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Richmond Memorial Library

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.

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

From the story by Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub:

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

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

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


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

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

Story and photos courtesy Orleans Hub.


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

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

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

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


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

Photo courtesy Adam Tabelski.

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


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

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





October 3, 2016 - 4:05pm

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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