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Richmond Memorial Library

September 23, 2020 - 2:12pm

Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library will host author Allen Eskens for a virtual visit on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. for the 2020 Richmond Reads program. His latest book "Nothing More Dangerous" is the one selected for this year.

In light of ongoing conditions, the decision was made to move forward with the program as an online event.

Community Book Discussions are also scheduled, as well as a review contest. 

“The Richmond Reads committee wholeheartedly feels that the messages of racial equality and justice in this book are too important and timely not to share,” says Samantha Stryker Basile, Community and Adult Services librarian and Richmond Reads coordinator.

“This year’s program may look a little different but we hope to still engage in very meaningful discussions with the community and have a great experience with our author.”

Richmond Reads is a community one-book reading program, and is open to all! The title is chosen with older teens and adult readers in mind.

Author Visit:

Join Allen Eskens for a book talk and discussion at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Attend from home! The visit will be hosted over Zoom and registration is required at: http://batavialibrary.org

View at the library: Limited seats will be available at the library to view the discussion. This is intended for those who may not have access to the internet at home. Those attending will need to wear an appropriate face covering. Register at batavialibrary.org or by calling Samantha at (585) 343-9550, ext. 8.

All who register and attend the author event will be entered in a raffle to win one of three signed copies of the book! 

Community Book Discussions:

Join Librarian Samantha Stryker Basile and the Richmond Reads Committee for a discussion of the book. 

  • Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. -- Virtual Book Discussion on Zoom
  • Monday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. -- Virtual Book Discussion on Zoom
  • *Friday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m -- IN PERSON Book Discussion at the library.

*This discussion is intended for those who may not have access to the internet at home and attendance is limited. Those attending will need to wear an appropriate face covering.

Registration required for all programs. Register at: http://batavialibrary.org/richmond-reads or by calling Samantha at (585) 343-9550, ext. 8.

Review Contest

Write a review of "Nothing More Dangerous" for a chance to win a prize! Two winners will be chosen by the Richmond Reads committee to win a signed copy of "Nothing More Dangerous" and a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant. The review form and complete rules can be found at batavialibrary.org/richmond-reads or at the library. Reviews must be received by 5 p.m. Oct. 19.

About the Book

Described by Library Journal as a “powerful, unforgettable crime novel” and "a coming-of-age book to rival some of the best,” "Nothing More Dangerous" by Allen Eskens presents a timely story filled with mystery, intrigue and personal discovery.

Set in the 1970s, "Nothing More Dangerous" tells the story of 15-year-old Boady, who wants nothing more than to leave his small town of Jessup, Mo., for bigger and better things. His life changes in unexpected ways when the Elgins – a black family – move in across the street.

Boady’s fast friendship with their son, Thomas, causes him to reexamine his understanding of the world as he knows it. Racial tensions are high in his town after the sudden and ominous disappearance of Lida Poe, a black woman who kept the books at the local plastics factory.

As Boady delves into this mystery and confronts the racial injustice around him, he uncovers more than he expected about his family, his neighbors and himself.

Calling it the book he “became a writer to write,” Allen Eskens began writing "Nothing More Dangerous" in the early '90s and only recently completed it for publication in 2019. A bestselling and award winning author, "Nothing More Dangerous" is Eskens’ sixth novel. Other works include "The Life We Bury," "The Guise of Another," "The Heavens May Fall," "The Deep Dark Descending," and "The Shadows We Hide."

Eskens lives in Minnesota, where he recently retired after practicing criminal law for 25 years. 

Copies of the book are available at the library in hardcover and audio and on OverDrive as an eBook or Audiobook. The book is also available to purchase at the library for $24 courtesy of Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport.

Richmond Reads is sponsored by the Friends of Richmond Memorial Library. Contributions to the program may be directed to the Friends.

September 2, 2020 - 2:14am

Utilization of public libraries is about to take off, mirroring what happened following the Great Recession of 2007-2009 when the housing industry crashed, banks faltered and the stock market plummeted.

That’s how Bob Conrad, director of the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia, sees it, and he expressed those views and more on Monday during a departmental review for the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee.

Conrad said the peak year for public libraries in the United States and this county was 2010 as Americans responded to the economic downturn.

“And we’re in the midst of another one,” he said, noting that library services are in greater demand due to the trying times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accompanied by directors from five other Genesee County libraries and Tom Bindeman, executive director of the Nioga Library System, Conrad asked legislators to not reduce their annual financial support of these institutions.

“Please keep funding the library (at the 2019 level) and we will do what we can on our end to keep the facilities open … and maintain funding from our primary funders,” Conrad said, adding that Genesee County’s contribution amounts to about 10 percent of the what the libraries spend on materials.

Per the libraries’ written report, “County funds are earmarked for library materials only, so the money will go towards books and other resources to help children learn to read, to help people get through hard times, and to help people develop skills and find jobs.”

County Manager Matt Landers revealed that the libraries will receive $41,680 for 2020, but couldn’t guarantee that figure for 2021. The amount will depend upon budget proposals submitted by county department heads (and ultimately approved); outside agencies such as the libraries will be considered after that.

Richmond Memorial Library, by far the largest of the six Genesee County facilities, receives about half of the county funding, which is distributed according to a formula based on service population, circulation and the amount of spending on materials.

Bindeman reported that the Nioga Library System of 21 libraries in Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties is facing a 24-percent cut in funding from New York State this year and possibly more in 2021.

“We’re looking at laying off three people and I’m taking a 5-percent cut in my salary, and we’re looking at reducing services,” he said. “There are rumors it could go up to 40 percent and then we’d be looking at a merger or really going down to barebones.”

He said Nioga was able to receive $108,000 in Payroll Protection Program funds.

“If I didn’t get it, our deficit would have been over $300,000,” he said, which represents about a third of its annual budget. “So, that would have been tough.”

Libraries are open, but functioning under strict guidelines as mandated by the state. Those restrictions include no sitting, reading, gathering, playing, and no in-person library programs of more than 25 people.

Conrad said Richmond Memorial saw a big after-school crowd during a normal year, but he doesn’t expect that to continue.

“Our current safety plan allows people to come into the building and check materials out and to use an assigned computer for essential purposes only,” he said. “We’re expecting almost zero school and after-school presence. It’s going to affect our stats and our numbers, but not necessarily our circulation.”

The subject of internet access for students, especially in rural areas, also was discussed.

Kim Gibson, director of Haxton Memorial Library in Oakfield, said she and her staff are committed to “doing whatever we can” to (social distance) students so they can do their homework.

She said Oakfield-Alabama Superintendent John Fisgus suggested a partnership between the school district and the library, something that would be beneficial if O-A’s plan of 100-percent in-person learning had to be changed.

“We’re very fortunate to have a nice size library, building-wise,” Gibson said, noting that the library increased its bandwidth for Wi-Fi.

She also said that 30 percent of O-A families do not have access to the internet.

“We have access to Wi-Fi upstairs and downstairs …,” she said. “I want to be there for these kids. We have it (Wi-Fi) open 24/7 outside and I see these kids out there trying to do their homework.”

The other directors at the meeting were Diana Reding, Corfu Public Library; Josselyn Borowiec, Hollwedel Memorial Library, Pavilion; Nancy Bailey, Byron-Bergen Public Library, and Betsy Halvorsen, Woodward Memorial Library, Le Roy.

Three of the libraries – Richmond, Woodward and Corfu – are connected to (but not regulated by) school districts and receive the bulk of their funding from property taxes as voted on by the public.

The Byron-Bergen, Pavilion and Oakfield libraries are of the municipal type, with funding derived through sales and income taxes from the towns and/or villages they serve. Bailey reported that the B-B library is in the process of changing to the school district variety.

August 14, 2020 - 2:46pm

From Shannon Lyaski, Conservation Education program coordinator, Genesee County Park & Forest:

A new experience awaits visitors at the Richmond Memorial Library and at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia!

The Richmond Memorial Library is excited to provide one Storywalk for the library grounds and two Storywalks for the DeWitt Recreation Area through the NIOGA Library System.

"Storywalks" are books that have been enlarged and placed onto lawn signs to be used outdoors. They encourage young readers to read for fun while getting active and enjoying a walk!

Storywalks also help children keep reading during the summer and provide a fun alternative to storytime readings at local libraries, which are difficult to conduct while social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Storywalks set up along the quarter-mile walking track at DeWitt Recreation Area currently feature “Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur” by Cirocco Dunlap and “A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams.

The Storywalk at the Richmond Memorial Library currently features “All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold.

Each Storywalk sign at DeWitt Recreation Area has pages of one book mounted on one side, and pages of the other book mounted on the other side. Readers can walk clockwise around the walking track and read one story, then reverse direction and read the other story as they walk around counterclockwise.

These two titles will be on loan at DeWitt Recreation Area through the NIOGA Library System starting today, Aug.14th, through Monday, Sept. 6th.

After Labor Day weekend, the stories will change every two weeks and highlight seasonal events, happenings in nature, and more. An information box located on the title page sign for each story provides an author summary, a list of similar titles, and fun activities for kids.

We are excited about this opportunity for outdoor exercise and great reading for kids! Special thanks to the Richmond Memorial Library and the NIOGA Library System for making this new recreational experience possible.

For more information visit our website, or contact Shannon Lyaski at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

August 12, 2020 - 9:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gardening, flowers, Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia.


If you drive down Ross Street past the Richmond Memorial Library, you are likely to spot a full and beautiful bed of flowers along the driveway leading to the library entrance.

The flowers -- lisianthus -- are a gift of Nancy Mortellaro, who started buying and donating the plants to the library's garden four years ago. Billy Truitt has volunteered each year to plant the flowers and help tend to them.

"I think they’re gorgeous," Mortellaro said. "They look like roses. They’re gorgeous and they last a long, long, long time in a vase."

Mortellaro buys the seedlings from Aaron Harrington Byron. She also grows them at her own house and at the community garden. The plants at the community garden can be used to replace any at the library that fail to flourish. 

Truitt said he doesn't remember the flowers producing as many blooms as this season.

Lisianthus grows as an annual in the Northeast but is a perennial on the Southern Plains and Northern Mexico, where it's known as Prairie gentian or Texas bluebell.


August 5, 2020 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia.

By Samantha Stryker, Community and Adult Services librarian, Richmond Memorial Library:

What’s new at the library: Richmond Memorial Library is pleased to announce that the interlibrary loan system is once again available! Users can now place holds on items from other libraries in the NIOGA system.

To place holds, visit our online catalog at batavialibrary.org or call (585) 343-9550, ext. 3, with your card number.

Email notices are NOT currently being sent when holds are ready. You will receive a phone call if you have materials available.

The library is open regular hours for limited services, including browsing and borrowing materials, reference services, photocopying, faxing, and computer use limited to one hour session per day for essential tasks.

Also, you can make community room reservations for groups of up to 25 people wearing appropriate face coverings.

The shelves are full of new materials!

Appropriate face coverings must be worn for the entirety of your visit to the library.

Summer Reading continues for both children and adults. The programs end Sept. 1. Register at batavialibrary.org or at the library. Weekly take and make crafts and Little Scientists kits are available for children and teens – register via batavialibrary.org/calendar.

Upcoming Virtual Programs for adults -- registration is required for all virtual programsvia our website at batavialibrary.org. Attendees must have access to a computer and free Zoom account to participate.

The next series of Lunch Time Book Chats will take place at noon on Aug. 12, 19 and 26. Join Books Sandwiched In committee members and special guests for short reviews of fiction and nonfiction titles.

A few of the titles scheduled to be reviewed are: "My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton" by Stephanie Dray (historical fiction); "Highway of Tears" by Jessica McDiarmid (true crime); and "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County, New York" by Catherine Roth (local history). 

Readers will meet to discuss "The Operator" by Gretchen Berg in our next Virtual Adult Book Discussion on Monday, Aug. 10 at 7 pm. “What if you could listen in on any phone conversation in town? With great humor and insight, "The Operator" "delivers a vivid look inside the heads and hearts of a group of housewives and pokes at the absurdities of 1950s America, a simpler time that was far from simple” (publisher description). The book is available as an eBook and audiobook on Hoopla. 

The next Virtual Reel Discussions will take place on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. Watch "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" on Hoopla and join us on Zoom for a discussion! 

For questions about these and other programs, visit batavialibrary.org or call the reference desk at (585) 343-9550, ext. 3. Check us out on Facebook @richmondmemoriallibrary, on Instagram @batavialibrary and YouTube @richmondmemlibrary

July 22, 2020 - 2:36pm

By Samantha Stryker, Community and Adult Services librarian, Richmond Memorial Library:

At a small gathering last Thursday, the Richmond Reads committee and Richmond Memorial Library revealed the 2020 Richmond Reads title -- "Nothing More Dangerous," a 2019 mystery by Minnesota author Allen Eskens.

The reveal was also streamed live to the library’s YouTube page so viewers could watch from home.

The Richmond Reads committee, comprised of six community members and Community and Adult Services Librarian Samantha Stryker, met for months to find the perfect book to select.

Of the dozens of titles read this year, "Nothing More Dangerous" stood out for a number of reasons.

“It’s a mystery, which appeals to many readers,” Stryker said. “It also has strong themes of coming of age, racial justice and family that will strike a chord with those who read it.”  

"Tale for Three Counties" author Thomas Mullen described the book as "both heartwarming and hard-nosed” and “a coming-of-age page-turner that probes the dark heart of small towns and the resilient strength that keeps families together.”

The book was a “Best Crime Fiction of 2019” selection by Library Journal and a Finalist in the 2020 Minnesota Book Awards. It appeared on many lists of “best crime fiction” for 2019.

"Nothing More Dangerous" centers on 15-year-old Boady Sanden, who wants nothing more than to escape the small town of Jessup, Mo., where he lives with his widowed mother. His life changes in unexpected ways when the Elgins – a black family – move in across the street and cause Boady to reexamine his understanding of the world as he knows it.

The town has also been unsettled by the sudden and ominous disappearance of Lida Poe, a black woman who kept the books at the local plastics factory. As Boady delves into this mystery and navigates the racial tensions around him, he uncovers more than he expected about his family, his neighbors and himself.

“The small-town rural theme resonated with us; it felt like we could be reading about any small town in Genesee County,” Stryker said. “The messages are universal and especially essential now, as our nation is so divided and issues of racial inequality are at the forefront.” 

Author Allen Eskens is the bestselling author of "The Life We Bury," "The Guise of Another," "The Heavens May Fall," "The Deep Dark Descending," "The Shadows We Hide, and "Nothing More Dangerous." After practicing criminal law for 25 years, Eskens published his first book in 2014 and his work has been translated into 26 languages.  

In a short video recorded for the event, Eskens said that "Nothing More Dangerous" is “the novel I became a writer to write,” noting that he began writing it in the early '90s. Eskens worked on other projects for nearly 20 years before completing it. The video can be viewed at the library’s YouTube page here.

Richmond Memorial Library will host Eskens for an author visit at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. With the ongoing conditions regarding the COVID19 pandemic, the visit may be virtual or in person, but more announcements will be made as the date gets closer.

The library will also host book discussions in the fall, with dates and format to be announced.

A community one-book program that began in 2019, Richmond Reads is sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library.

Copies of the book in hardcopy and audio are available to check out at the library and audiobook and eBook copies are available via OverDrive. Limited copies are available to purchase for $24 at the library. Contributions to the Friends of the Library to support this and other programs are always welcome.

Richmond Memorial Library is now open regular hours for limited services, including browsing for materials, checking out materials, limited computer use, photocopying and faxing. Anyone entering the library must wear an appropriate face covering.

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.

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!

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