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Richmond Memorial Library

June 17, 2020 - 3:00pm

By Samantha Stryker, Adult and Community Services librarian

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy-tales again.” ― C.S. Lewis

Summer Reading Programs will begin July 1 at Richmond Memorial Library. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story,” a celebration of fairy tales, folklore, mythology, and sharing your own unique story and voice.

While this year’s program may look different in light of current restrictions, the library is excited to offer a program and reading challenge for children as well as a Summer Reading BINGO program for adults.

This year, registration for both programs may be completed online or in person at the library, located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

Children’s Program

The Children's Room at the Richmond Memorial Library is excited to continue its annual Summer Reading Program this summer from July 1 to Sept. 1.

Per tradition, the Summer Reading Challenge will continue to challenge children to read at least 15 minutes a day. Prizes will be awarded to those registered for the challenge at the end of the program in September.

Unfortunately, the library is unable to host any in-person programming. However, the Children's Room is working to provide children with alternative activities online, virtual storytimes, take & make craft kits, and more.

Registration is now open for the children’s program. Please visit the library website to register and continue to check for upcoming activities as they are available. Or phone (585) 343-9550, ext. 4.

Adult Program

Registration to begin June 26: Summer Reading BINGO for Adults returns! This year’s program will run from July 1 – Sept. 1 for patrons aged 17 and older with a valid library card.

Register online or visit the reference desk to sign up beginning June 26. Complete your BINGO board, which has challenges like “read a book with ‘magic,’ ‘story’ or ‘book’ in the title,” “read outside,” or “attend a virtual program.”

You can pick up a BINGO board at the library, located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia, or print one online with registration.

Participants can win up to five grand prize entry forms for a chance to win one of three grand prizes: a Kindle Paperwhite eReader, a Book Lover’s Basket, or a gift certificate to a local book store!

In addition, all who submit a BINGO form at the end of the program will get a participation prize, and everyone who registers will be entered for a chance to win one of five copies of our 2020 Richmond Reads selection (to be announced in July!).

Check out our website for reading suggestions or visit the library to see the display!

The library is now open regular hours for limited services, including browsing and checking out materials, limited computer use, photocopying, faxing and placing holds on materials.

Only local items may be placed on hold at this time by calling (585) 343-9550, ext. 3.

Please observe all signage and policies when you enter the library!

Information about virtual programs can be found on our website at batavialibrary.org

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.

June 1, 2020 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, reopening, Richmond Memorial Library.

Press release:

At 1 p.m. today (June 1) the Richmond Memorial Library reopened with limited services, including:

  • Browsing and circulating the library collection
  • Library account services (new cards, paying fines)
  • Placing holds on LOCAL materials only
  • Reference services
  • Faxing, photocopying
  • Limited computer access
  • Virtual library programs

Sorry, the library is NOT yet open for:

  • Sitting
  • Reading
  • Gathering
  • Playing
  • Interlibrary loans or holds
  • In-person library programs

The library has returned to its normal hours of operation for these services: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, for the safety of library staff, any library patron who is over 2 years of age must cover their nose and mouth with an appropriate mask or cloth face-covering in order to enter and remain inside of the library building.

Library patrons who are unable to medically tolerate a face-covering may request exemption or accommodation by contacting the Library Director Robert Conrad by telephone at (585)343-9550, ext. 7, or  or email:   [email protected]

Please return most materials (books, movies, music, etc.) to the drive-up or walk-up book returns located outside of the library.

Materials unsuited for book returns (e.g., board games, Playaway devices) can be returned inside of the library. Fines will be waived on items returned before June 22.

All returned items will be held in quarantine and sanitized before being shelved or circulated. Sorry, we cannot accept donated materials until further notice.

The library's 2020-21 budget was amended to require no tax levy increase. Therefore, the library budget vote previously scheduled for May 7 was cancelled.

The library's 2020 trustee election will be held on June 9 via absentee ballot conducted in conjunction with the Batavia City School District's budget vote and trustee election.

Richmond Memorial Library’s online resources remain available 24/7!

Check out Hoopla and OverDrive for audiobooks, eBooks and more! Freegal offers free music downloads and unlimited streaming of thousands of songs through September. Borrow your favorite magazines for free with RB Digital.

There is a lot to discover at batavialibrary.org where all you need is your library card!

April 21, 2020 - 12:25pm

Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library and the Books Sandwiched In Committee are pleased to announce a new online program called “Lunchtime Book Chats,” which will take place on Wednesdays in May at noon.

This program will be conducted online via Zoom and will begin on Wednesday, May 6.

When confronted with the reality that the usual spring series of "Books Sandwiched In" would not take place as usual, the committee built a new program to bring book reviews to the community. Committee members and guests will offer short reviews of fiction and nonfiction titles.

The lineup so far includes a book about Bob Dylan, a new mystery by Peter Swanson, new historical fiction and more! Participants will be encouraged to join in conversation and share what they are reading.

" 'Books Sandwiched In' is one of our hallmark programs and the value of it is really in conversation and interaction with the speakers. We want to ensure all of our patrons and speakers can participate when circumstances allow us to meet again," said Community & Adult Services Librarian Samantha Stryker. "In the meantime, we hope these 'Lunchtime Book Chats' can bring a sense of gathering and community to those who can participate."

Committee members are Richard Beatty, Sue Chiddy, Bob Knipe, Frances McNulty, Sandy Seyfried and Beth Stich.

Participants must have a Zoom account to take part in the program. Information will be emailed to registered participants the day of each session. To register, visit batavialibrary.org. There is a link to the registration form on the home page.

Any questions may be directed to Stryker at:   [email protected]

The spring "Books Sandwiched In" sessions are tentatively rescheduled for Wednesdays in September. More information to come.

Other virtual programs:

A mystery book discussion will be held online on Zoom at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 4. Stryker will lead a discussion of Agatha Christie's "The ABC Murders." The book is available as an eBook or audiobook on Hoopla! Click here to see all of the online services available to cardholders!

If you'd like to participate, email Stryker at:   [email protected]

The library is also hosting online Silent Reading Parties -- the next one will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 at 6:30 via an event on our Facebook page @RichmondMemorialLibrary to celebrate National Library Week!

April 6, 2020 - 2:39pm

From Richmond Memorial Library:

The Children's Room staff at Richmond Memorial Library is certainly missing all of the programs that bring our little ones in, so we will bring them to you!

Based on your feedback, we will post the following on our Facebook page:

Sensory Saturday -- Every Saturday we will offer a tabletop sensory experience idea for you to do at home.

Play Cafe -- Every Wednesday we will provide ideas for activities you can do in your home or yard.

Virtual Tours -- Every Monday we will share a link to see zoos, museums and more. Please feel free to share photos of you and your children enjoying the activities that we post right in the comments!

March 30, 2020 - 5:22pm
From Samantha Stryker, Community & Adult Services librarian​, Richmond Memorial Library:
"Without poetry, we lose our way." -- U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo
April is National Poetry Month! National Poetry Month was created to celebrate the importance that poets and poems have on culture. It is presented each year by poets.org, the Academy of American Poets and many partnering agencies. 

The best news? You can celebrate from home! 
  1. During the month of April, the Richmond library will share poems and feature poets and staff picks on Facebook & Instagram (https://www.facebook.com/RichmondMemorialLibrary/ or search for Richmond Memorial Library. Instagram @batavialibrary)

  2. Send us your favorite poems! We'll feature them on social media and create a reading list based on your favorites. Send them by Facebook or Instagram message or to [email protected] with the subject "favorite poem." Be sure to include your first name. 

  3. Write your own poem or take part in a poetry contest. 

  4. Learn about the U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo and the New York State Poet Alicia Ostriker.

  5. Check out "30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month at Home or Online" from the poets.org. They include many ideas, as well as links to resources for kids and lesson plans. 

  6. Send a poem to a friend or loved one. Encourage someone else by writing a poem or transcribing a favorite poem for them! Send it by mail or read it to them on the phone or by video. 

  7. Read poetry at home! Check out online resources like poets.org, poetryfoundation.org or use an app like Hoopla through the library. Hoopla has a large collection of poetry!

  8. Use the RBdigital app through the library to access magazines like The New Yorker, which includes two poems in each publication. 

  9. Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 30. "Select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others... and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem" (poets.org).

This year's National Poetry Month and Poem in Your Pocket Day might look different as we all practice social distancing, but it is a chance to be more creative and intentional in our celebration.

For information about the library, visit batavialibrary.org

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.

Editor's Note: Below is a YouTube clip of the late great poet Mary Oliver reading her poem "Wild Geese." It is one of my favorites.

March 18, 2020 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, Richmond Memorial Library.

Press release:

Below are the most recent updates from Richmond Memorial Library. We will send more information as it becomes available. 

Upon the recommendation of New York public health officials, the Richmond Memorial Library is closed to the public until further notice to minimize public interactions and the spread of this virus -- COVID-19.

Currently checked-out materials can be renewed online or by telephone, or returned to a library drop box. Due dates will be extended through May 18 via telephone renewal, and overdue fees will be waived on materials returned up to three weeks after our re-opening date, yet to be determined.

Online services are being highlighted and promoted, including streaming and downloadable services.

Other services which can be sustained while closed to the public are being considered by library administration and staff at the first available opportunity.

These measures will be updated regularly.

Thank you for helping to keep our community safe and healthy!

March 16, 2020 - 12:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, batavia, Richmond Memorial Library.

COVID-19 / Richmond Memorial Library Update March 16:

1) Cancelling all programs and outside meetings for eight weeks (through May 11).
2) Isolating materials for a minimum of nine hours/ until the next day after check in and sanitizing hard surfaces daily.
3) Toys have been put in storage to encourage shorter family visits.
4) Washing hands frequently and staying home if sick.
5) Extending checkouts for nine weeks (through May 18)

As we prioritize services, we will do our best to keep library materials available to you. Please note that interlibrary loan will be effected due to various closures within the NIOGA system.

What we ask of you:

Practice social distancing. Stay home if sick or vulnerable.

Materials may be ordered online or by phone. Use the library only for pickup, or send a healthy friend or family member with your card to get your materials.

If you are over the age of 60 you may qualify for home delivery of library materials through our library visits program.
Call 585-343-9550, option 6, for more information.

Remember, our website is open 24/7 with resources like OverDrive, Hoopla, Miss Humblebee's Academy and more!

These measures will be evaluated constantly and updated as needed.

Richmond Memorial Library
19 Ross St., Batavia | 343-9550 |  batavialibrary.org

March 12, 2020 - 1:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in 2020 U.S. Census, Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia.

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

April 1 is Census Day, and Richmond Memorial Library is taking steps to make it easier for the community to participate. 

For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau is offering and encouraging the option to complete the Census online. Beginning in mid-March, most households will receive a postcard with a code to complete the Census online, with options to complete the Census by phone or to request a paper form.

Any library user with a valid library card can use a computer at the library to securely complete the Census.

To obtain a library card, bring photo ID with proof of current address to the library. Lost your card? No problem! The library will waive the $1 replacement card fee during the months of March and April to increase access to computers.  

The library will have a dedicated phone and computer terminal for use by anyone wishing to complete the Census. Librarians can offer assistance in locating the online portal and will help patrons contact the Census Bureau by phone to complete the Census or request a paper form. 

The paper form will be available in English and Spanish.

In addition to English, Census questionnaire assistance will be available in 12 languages: Arabic, Chinese [Simplified], French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. The Census Bureau is also providing language guides in 59 non-English languages.

When you participate in the Census, you are contributing toward a more complete count for the Genesee County region.

A complete count helps the appropriate amount of federal funds to be dispersed, which includes everything from money for infrastructure to agriculture to health care to education. Congressional representation in Washington, D.C., is also determined by Census data.

“Every missed count equates to $30,000 lost in regional funding per person,” said Genesee County Complete Count Chair and County Legislator Shelley Stein. “We appreciate the initiatives by Richmond Memorial Library and other community partners to help ensure a complete count.”

Complete Count Committees have been established all over the country to help encourage full participation, and Genesee County is no exception.

"We were invited to participate in Genesee County's Complete Count Committee when it formed," said library Director Bob Conrad. "Many agencies agreed to help just by spreading the word to their users that the Census is safe, secure, and mandatory to take.

"But libraries play a dual role, actually offering the technology and assistance that some people may need to participate. When these other agencies refer people to us, we want them to be able to take the Census, and to discover what else the library has to offer, whether it's the first time they've ever set foot in one, or the first time since losing their card."

For more information about the Census, visit census.gov or stop by the library! For information about the library, visit batavialibrary.org. 

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.

Submitted photo: Library Director Bob Conrad, right, shows Genesee County Legislator and Complete Count Chair Shelley Stein the "Census station" at Richmond Memorial Library. The library has a phone and computer terminal dedicated solely for use by those wishing to complete the Census.

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

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