

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Nancy Mortellaro just loves lisianthus flowers.

She told The Batavian two years ago, "I think they’re gorgeous. They look like roses. They’re gorgeous and they last a long, long, long time in a vase."

She has been buying seeds and planting lisianthus plants in a garden bed outside tof he Richmond Memorial Library for five years. Today, she was honored by the library's Board of Directors with a plaque naming the garden in her honor.

"Nancy Mortellaro's dedication to the Batavia community has been exemplary," Board President Gregg McAllister said. "All of us as residents of this community are beneficiaries of her vision and energy through her involvement in several organizations. She particularly has been a dear friend of the library, always interested in what is going on here, and being involved and supportive."

Library Director Bob Conrad brought about some laughs with his telling of a story about the garden's popularity.

"Not to pat my own back or toot my own horn," he began, "but our new library cards with this beautiful 1895 building photographed by a local photographer, is a great new logo, I basically deserve all the awards. And instead, I got one phone call. One angry phone call saying, 'Bob, I wanted a library card with the lisianthus garden on it.'

"I'll tell you in a community of 19,000, you can't make everyone happy. The lisianthus garden seems to. Thank you, Nancy."

Mortellaro thanked all of the volunteers who have helped her over the years, and said she was honored and happy that the community has expressed so much appreciation for the garden.

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Bob Conrad unveils the garden plaque.

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Nancy Mortellaro, sitting, center, with her family, in town this weekend for a family reunion.

August 14, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

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After 30 years away -- with her husband Rick, working as a nurse in Albany -- when Anne Iannello returned to Batavia in 2017 for retirement -- she gravitated to the Richmond Memorial Library.

After all, it's a place of childhood memories.

Soon, she was drawn to the Friends of the Library and started looking for a volunteer opportunity.  She met Lucine Kauffman, head of the Library Visits program, who assured her she would love being a Library Visits volunteer.

"It's easy," Kauffman told Iannello.

"All you have to do was go out and deliver some books, chat up a little bit of conversation, check in with them," Iannello recalled Kauffman telling her. "Again, it's very easy."

A couple of Iannello's "easy" deliveries included bringing books during the pandemic to an elderly shut-in who told Iannello to come to her dining room window at the side of the house.  

"So after we went through some pricker bushes, the window finally it started to rise up slowly and out came a fishing net," she recalled. "Now, I would have someplace to put the books.  So, of course, again, I get some scratches from the pricker bushes wrapping the books in the fishnet, but once that was all set, I was like, 'hey, I can do this.'"

Another "easy" assignment was bringing some books to a woman who informed Iannello after she arrived in the woman's apartment that she needed to get her cat to the vet.

"Speaking of scratches," Ianello said at the beginning of her story, "if you know or have a cat, you know the cat's wonderful. It's the difficulty of getting them and chasing them in a small apartment and putting them in a box that's probably the worst part. She certainly let me know that. But there was a great outcome. So that was good as well."

Iannello's sense of humor and good cheer, along with her hard work and dedication, is why she was given the Friends of the Library Volunteer of the Year Award on Saturday.

"You make a difference when you volunteer," said Kathy Zipkin, president of the Friends Board of Directors. "You make life better for so many by delivering books and movies and by simply being a good listener with compassion. When you give your time to helping others, it shows your kindness, generosity, and quality, and character. I want you to know just how much your dedication to volunteering is so greatly valued by so many here at the library and beyond."

Iannello recommended the "easy" Library Visits program to anybody who wants to volunteer in the community.

"This is such a wonderful program, to reach out to these seniors in the community that are unable to come to the library, so we could bring the library to them," she said. "It's so important."

Photo: Anne Iannello and Samantha Basile, community and adult services librarian, with the plaque that now also contains Iannello's name as a volunteer of the year for 2022. Photo by Howard Owens.

August 4, 2022 - 5:06pm

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Press release:

The Richmond Memorial Library will host a Garden Dedication and Friend of the Year Reception on Saturday, August 13, beginning at 10:00 am near the garden by the Ross Street entrance. Nancy Mortellaro and Anne Iannello will be honored in separate ceremonies for their contributions to the library.

Beginning at 10 am, the Richmond Memorial Library Board of Trustees will dedicate the Lisianthus flower garden to longtime volunteer and library supporter Nancy Mortellaro.

"Nancy's dedication to the library has taken numerous forms over the decades, but most recently and most visibly she's been purchasing, planting and caring for the beautiful Lisianthus flower garden near the Ross Street entrance of our driveway, or coordinating the efforts of volunteers who plant for her,” shared Gregg McAllister, President of the library’s Board of Trustees. “The library board is grateful for her generosity and efforts, and wanted to find a way to thank her."

Immediately following the garden dedication, the Friends of the Richmond Memorial Library will host a reception in the Gallery Room to honor 2022 Friend of the Year Anne Iannello. Each year, the Friends honor a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their service to the library. Anne is a volunteer with Library Visits, a “ask Marshall” program that brings library services and materials to homebound individuals in Genesee County. She delivers materials to several patrons in addition to making quarterly phone calls to patrons as a form of connection and to check on what they need from the program.

Library Visits coordinator Lucine Kauffman suggested Anne for the award, sharing that “Anne is the kind of volunteer every program hopes for. She has brought so much to our Library Visits patrons and I’m so happy the Friends have chosen to honor her with this award.”

All are welcome to attend these ceremonies. To attend one or both of these events, RSVP by calling the library at 343-9550 x2 or stop by the circulation desk to sign up. For more information about the library or other events, visit batavialibrary.org.

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July 18, 2022 - 5:20pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Richmond Memorial Library Tweens & Teens Staff will be sponsoring a Book Drive for Children’s and Young Adult books starting this month. The book drive begins July 27th and runs through August 13th, 2022. The books can be for children or teens of all ages, must be in new or good condition, and can be dropped off and put in the purple crates in the RML Foyer anytime the library is open. 

“Books are the way into a world of imagination for young children and teens alike,” shared Teen Librarian Felicia Cecere. “We are so thrilled to be doing the book drive again this year, as it was such a success last year!” 

The Library G.I.F.T. Program (Generate Imagination in Families Today) is dedicated to making new or gently used books available to children and their families in our area, and to raising awareness of the lifelong benefits of early childhood literacy. Bright boxes and shelves of G.I.F.T. books are located at agencies and businesses in Batavia. Children can take a book from the shelf to bring home, read, and keep! Having as few as 20 books in the home has a significant impact on propelling a child to higher lifelong education levels and earnings, potentially breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty  -- and the more books you add, the greater the benefit.

“Batavia is known for being a welcoming community and the donations will truly enhance the G.I.F.T program,” said Children’s Room Assistant Ellen Brokaw. “This program extends out into the community and helps the kids have access to books at specific agencies and businesses in Batavia.”  

For information on the book drive and other library programs, visit the library website at www.batavialibrary.org, or check out our Facebook and Instagram pages!  

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St in the City of Batavia. The library is open 9 am - 9 pm Monday-Thursday and 9 am - 5 pm Friday and Saturday.

July 10, 2022 - 10:27pm

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The obstacles faced by a young black musician and untangling the mystery of who stole his priceless violin makes for a compelling story, said Samantha Basile at the reveal of the Richmond Memorial Library's summer reading selection.

"This year, we had a lot of strong contenders, but we kept coming back to one in particular," said Basile, the community and adult services librarian at the Richmond library. "So this year's title selection is a debut novel. It is part mystery part coming-of-age story. It was a Good Morning America GMA book club pick."

The selection is The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocum.

Basile said the selection committee, which has been reading review copies of multiple novels over the past year, was "drawn to the powerfully written passages about music, the element of mystery, and the no holds barred portrayal of the obstacles faced by a young black classical musician and contemporary America."

Basile played a short video from Slocum in which he described and discussed his debut novel.

"It's a story about perseverance and hard work and the power of one person believing in you and believing in yourself," Slocum said. "It's a story of Ray, who discovers that his old family fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius violin. This discovery catapults him into superstardom in the world of classical music. And right before the Tchaikovsky Competition, which is the Olympics of classical music, his violin is stolen."

And thus the mystery begins, and a determined protagonist works diligently to uncover, from among many suspects, who stole his violin so he can recover it in time for the competition.

"This story came to me in the summer of 2020 When everything was shut down for everyone," Slocum said. "As a professional violinist, I wasn't playing any concerts. I wasn't teaching any lessons. I wasn't practicing for any recitals, or performances or anything. So it really gave me an opportunity to sit down and write."

Members of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra's string section performed during the reveal and Library Visits Coordinator Lucine Kauffman read a passage from the book (see video below).

Slocum will be at Richmond library, 19 Ross St., Batavia, at 7 p.m. Oct. 7  to discuss his book and sign copies.

The Richmond Reads Committee will host additional book discussions and readings during the summer.

Copies of the book are available now to borrow at the library in regular or large print, and on the Libby app as an eBook or audiobook. Copies may be purchased at the front desk for $20, cash or check made out to the Friends of the Richmond Memorial Library.

Photos by Howard Owens

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July 5, 2022 - 5:44pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news, history.

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Press release:

Mary Todd Lincoln to visit Richmond Memorial Library

Richmond Memorial Library is pleased to host librarian Laura Keyes of Historic Voices as she portrays Mary Todd Lincoln on Saturday, July 16 at 2 pm. The program will take place in the Reading Room and is free to attend. All are welcome!

Mary Todd Lincoln lived a life filled with triumphs and tragedies but few people know her story. Now, librarian Laura Keyes shares Mary’s story in an entertaining and educational program entitled “Mrs. Lincoln in Love,” which is set on January 31st 1862, when Mrs. Lincoln and her family are settled comfortably in the Executive Mansion. Visiting with ladies during Afternoon Tea, Mrs. Lincoln reflects on the Loves of her Life – her children, her husband, and her country. She even shares some of Mr. Lincoln’s love letters to her! Learn how Mary’s knowledge of both politics and social customs made it possible for a backwoods frontier attorney to achieve the highest office in the land.

Laura Keyes graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master’s Degree in Library Studies and is Director of the Dunlap Public Library. Laura is a lifetime member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, and in 2017 won the Mary Todd Lincoln Oratory Contest at the Lincoln Days celebration in Hodgenville, KY.

For more about Laura Keyes, visit www.LauraFKeyes.com or visit her Facebook at facebook.com/HistoricVoices. Find more programs and events at Richmond Memorial Library at batavialibrary.org/calendar. Summer Reading programs for children, teens, and adults are now in full swing! Visit the library or the website for more information.

Photo via LauraFKeyes.com 

June 29, 2022 - 6:44pm
posted by Press Release in news, Richmond Memorial Library, Library Visits Program.

Press Release

Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia has received a $60,000 grant from the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging of Rochester Area Community Foundation for continued operation of the Library Visits Program (LVP).

Since 1997, The Library Visits Program (formerly SAGE) has delivered library services to Genesee County residents 60+ years old who are unable to visit the library due to long or short term illness, disability, or lack of transportation.

Through personalized visits, LVP staff and volunteers bring the library to caregivers and older adults to increase social interaction and improve their access to needed resources. Visits can include any materials that may be checked out of the library in addition to technology assistance for home computers and mobile devices.

Library Visits Program staff also deliver rotating mini-library collections to 15 elder care and senior resident facilities in Genesee County. Overall, the program serves around 500 older adults in our community.

The Rochester Area Community Foundation engages philanthropists and community partners to improve our eight-county region by promoting philanthropy that helps to create an equitable community and strengthen our region’s vitality. Since 1972, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $590 million in grants and scholarships.

For more information, visit www.racf.org.

To apply for services or volunteer for The Library Visits Program, please call Richmond Memorial Library staff at 343-9550 Ext. 6 or email [email protected]. For additional information, go to https://www.batavialibrary.org/libraryvisits

June 14, 2022 - 11:06pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

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Press release:

Dive into Summer Reading Programs for all ages at Richmond Memorial Library!

Join the Richmond Memorial Library for “Oceans of Possibilities” themed summer reading programs for all ages! Visit batavialibrary.org/calendar to see all of the upcoming events for the summer. Summer Reading Programs are sponsored by the Friends of Richmond Memorial Library.

Summer Reading Concert in the Park in partnership with the Batavia Concert Band – Wednesday, June 29 at 7 pm
Nothing says summer like a concert in the park!  Join the Richmond Memorial Library at Centennial Park (151 State Street, Batavia NY 14020) as the Batavia Concert Band pays tribute to our summer reading theme, Oceans of Possibilities. Kids will enjoy the chance to meet a little mermaid or a pirate of the Caribbean, and readers of all ages can sign up for summer reading programs. Bring your own blankets or folding chairs. In the event of rain, this program will be moved to the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College (1 College Road, Batavia NY 14020).

Children’s Summer Reading Program (June 24- August 13, ages birth- 12)
Join the Children’s Room for a Summer Reading Kick-Off on Friday, June 24 from 10 am – 4 pm! Register for the summer reading challenge and enjoy some pizza! Pizza will be served at 12 pm, 1 pm & 2 pm (while supplies last).  This year’s children’s program includes the Read & Bead reading challenge, and Family Fun Fridays (2 pm each Friday beginning July 1) with favorites like Buffalo and Brandy, Benjamin Berry and new friends as well! Other programs include Monday Story Time (10 am for babies, toddlers and preschoolers), Little Scientists on Tuesdays (3:30 pm for ages 7-12, please register), and Lunch Bunch on Thursdays (12 pm for ages six and up who enjoy a longer story!) There will also be an art club on June 15, July 20 and August 24, and many other programs! More info about all of our programs available at batavialibrary.org.

Teen Summer Reading program (June 27- August 20, ages 13—17)
Summer reading programming for teens aged 13-17 at the library includes classes by Mandy Humphrey of Art of Mandy, Yoga with Blue Pearl Yoga, and art projects with Morgan Wagner.  Teens can also participate in Summer Reading BINGO beginning June 27th.  BINGO Boards can be picked up in the Teen Corner or online through the registration link on our website.  Participants can complete challenges for entries in our weekly prizes and our grand prize.  We will also be starting our first installment of the “Laid Back Book Club”-- perfect for on-the-go teens, this program is designed for participants to read at their own pace and chat with other readers as they go.  The title for this summer is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Copies are available in the Teen Corner and on audio or as an ebook through Libby and Hoopla. Read the book to earn a BINGO square and join us for many other activities like a movie night and in-person conversations.

Adult Summer Reading Program (June 27- August 20, ages 18 and up)
Adults are invited to participate in RML’s Adult Summer Reading BINGO Challenge! Complete library and reading challenges for a chance to win weekly and grand prizes.  Participants in the adult summer reading challenge must have a valid library card in the NIOGA system to play for prizes. Register at the reference desk or at batavialibrary.org beginning June 27. Complete rules and information will be provided with registration and a sample BINGO board will be on display at the library. The three grand prizes are (1) a book lover’s basket stuffed with bookish and local goodies valued over $100 (2) a Kindle Paperwhite eReader, and (3) a $50 gift certificate to Lift Bridge Books in Brockport. Challenges range from “read a short book” to “watch a film or show about the ocean or water” to “attend a library program.” Programs planned for this summer include book discussions, the Richmond Reads title reveal, creative writing workshops, craft classes, concerts, film screenings, and even a visit from Mary Todd Lincoln! Visit the library or batavialibrary.org/calendar for more information about programs.

For information about library programs, visit batavialibrary.org, call 585-343-9550 or stop by the library at 19 Ross St, Batavia. The library is open Monday – Thursday 9 am – 9 pm and Friday and Saturday 9 am - 5 pm.

June 12, 2022 - 1:18pm

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As part of PRIDE month and GLOW OUT, the Richmond Memorial Library hosted a drag queen story hour in the children's section with drag queen Chaka Khanteven.

It was a capacity audience for the event with 35 children attending and participating in a craft event after the reading.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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June 3, 2022 - 5:57pm

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Sarah Martin is becoming a pro at talking, assembling, chopping, stirring and serving up nutritious lessons, along with a tasty edible, without missing a beat.

Martin is a SNAP-Ed nutritionist with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Her job got off to a slow start, thanks to all things COVID-19 a year ago, but then she was able to begin her monthly SNAP-Ed workshops in the fall.

“I’ll keep going as long as there’s interest,” she said during an interview Friday at her Batavia office. “The information we provide is general, healthy information. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and we use evidence-based curriculums.”

Her next workshop is set for 6 p.m. June 7 at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia.

It will focus on the My Plate concept of filling about half your plate with fruits and vegetables, about a quarter of it for protein and another quarter grains, with a small dollop of dairy. Out of everything her lessons might include, she emphasizes grains, with a goal to make at least half of your grains whole grains, she said.

"I'm going to talk about the MyPlate, so I'm going to discuss the five food groups," she said. "And just talk about kind of balancing those groups and good ways to incorporate foods from each group and why it's important to eat all five groups."

Flash Quiz: What is the best way to know that the bread you are buying is a whole-grain product?
If you think that bread labeled with the words "multi-grain," "stone-ground," "100 percent wheat," "cracked wheat," "seven-grain," or "bran" fit the bill, the buzzer just went off. These loaves of bread are usually not whole-grain products, Martin said. Look for the word "whole" in the ingredient list.

There are three parts of a grain, and eating them whole means including each component that provides fiber, iron, B vitamins and other nutrients, she said. Those foods include oats, whole wheat products and brown rice. The other types of grain foods are processed, which removes those good nutrients and fiber, such as in white breads and pastas. She has plenty of information to share just about grains alone.

“We have a whole class on it,” Martin said.

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and SNAP-Ed is a nutrition education program for those income-eligible folks that use SNAP benefits for food purchases. Grant-funded by the USDA, the program allows staff to provide nutrition education to primarily underserved communities, she said. That education might be taught at libraries, schools, clinics, and community centers while other types of work focus on policies, the environment, school wellness and fruit and vegetable "prescription" programs, she said.

“The beauty of SNAP-Ed is that with a lot of fad diets they tend to radicalize the diet,” Martin said. “What can you add to those things to really bump up the nutrition? So we're not trying to really overhaul anything, we're just trying to make sure everyone's informed, and to share discussion space on how to add nutrition to the day. For each individual group of nutrients, what are the ways you can eat those foods? So for vegetables, we go through a list of vegetables, some common foods, and list the fiber, vitamins and minerals.”

Speaking of vegetables, are beans, peas and lentils part of this food category? Actually, they can be counted in two groups: protein and vegetables, she said.

Flash Quiz: What color vegetable should you eat the most?
This is a trick question, Martin said, since varying your veggies ensures you get many different vitamins and minerals. Aim for what’s called a Rainbow Plate, she said, filled with an assortment of colors, such as carrots, broccoli and red peppers.

“A rainbow plate is full of colors, which indicate various levels of nutrients,” she said.

“Usually I'll present on a topic, but I try to make it a little more discussion. I invite everyone to chime in and ask questions. We make it a little bit of a discussion about what's your food experience? Where do you see the least foods being used or not? I try to keep it very engaging and interactive, we do sometimes bring in activities.”

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Martin demonstrated how she might lead a class and walk members through a recipe. She made a chicken salad and laid out all of the ingredients, followed by chopping the celery, onion and apple. She then mixed in a mayo-Greek yogurt combination and seasonings. At the end, participants will get a sampling of the final dish. The recipe included multiple food groups, she said, of fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy, fat, and grain with an added slice of toasted whole wheat bread.

Another part of the education is to inform people about opportunities such as farmers' market programs; places where participants can use their SNAP dollars or stretch their food dollars, she said.

Melissa Kimbrell is Cooperative Extension’s regional coordinator, and she oversees grants and statistics-related details, such as the results of surveys after a workshop. She tries to gauge if people walked away with something they didn’t know when the talk began. And, perhaps most importantly, did they intend to incorporate some new food — 100 percent whole wheat, for example — or behavior to their lifestyle.

"The beautiful thing … is about working the food demonstrations into our classes,” Kimbrell said. “Our entire website focuses on recipes that have fewer ingredients, they're not cumbersome to make; they're fairly easy and straightforward. It really tries to prioritize nutrition and follow that sort of My Plate methodology that we're talking about, as far as how to approach your plate.”

She doesn’t just talk about that concept, but often follows it by visiting the website for recipes, she said.

“I use it all the time in my personal life, because it's just a one-stop-shop for easy, low-cost recipes that I know are nourishing.,” Kimbrell said.

These talks are given in areas that have people experiencing poverty, are underserved and where at least 50 percent of children qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program, she said.

“Because we believe that nutrition education and these types of services should be available to everyone regardless of socio-economic status,” she said. “So it's the way that we sort of strategically get ourselves into the community and where we hold the classes, that sort of dictates the target audience piece of it.”

That being said, no one is removed from a workshop or is required to show any type of proof as a SNAP recipient, she said.

Some popular topics have been how to understand food labels and ingredient lists better; making swaps for recipes when one doesn’t have or like one or more of the ingredients; how to add exercise to an otherwise sedentary lifestyle; and finding the hidden sugars in the myriad of foods and beverages.

“People are consuming so much sugar and calories through what they drink. And it really throws off the balance to the nutrition for their day. So we do have content where we try to really bring awareness to sugary beverages and the role they play, and also awareness to how much sugar is in these sort of casual things that we drink that we don't necessarily think have sugar in them,” Kimbrell said. “So another big goal of ours is to reduce the sugary beverage consumption and getting people to choose water, low-fat dairy, things like that, more often.”

“The feedback that we get from people is, I've had people tell me, ‘oh, you know, I switched from chocolate milk to white milk,' after we did a lesson on sugar, or I'm drinking more water now or I'm eating my veggies. That's what makes me smile,” she said.

Kimbrell admitted that she has struggled with reducing her pop consumption in trade for more water. But she has also learned ways to eliminate those 12 teaspoons of sugar per small bottle of cola, such as drinking noncaloric flavored seltzer.

These talks aren’t about hitting someone over the head with suggestions, but about providing information and facts so that people can make an informed decision, Martin said.

“We do leave that choice up to the person,” she said. “It's to help clarify, because there is a lot of information out there and misinformation. So I think it's to clarify what the science is saying about what good nutrition looks like. It's to maybe help with a healthy way of thinking about food. So, you know, food isn't just calories. Food is something that we share with our family and our friends. It's about trying to maybe make food a little more friendly.”

No registration is required for the monthly workshops, and they are free. For more information, go to:

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Top photo: Sarah Martin, a SNAP-Ed nutritionist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, gives monthly talks that include a food demonstration the first Tuesday of each month at Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia. Sarah Martin leads her way through a recipe of chicken salad, offering tips and reminders about being sanitary, using safe knife skills, being prepared and how to substitute ingredients when needed. Her next workshop, about My Plate and the five food groups, is at 6 p.m. June 7 at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia. Photos by Joanne Beck

May 9, 2022 - 4:38pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, books, Literature, batavia, news.

Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library will welcome back author George “Rollie” Adams to discuss his new work of historical fiction, Found in Pieces. Mr. Adams, president and CEO emeritus of the Strong National Museum of Play, will be at the library for a talk and signing on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm.

Found in Pieces was recognized by the Independent Press Awards as the winner of its 2022 Award for Race Relations. Set in fictional Unionville, Arkansas, Found in Pieces unfolds during the second year of turmoil over Governor Orval Faubus’s determination to stop the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Found in Pieces, recipient of five previous national and international awards for historical and social issues fiction, explores the tension between business considerations and editorial policy in journalism during the Civil Rights Era in the South.

Copies of the book are available to check out at the library before the program & will be available for sale by the author at the event for $15 (paperback) or $20 (hardcover), cash or check.

This event is free and all are welcome. It is best suited to older teens and adults.

George Rollie Adams is a native of southern Arkansas and a former teacher with graduate degrees in history and education. His previous novel, South of Little Rock, received four independent publishers’ awards for regional and social issues. Adams has served as a writer, editor, and program director for the American Association for State and Local History and as director of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. He is president and CEO emeritus of the Strong National Museum of Play. Learn more at georgerollieadamsbooks.com

An additional press release about the Independent Press Awards honor for George Rollie Adams as well as additional background on Found In Pieces after the jump (click here read more):

May 6, 2022 - 11:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in mike randall, Mark Twain, Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

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Mark Twain was live on Thursday night at the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia.

Actually, it was Mike Randall, the senior meteorologist for WKBW, and an actor who brought Twain to life for about 80 library patrons. 

Randall has been doing his Twain act for 50 years, with his first performance being while still in college as a teenager.

Buffalo NewsMike Randall celebrates 50 years as Mark Twain

Photo by Howard Owens

May 6, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, notify.

Nearly 80 percent of Thursday’s voters approved the requested tax levy for the 2022-23 Richmond Memorial Library budget, Director Bob Conrad says.

A tax levy increase of $21,865 — the first such increase in three years — fell under the allowable tax cap at a 1.6 percent increase, he said. Voters approved the proposition for the Batavia Board of Education to increase the annual appropriation from $1,359,604 to $l,381,469 to benefit the library.

“I am pleased to announce that the Richmond Memorial Library's proposed 2022-23 tax levy increase passed with 79.9% of the vote today,” Conrad said in an email Thursday evening. “An increase of up to $61,947 would have been allowed under NY's Tax Cap legislation, but an increase of only $21,865 was sought.”

In his written message to library patrons before the vote, Board President Gregg McAllister said that several initiatives contributed to the “slight increase,” including an expanded team of professional librarians and a new full-time teen librarian, increased hours for a library assistant who focuses on the middle school population, and expanding hours in the Library Visits program.

“We hope to see you at the library to check out the programs or various resources available to our community, or use our online materials or other forms of technology,” McAllister said in the library newsletter. “”We believe the Richmond Memorial Library is a gem for our city and worthy of its reputation as a source of information and assistance, a true community hub.”

Rebecca McGee, who ran unopposed, was elected to a second term on the board of trustees.

Library tidbits …

As of June 2021, there were:

  • 18,722 active library cardholders
  • 316 programs
  • 17,523 reference questions answered
  • 104 meeting room reservations by outside groups
  • 327 people enrolled in the Summer Reading Program

Who was the most popular author for years 2020 and 2021? James Patterson, and a comparison to others was apparently “not even close.”

May 4, 2022 - 2:44pm

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Press release:

The Batavia Society of Artists' Member Spring Art Show is in the Richmond Memorial Library's Gallery Room, 19 Ross St., Batavia  till May 26th.  There are 15 artists contributing to the show.  We are showcasing Rick Ellingham as our Featured Artist in this show. There are a total of 60 pieces of art.  The Public is invited to the Free Opening Reception on Tuesday May 10th, 6:30 - 8pm.  The artwork is being Judged by Retired Middle School Art Teacher Kathy Schwank.  Winners will be announced at the opening reception.

We are also having a Silent Auction on a painting donated to the Batavia Society of Artists by Adrian Morris.  He painted this while demonstrating Acrylic Slap & Dash Landscape at our February demo.

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April 18, 2022 - 9:05pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, mews.

Press release:

Voters who reside within the Batavia City School District, and who are registered to vote with the Genesee County Board of Elections are invited to vote for the 2022 Library Budget Vote and Trustee Election on May 5, 2022 from 9 am to 9 pm at the Richmond Memorial Library.   

Items to be voted:

Public Library Budget: Proposition: Shall the Board of Education of the City School District of Batavia be authorized to raise by tax $21,865 to increase the annual appropriation from $1,359,604 to $1,381,469 for the benefit of the Richmond Memorial Library?

Trustee Election: Rebecca McGee will seek a second 3-year term on the library's Board of Directors

A link to the budget newsletter via our website:

2022-2023 Budget Newsletter & 2020-2021 Annual Report

March 30, 2022 - 1:51pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, library, batavia, news.

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Press release:

To coincide with National Library Week, April 3-9, 2022, the Richmond Memorial Library is offering a selection of new library cards featuring classic and contemporary images.  The cards also feature a new library logo, in use since earlier this year.  The new cards will be available beginning Monday, April 4.

Images on the new library cards include a striking photograph of the historic 1889 building in winter, taken by local photographer Jim Burns, and a certified “reading therapy” dog named Tillie reading a very unlikely selection.

 “We are so pleased to officially reveal the logo,” Library Director Bob Conrad said.  “It captures many facets of who we are and how we serve the community.” The logo was the culmination of a brand marketing initiative that solicited stakeholder input and community feedback, according to Conrad. The library worked with Causewave Community Partners in Rochester, an organization that assists non-profits and libraries with marketing, workplace development, board training, and more. A group of employees, trustees, and community members met for several workshops to learn about brand marketing, and then to articulate the library’s many roles and purposes in the community. After a “brand platform” was developed, graphic designer Andrew Soucier of Soucier Design created a bold new logo based on the results.

According to a “logo rationale” provided by Soucier , the “logo mark” represents several ideas. “The essence of a trusted community hub is represented by the ‘hub and spokes’ design. The mark can also been seen as an abstract book spine, with pages radiating around it, or a nod to the prominent architectural feature of the library itself: an arch. It is meant to not explicitly depict any of these, but is left open to the viewer’s interpretation.”

Viewers’ interpretations of the abstract logo have run the gamut, according to Community Outreach Librarian Samantha Basile. One patron interpreted it as “Friends, sitting together at a table.” A library volunteer found the circles reminiscent of a motif in the library Reading Room’s leaded-glass windows.  Still another saw a sunrise.

“The earthy colors of red, yellow, blue, and green … present as a grown-up version of a primary palette,” the logo rationale continues. “This retains an element of playful youth, but keeps the logo in a more usable and sophisticated color space.”  Conrad translates: “It’s kid-friendly.  It’s family-friendly.  But it still has grown-up appeal.”

Just as much consideration was given to the “word mark” portion of the logo.  “The word ‘Richmond’ is set large, based on our experience that ‘Richmond’ is what people actually call us,” Basile explains.  “Like, ‘Mom, I’m going to the Richmond.’ But ‘Batavia, NY’ is included, too, because we’re not known or recognized very far beyond Genesee County – and sometimes, we want to be, for example with our vendors, or within the library industry.”

“The logo communicates a lot, very quickly,” Conrad agrees.  “It tells you exactly who, what, and where we are, and some indication of how we try to be.  Many of the world’s most famous logos don’t do that much.”

To celebrate the new logo, the library will waive the usual $1.00 replacement fee during the month of April 2022. But be careful.  “A new card will have a new number,” Conrad warns, “So if you already have your account number memorized, or if it’s saved in all of your eBook and audio apps, then you might be better off just sticking with what you’ve got, at least until you lose it.”

How to get a library card
A first library card is free for most area residents. To qualify, be a resident of Genesee, Orleans or Niagara County OR work, own property or attend school within the borders of the Batavia City School District and provide proof thereof.  Provide a current, valid form of photo identification with your current address.  If your ID does not have your current address, bring an alternate proof of address like a recently postmarked piece of mail, a utility bill, or car insurance.

For people under 18 years of age, the patron must be able to sign their own name and have photo ID with proof of current address OR their parent or legal guardian must provide the same to establish proof of residency.

Non-residents can also obtain a card for an annual fee of $40.00 (for 12 months), or a quarterly fee of $12.00 (for 3 months).

February 25, 2022 - 1:14pm

Press release:

Batavia Community Schools, in partnership with the YWCA of Genesee County and the Richmond Memorial Library, is hosting four nights of one-hour discussions of Michelle Obama’s best-selling autobiography, BECOMING.

The program is being offered to both high school students and adults, with each session focusing on a different aspect of the book examining Obama’s personal and public life as a woman, lawyer, wife, mother, First Lady, and private citizen.

The following are the dates and times for each discussion: 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

9-12th Grade Group
3:30pm-4:30pm

Adult Group
5:15pm-6:15pm

Richmond Memorial Library - Gallery Room

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the YWCA and the Richmond Memorial Library on this program. I’m especially excited to see our community have an opportunity to study and discuss such an influential and inspiring person like Michelle Obama,” said Julia Rogers, Batavia CSD Coordinator of Community Schools

Two community members will join each session as moderators, including Millie Tomidy Pepper, Executive Director, YWCA of Genesee County; Julia Rogers, Batavia CSD Coordinator of Community Schools; Felicia Cecere, Teen Services Librarian at the Richmond Memorial Library; Alayna Tatarka and Lindsey Reed from the YWCA; Shevonne Wroten from ESL; Yasmeen Hunter from the US Postal Service; Sarah Sanchez-Anderson from Navient; and Tracy Lin, a recent UB graduate. 

“I'm excited to be working in partnership with Julia from Batavia Community Schools and Felicia from the Richmond Memorial Library to bring this in-depth book review opportunity to both youth and adults in our community,” said Millie Tomidy Pepper, Executive Director, YWCA of Genesee County. “It is important to highlight this book for a multitude of reasons. It addresses her oppression as a woman of color but more importantly her ability and determination to rise above it and succeed at the highest level.” 

Refreshments will be served. There are limited spots available for each session. Attendees are encouraged to register here: https://rb.gy/kbnflm

Participants can pick up the book in advance at the Richmond Memorial Library in hardcover, larger print, ebook, or audiobook. 

Covid protocols will be in effect for these events as well as social distancing. 

January 27, 2022 - 7:42pm
posted by Olivia Bailey in Event, community, Richmond Memorial Library.
Event Date and Time: 
February 2, 2022 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Press Release:

Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. On Wednesday, February 2nd at 6:00 p.m., we will be showing the 1954 version of “Sabrina”.
Chauffeur's daughter Sabrina returns home from two years in Paris and immediately catches the attention of David, one of her father's rich employers. David woos and wins Sabrina, however their romance is threatened by David's older brother. For more information, call the library at 343-9550 or log onto www.batavialibrary.org.

January 21, 2022 - 11:57am
posted by Samantha Stryker in Richmond Memorial Library.
Event Date and Time: 
February 9, 2022 - 9:00am
Join us to discuss The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline on Monday, Feb 7 at 6:30 pm and Wednesday, Feb 9 at 9 am. The only requirement to attend is to read the book! Copies available to borrow at the library. 
January 21, 2022 - 11:56am
posted by Samantha Stryker in Richmond Memorial Library.
Event Date and Time: 
February 7, 2022 - 6:30pm
Join us to discuss The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline on Monday, Feb 7 at 6:30 pm and Wednesday, Feb 9 at 9 am. The only requirement to attend is to read the book! Copies available to borrow at the library. 
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