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Richmond Memorial Library

Musician and educator Haley Moore to present lecture, play at GCC

By Press Release
Sep 13, 2023, 3:18pm

Press Release: 

Photo of Haley Moore courtesy of GCC.

Thursday, September 28, in the Stuart Steiner Theatre from 6 - 7 p.m. Musician and Educator Haley Moore will present a lecture and play Appalachian music from the 1920s. The presentation and performance are based on Jeannette Walls novel "Hang the Moon." 

Listen to music that was popular during the time and hear all about the story of an indomitable young woman in prohibition-era Virginia. The presentation will be both educational and entertaining and is free and open to the public.

Richmond Reads is a community one-book program designed for the Richmond Memorial Library community. Each year, a committee selects a book and builds programs around the selection, culminating with a visit from the author. The 2023 selection is "Hang the Moon," the latest publication from New York Times bestselling author Jeannette Walls. This year's events include historical programs, book discussions, a film screening, and more. 

The library is excited to partner with Genesee Community College and Batavia High School as they incorporate "Hang the Moon" into their curriculum and participate in a student book review contest. Richmond Reads is generously sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library. 

To learn more about attending events or supporting the Richmond Reads program, visit the library or Live Stream link: For more information please contact: Kathleen Klaiber at [email protected].

Bartender Challenge Fundraiser Kicks Off Richmond Reads events

By Press Release
Sep 5, 2023, 8:00pm
Submitted photo of Richmond Memorial Library Director Beth Paine (left) and Board of Trustees President Jessica Ecock Rotondo (right), they will face off against each other in a Battle of the Library Celebrity Bartenders fundraiser at GO-Art! on Friday, September 8.

Press Release:

The 2023 Richmond Reads program will be in full swing in September, with events and programs to celebrate the 2023 selection, Hang The Moon by Jeannette Walls. Richmond Reads is a community one-book program designed for the Richmond Memorial Library’s community of readers.

Jeannette Walls will visit Richmond Memorial Library on Tuesday, October 10 at 7 p.m. for a talk and book signing. Published in March of 2023, Hang the Moon was an instant New York Times Bestseller. The book centers around Sallie Kincaid, a young woman who inherits a bootlegging empire in prohibition-era Virginia. Registration is full for the event, but those interested may be added to the waitlist and may opt to view a live stream of the event from another space in the library. For more information on this Speaker please visit

The Richmond Reads committee has planned a full slate of events! This year’s program also features a partnership with Batavia High School and Genesee Community College for events geared toward their students.

Richmond Reads Schedule of Events: 

Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.: Battle of the Library Celebrity Bartenders at Go-Art! Library Director Beth Paine will face off against Board of Trustees President Jessica Ecock Rotondo to see who can earn the most tips! The event will include snacks, a cash bar, a basket raffle, and 50/50. All proceeds will go to The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library in support of Richmond Reads. Basket tickets are also available to purchase at the library until 5 p.m. on September 8.

Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.: Rolling Out the Barrels- A Look at Prohibition Historian Lynne Belluscio will present about the local history of prohibition. This event will take place in the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library. No registration is required.

Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.: Richmond Reads Reel Discussions Join us as we screen the 2017 film The Glass Castle, based on the memoir of the same name by Jeannette Walls with a discussion to follow. This event will take place at Richmond Memorial
Library in the Gallery Room. No registration is required.

Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.: Music of Appalachia with Haley Moore at GCC Fiddler Haley Moore of the Eastman Community Music School will lecture and perform music from the time of Hang the Moon. Sponsored by GCC’s Inclusive Excellence Committee and the GCC Library. Free to attend and all are welcome. This event will take place in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College.

Monday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 9:30 a.m.: Community Book Discussions The only requirement to attend is to read Hang the Moon. These discussions will take place in the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library. Book Review Contest- Opens Friday, September 1. Write a review of Hang the Moon for a chance to win a dinner with the author on October 10! All rules and information available beginning September 1. The contest closes on Saturday, September 30 at 5 p.m. Visit the library or for all information and link to the review form.

For all information about the book, author, and events, please visit the library or Richmond Reads is made possible by the generosity of The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library.

Richmond Memorial Library announces Books Sandwiched review series in September

By Press Release
Sep 5, 2023, 7:55pm

Press Release:

Photo of author Will Bardenwerper courtesy of

Richmond Memorial Library will host the Fall 2023 Series of Books Sandwiched In on Wednesdays in September from 12:10 p.m. - 1 p.m. Rounding out its 42nd year, this program invites speakers to present reviews of books, often non-fiction, and features coffee, cookies, and door prizes. Each session will feature a door prize of a gift certificate to a local lunch spot.

This fall’s session brings a little something special – author Will Bardenwerper will present about his own book, The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein and the Twelve Americans Who Guarded Him, published by Scribner in 2017. Described by BookPage as  “a behind-the-scenes look at history that's nearly impossible to put down...a mesmerizing glimpse into the final moments of a brutal tyrant's life," The Prisoner in His Palace takes readers inside the last days of Saddam Hussein. A journalist who has contributed to The New York Times and The Washington Post, Bardenwerper is also a veteran of the United States Army, having quit his job in finance after 9/11 to enlist. Bardenwerper’s latest venture, a book for Doubleday exploring small-town baseball and community, has recently brought him to Batavia.

September’s Books Sandwiched In Line-up: 

  • Wednesday, September 6 at 12:10 p.m.: RML Library Visits Coordinator Lucine Kauffman reviews: The Book of Charlie Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man by David von Drehle, published in 2023.
  • Wednesday, September 13 at 12:10 p.m.: Holland Land Office Museum Director Ryan Duffy reviews: The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America by Karen Abbott, published in 2019 (this is a special tie-in with Richmond Reads!).
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 12:10 p.m.: Author Will Bardenwerper reviews his book The Prisoner In His Palace: Saddam Hussein and the Twelve Americans Who Guarded Him, published in 2017 (feat. a giveaway of a copy of the book). Copies of the book will also be for sale for $20 and can be signed by the author.
  • Wednesday, September 27 at 12:10 p.m.: Dr. Brenda McQuillan, Associate Professor of Social Work and the MSW Program Director at Roberts Wesleyan University reviews: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, published in 2014 (feat. a giveaway of a copy of the book).

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. For information about all upcoming programs, visit the library or website at

Local author to discuss fantasy series at RML

By Press Release
Aug 8, 2023, 6:11pm

Press Release:

Submitted photo of
Tony Johnson

Join Batavian Tony Johnson on Saturday, August 12 at 10 a.m. in the Reading Room at Richmond Memorial Library for a book talk and signing. 

Tony will discuss his epic fantasy series, "The Story of Evil." The event will include a talk, Q&A, and book signing. There will be book giveaways, cookies made by Simply Scrumptious, customized bookmarks, and more!

Books in the series include "Heroes of the Siege," "Escape from Celestial," "Three Visions," "The Cursed King," and "Battle for the Kingdom." Tony published the first volume in the series in 2013.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase and will also be available to check out from Richmond Memorial Library.

Tony Johnson is the author of "The Story of Evil," a five-part epic fantasy saga. Tony is an avid reader who enjoys fantasy, classics, and Christian literature. He is a fan of movies, video games, and football, and loves being a husband and father. 

This event is free to attend and all are welcome. 

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St., Batavia. For more information about the library, visit

Guitar duo delivers 'transitional' musical evening

By Joanne Beck
Jul 26, 2023, 7:55am
Tom Torrisi and Ken Luk
Tom Torrisi, left, and Ken Luk, entertain a full room at Richmond Memorial Library Tuesday evening during their guitar concert in Batavia. Janus Guitar Duo was formed in 2015 by Tom Torrisi and Ken Luk while they were both doctoral students at the Eastman School of Music. Their name is inspired by the Roman god Janus: god of gates, doors, and transitions, whose two faces look simultaneously into the past and the future, according to their website material. Likewise, as musicians they look to music of the past, present, and future to create diverse and exciting concert programs, keeping audiences engaged with each stylistic turn. 
Photo by Joanne Beck.
Guitar duo with crowd
Janus Guitar Duo drew many listeners to Richmond Memorial Library Tuesday for a free soothing musical concert. 
Photo by Joanne Beck.


Summer reading programs begin at Richmond Library

By Press Release
Jun 27, 2023, 9:46pm

Press Release:

Join the Richmond Memorial Library for summer reading programs for all ages with the theme of “All Together Now”! Visit to see all of the upcoming events for the summer. Summer Reading Programs are sponsored by the Friends of Richmond Memorial Library.

Children’s Summer Reading Program (June 26 - August 4, ages birth - 12)

This year’s children’s program includes:

  • The Read & Bead reading challenge.
  • Family Fun Fridays at 2 p.m. (beginning June 30).
  • Monday Story Time at 10 a.m. for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. 
  • Music and Movement on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for ages 0 - 4 (please register in advance). 
  • Summer Play Café on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. 
  • Lunch Bunch on Thursdays at 12 p.m. for ages 6 and up who enjoy a longer story.
  • NEW! Agriculture Wednesdays at 3 p.m., Celina Bartz from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will be here to teach us something about agriculture. 

More info about all of our programs is available at

Teen Summer Reading program (June 26 - August 19, ages 13 - 17) 

Summer reading programming for teens aged 13-17 at the library includes:

  • Classes by Mandy Humphrey of Art of Mandy
  • Tween Walk & Talk
  • Resin Summer Camp
  • Craft Classes
  • And more! 

Sign up online or in the Teen Corner for Teen Summer Reading BINGO – complete 25 challenges like “Watch a documentary” or “Read a funny book” for a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize!

Adult Summer Reading Program (June 26 - August 19, ages 18 and up)

Adults are invited to participate in RML’s Adult Summer Reading BINGO Challenge! Complete library and reading challenges for a chance to win weekly and grand prizes. Participants in the adult summer reading challenge must have a valid library card in the NIOGA system to play for prizes. Register at the reference desk or at beginning June 26. Complete rules and information will be provided with registration and a sample BINGO board will be on display at the library. 

The three grand prizes are:

  1. A book lover’s basket stuffed with bookish goodies valued over $100
  2. A Kindle Paperwhite eReader
  3. A $50 gift certificate to Lift Bridge Books in Brockport. 

Weekly prizes include gift certificates from local businesses! 

Challenges range from “read a book about friendship” to “watch a film adapted from a book or play” to “attend a library program.” Programs planned for this summer include book discussions, the Richmond Reads title reveal, craft classes, bookish trivia, concerts, film screenings, an author visit and more! Visit the library or for more information about programs.

For information about library programs, visit, call 585-343-9550, or stop by the library at 19 Ross St, Batavia. The library is open Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Summer Reading is sponsored by the Friends of Richmond Memorial Library.

History by the Hearth celebrates black Batavians

By Press Release
Jun 1, 2023, 7:36pm

Press Release:

Richmond Memorial Library will host its Spring program of History by the Hearth on Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m. 

City Historian Larry Barnes will share his research as presented in a new monograph:  "Black Batavians: Who they are, their local history, and aspects of our larger culture that have especially shaped their experiences."

Deborah Wood, Special Collections Librarian at Richmond Memorial Library, will finish the evening with Within the Collective Memory: Why now? And a sneak peek at the exhibit Juneteenth: A Day of Celebration, on display June 15-21.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. Find the library online at

Photos: Classical guitarist Peter Fletcher performs at the Richmond Memorial Library

By Howard B. Owens
May 7, 2023, 2:54pm
Peter Fletcher

Classical guitarist Peter Fletcher performed an afternoon concert at the Richmond Memorial Library on Saturday.

Fletcher has been recording and performing classical guitar music for more than 40 years. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.  He has studied with David Leisner, David Russell, Oscar Ghiglia and Pepe Romero. He has performed recitals throughout the U.S., including two recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York.  He's also made numerous appearances on radio and television. 

He currently resides in Detroit and New York City.

His CD releases include The Art of Classical Guitar, A Peter Fletcher Recital and Federico Mompou: Guitar Works. In 2005, Centaur Records released Peter Fletcher plays Erik Satie.  Peter Fletcher Plays Baroque Music for Guitar was released in 2008 on the Tower Hill Recordings label.   His current release is 

For more information about Fletcher, click here.

Photos by Howard Owens.

Peter Fletcher
Peter Fletcher
Peter Fletcher
Peter Fletcher

New director praises Richmond Memorial Library, sees it as a community center where all are welcome

By Howard B. Owens
May 7, 2023, 2:46pm
Beth Paine
Beth Paine, the new director of the Richmond Memorial Library, during a meet and greet at the library on Saturday.
Photo by Howard Owens.

The Richmond Memorial Library is a community center, and so a place where everybody should find a fun and friendly place to visit, said Beth Paine, the library's new director.

Paine started her job in February but has been busy the past several months getting settled into the job. On Saturday, community members were invited to the library to meet her and socialize.

"No one should ever feel they are not welcome here," Paine said. "We're a happy place. So much is going on in a world that is depressing and upsetting, and here we're happy, and we love our patrons, and we're an open source for any kind of information."

The previous director, Bob Conrad, took a new job downstate, and after an extensive search, New York native Paine was selected by the library board. 

Paine has held the director's position at three other libraries in New York -- Sydney, Watkins Glen, and Prattsburg.

She said she's impressed with the Richmond Memorial Library and its staff.

"The programming here is amazing," Paine said. "The staff is very good with the patrons."

There are a few things she would like to upgrade, she said.

"We're looking at getting more Wi-Fi access points and adding in a little bit of more security, and expanding the collections in certain areas that have been not used as much," Paine said. "Right now, there's really not a whole lot to improve. It's a great library, I'm really excited to be here."

She said she has an open-door policy for patrons and wants to hear from them when they have suggestions or issues to discuss.

Now that she's settled in, she plans to be out in the community more.  She is going to a Batavia Rotary Club meeting soon to make a presentation, and she also plans to start volunteering at the animal shelter.

"That's what I've done for many years," Paine said. "I volunteered at the Yates County shelter when I lived in Penn Yan, and then when I moved to Delaware County, I volunteered at the one there, and so now that I'm here, I plan on offering my dog walking services. That's usually what I do."

Previously: New director invites you to 'stop by and say hi' at RML

GCC student Brittny Benjamin to receive Virginia Carr Mumford scholarship May 9

By Press Release
May 5, 2023, 8:25am

Press Release:

The Batavia Society of Artists is having its Spring Art Show at Richmond Memorial Library's Gallery Room, 19 Ross St., for the month of May.  

The FREE Opening Reception with light refreshments will be Tuesday, May 9 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Judge for the show is artist Lori Longhany.  

At 7 p.m. we will be presenting the Virginia Carr Mumford Art Scholarship to GCC student Brittny Benjamin. Brittny will also have her artwork on display.  

This event is open to the Public and everyone is invited!

Richmond Memorial Library’s annual trustee election is May 4

By Press Release
Apr 27, 2023, 10:13am

Press Release:

Richmond Memorial Library’s Annual Trustee Election will be held in the Library’s Gallery Room on Thursday, May 4  from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Any registered voter residing in the Batavia City School District is eligible to vote. There will only be a Trustee Election this year (not a Budget Vote), since an increase in the library budget is not being requested.

Mr. Richard Beatty is the sole candidate running unopposed for the seat. The term is for 3 years and runs from July 2023 through June 2026. Richard was born and raised on the west coast of Florida before setting off on a life and career path that eventually brought him to Batavia. Since the summer of 2000, Richard and RaeAnn Engler have called Summit Street home. Richard is active in the community volunteering for the Holland Land Company, the Batavia Community Garden, GO ART! and as a member of the Books Sandwiched In committee. He has been a docent at Buffalo’s Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, the Darwin Martin House since 2004. Most every morning of the week you will find him at Pub Hub Coffee sorting out the world’s troubles with whomever may be there.

New director invites you to 'stop by and say hi' at RML

By Joanne Beck
Apr 8, 2023, 8:05am


It seems as though Beth Paine, Richmond Memorial Library’s new director, slipped into her new role quietly more than a month ago, with little fanfare or public notice.

Paine replaces former director Bob Conrad, who led Batavia's library for nearly eight years and resigned in September to accept a position in Westchester County. The library’s Board of Trustees was excited to introduce Paine, Board President Gregg McAllister said in the recent newsletter.

“Beth has an extensive background in public and school library experience. She was most recently director of the public library in Sidney, near Binghamton. Her commitment to excellence and creative library programming will be an asset to our community,” McAllister said. “You may already have seen Beth walking her two dogs here in Batavia, where she plans to be an active resident. If you have not met Beth yet, please stop in and introduce yourself.”

One of her favorite sayings is from Albert Einstein: “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library,” and, as someone who has moved many times, it is more than a quote on a wall.

“This quote really has a special meaning for me. I have moved more than a few times, including moving from my hometown of Bloomfield, NY to Oswego for college, living in Rochester for two years after receiving my degree, on to Canandaigua, then Penn Yan, and then down to Sidney, NY in the Catskills region,” she said in a message from the director. “And with each new place where I have resided, one of the first things I would locate was the library. The library was always my happy place, the place where I knew I could relax and let my worries slip away. It was the place of amazing stories, knowledgeable people, and endless forms of entertainment.

“My first, and probably best, memory of the library was going with my mother to our small public library in Bloomfield. To walk into that sanctuary of books and records brought a calm to my young mind that I experienced nowhere else. I will forever be grateful to my mother for introducing me to that wonderful place,” she said. “And though it took me 43 years to realize that being a librarian was my true calling, I still get the same feeling of calm every time I walk into the building. And Richmond Library is my new happy place!”

Paine walked right into budget season, with the library vote set for May 4. She also took some time to sit down and chat with one of her employees, Lucine Kauffman, who has the Genesee Life program on WBTA and works at 19 Ross St., the Batavia library.

Favorite author? Jane Austen. First job? As a candy girl in a movie theater. Extracurriculars? Pets, volunteering at animal shelters. Your definition of a public library?

“Community Center. I mean, we do have kind of our hands in everything. We kind of, we’re trying to connect resources to people, you know, especially when it comes to a low-income area where people don't have Wi-Fi, people don't have their own computers, with our library visits,” she said. “I was really impressed with that when I came in for my budget.”

She has been adjusting to life in Batavia, with her two dogs and two cats, and is surprised that there are “a lot more restaurants and shops than I expected,” she said.

“And so my children think it's really funny when, before I actually started on the 22nd, I had moved in on the 19th of February. And one of my first days, I actually was driving around to find things. And I messaged my kids: I'm so excited, I'm eight minutes from Target. So I was very excited about that,” she said during the show.

She had last worked at a library in Sidney for four and a half years and wasn’t even looking for another job. “I loved my job,” she said, but a friend knew she wanted to move back to Rochester “to be near my family,” and the friend sent her the job posting for Richmond library.

And here she is.

“Though I did not actually experience the happenings at the Richmond Memorial Library in 2022, as I only arrived in late February, I did compile the 2022 Annual Report for NY State and have a good cache of knowledge regarding much of what occurred during the past year,” she said in the director’s message. “While the effects of the pandemic can still be seen in the fact that the library’s attendance still has not reached pre-COVID levels, there was an increase of about 30 percent in visitors to the library from 2021 to 2022. There was also a large increase in the number of items checked out, including all genres and formats. Programming has continued to show a huge uptick in attendance, 17 times what we had in 2021!”

She also noted that the Richmond Reads program had the highest attendance for adult programs, and Santa’s in-person visit in December was by far the best-attended Children’s program of 2022.

“Working diligently on the library budget with the Board of Trustees, we had many discussions regarding rising costs, not just for the library, but for our patrons, as well. With this in mind, the Board voted that the library would not raise the tax levy for the 2023-2024 fiscal year,” she said.

She and the trustees, per the library budget letter, opted to “hold steady at $1,381,469.” The board hired Paine for a yearly salary of $83,000 per board minutes.

“Though the pandemic still has some lingering negative effects on our library usage statistics, we are coming back strong, and I am so thrilled to be a part of this new chapter at the Richmond Library,” she said. “I have already come to love the library, and I am constantly impressed by the knowledgeable and motivated staff that I have the privilege to work with every day. And now that I’m caught up on learning the ins and outs of the library, you’ll see me out of my office more, so please feel free to stop me and say hi!”

Photo of Beth Paine from her online social media. 

Vote coming up for Richmond Memorial Library $1.4 million budget, trustees

By Press Release
Apr 7, 2023, 8:13pm


Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library Announces 2023 Public Hearing, Voter Registration and Trustee Election

Richmond Memorial Library Trustee Position
Any qualified voter of the City School District of Batavia and a resident of the City School District for at least 1 year immediately preceding the date of the election (May 4, 2023) can run for the Richmond Memorial Library Board of Trustees seat being vacated by Trustee Gregg McAllister.  It is for a 3 year term which starts July 1, 2023.  Petitions for the position can be picked up at the Library circulation desk.  At least twenty-five (25) signatures are required from qualified voters of the School District.  The petition must be turned in at the circulation desk between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm on or before April 4, 2023.  

Public Hearing April 10
A Public Hearing on the 2023-24 Richmond Memorial Library Budget will be held in the Richmond Memorial Library Gallery Room on Monday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m.  Future plans for the Library will be presented along with the 2023-24 budget.  There will not be a Budget Vote (only a Trustee Election) this year since an increase is not being requested.  The proposed budget will remain the same at $1,381,469.  The regular monthly meeting of the library board of trustees for April will take place immediately following the public hearing. 

RML Voter Registration Day April 11
Any person qualified to vote who is not currently registered under permanent personal registration in the election district in which he or she resides, or who has moved to another residence within that district following the date of such registration, or who has not voted at a general election at least once in the last four successive calendar years, should, in order to be entitled to vote, present himself or herself personally for the registration or otherwise register at the Genesee County Board of Elections.  Voter Registration will be held at Richmond Memorial Library on April 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. 

Richmond Memorial Library Trustee Election May 4
Richmond Memorial Library’s Annual Trustee Election will be held in the Library’s Gallery Room on Thursday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.   Any registered voter residing in the Batavia City School District is eligible to vote.  There will only be a Trustee Election this year (not a Budget Vote), since an increase in the library budget is not being requested.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. For more about the library, visit

Photo: File photo.

Books Sandwiched In Spring 2023 Series Debuts in April at RML

By Press Release
Mar 28, 2023, 7:48pm


Press Release:

Richmond Memorial Library invites you to attend the 2023 Spring Series of Books Sandwiched In!

Now in its 42nd year, this program is a familiar favorite for many RML patrons and new attendees are always welcome. Guest speakers will share book reviews, generally of non-fiction titles. This series will also include fiction and non-fiction reviews from the Books Sandwiched In Committee.

“We’ve got a wide variety of titles to hear about this series,” shares program coordinator and Community Adult Services Librarian Samantha Basile. “We’ve got bestsellers, timely reads and some titles that people may not be familiar with but will find really interesting. Both 'The Last Slave Ship' and 'The Escape Artist' are newer and share very important forgotten histories. 'Braiding Sweetgrass' has been on the NYT Paperback Non-Fiction list for 153 weeks now and was first published in 2013, so it is also really interesting to hear how these books stay relevant and their messages continue to resonate with readers.”

Sessions will take place at the library on Wednesdays in April from 12:10 – 1 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and enter for a chance to win a door prize at each program! Each session will feature a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to a local lunch spot. Attendees do not need to read the books prior to the program and copies of the chosen titles will be available for checkout. Each session will also be recorded and will be available to view on the library’s YouTube page .

Wednesday, April 5, 12:10 – 1 p.m.: Meet the Books Sandwiched In Committee as they share short fiction and non-fiction reviews! Committee members include Stacey Anderson, Richard Beatty, Christina Mortellaro Frank, Cathy Uhly and program coordinator Samantha Basile. Titles to be discussed include "Louise Blanchard Bethune: Every Woman Her Own Architect" by Kelly Hayes McAlonie, "The Librarian Spy" by Madeline Martin, "Chasing the Boogeyman" by Richard Chizmar, "Of Women and Salt" by Gabriela Garcia and "How to Sell a Haunted House" by Grady Hendrix.

Wednesday, April 12, 12:10 - 1 p.m.: Retired attorney and community volunteer Julia Garver reviews "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom," "Scientific Knowledge" and the "Teachings of Plants" by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013)

“In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, Robin Wall Kimmerer circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.” (from publisher summary)

Wednesday, April 19, 12:10 – 1 p.m.: Retired history teacher and community volunteer Ron Chrzanowski reviews: "The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World" by Jonathan Freedland (2022)

“In April 1944, Rudolf Vrba became one of the very first Jews to break out of Auschwitz and make his way to freedom--one of only a tiny handful who ever pulled off that near-impossible feat. He did it to reveal the truth of the death camp to the world -and to warn the last Jews of Europe what fate awaited them at the end of the railway line. Against all odds, he and his fellow escapee, Fred Wetzler, climbed mountains, crossed rivers and narrowly missed German bullets until they had smuggled out the first full account of Auschwitz the world had ever seen.” (from publisher summary)

Wednesday, April 26, 12:10 - 1 p.m.: Rev. Dr. Roula Alkhouri and Rev. Dr. Shiela McCullough review: "The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning" by Ben Raines

“The complex history behind the recent discovery of the last known slave ship to convey Africans to the U.S. before the Civil War. In 2019, environmental journalist Raines, who lives in Alabama, helped unearth from the muddy delta outside Mobile the sunken remains of the schooner Clotilda, which made its infamous run to the west coast of Africa in July 1860 and returned carrying 110 slaves…A highly readable, elucidating narrative that investigates all the layers of a traumatic history.” (from Kirkus starred review)

Books Sandwiched In is generously sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library. Support of the Friends is always welcomed through donations and memberships! Visit the library to learn more. Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia. For more information about the library and its programs, visit

Submitted Photo.

Chromebooks now available for checkout at Richmond Memorial Library

By Press Release
Mar 3, 2023, 7:30am

Press release:

The Richmond Memorial Library is pleased to offer HP Chromebooks, which will be available for patrons to check out beginning this week.

The Chromebooks were received through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Grant as part of the FCC American Rescue Plan Act. The Chromebooks can be checked out for a period of three weeks with a valid NIOGA library card in good standing. They include a power cord and all instructions.

The NIOGA Library System includes public libraries in Niagara, Orleans and Genesee Counties. Chromebooks can only be checked out at the Richmond Memorial Library and must also be returned to the Richmond Memorial Library. 

The Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St in the City of Batavia. Find us online at

Author to discuss 'Riding Jane Crow' Saturday at Richmond Library

By Press Release
Feb 27, 2023, 6:38pm


Press Release:

Richmond Memorial Library will host an author and book talk on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Reading Room. Dr. Miriam Thaggert will present her 2022 book, "Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad."

About the book: As Jim Crow laws became more prevalent and forced black Americans to "ride Jim Crow" on the rails, the train compartment became a contested space of leisure and work. Riding Jane Crow examines four instances of black female railroad travel: the travel narratives of black female intellectuals such as Anna Julia Cooper and Mary Church Terrell; black middle-class women who sued to ride in first class and ladies’ cars and black women railroad food vendors; and black maids on Pullman trains.

Thaggert argues that the railroad represented a technological advancement that was entwined with African American attempts to secure social progress. Black women's experiences on or near the railroad illustrate how American technological progress has often meant their ejection or displacement; thus, it is the Black woman who most fully measures the success of American freedom and privilege, or "progress," through her travel experiences.

About the presenter: Professor Miriam Thaggert is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Buffalo. She is the author of "Riding Jane Crow and Images of Black Modernism: Verbal and Visual Strategies of the Harlem Renaissance." She also co-edited two volumes, A History of the Harlem Renaissance and African American Literature in Transition, 1920-30, both published by Cambridge University Press. For more information, visit

Copies are available to borrow through the library and a limited number of copies will be for sale at the event. Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St., Batavia. For more about the library, visit or call 585-343-9550.

Submitted Photo of Miriam Thaggert.

Richmond and DAR present President's Day program

By Press Release
Feb 13, 2023, 1:06pm

Press release:

The  2022-2023  Richmond Memorial Library "History by the Hearth" Lecture series continues on Thursday, February 16th at 7:00 pm in the Reading Room with a presentation on "The President's Lady, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington."

This lecture in the series is a Presidents Day collaboration between the Richmond Memorial Library and the Anna Ingasbe Lovell Chapter NSDAR.   Special Collections Librarian, Deborah Wood will be presenting on the life of this fascinating first "First Lady" of the United States of America.  Chapter Constitution Committee Chair, Robin Laney Ettinger, will discuss Mrs. Washington's activities to support General Washington during the American Revolution.  Librarian Wood has planned several lectures for the year 2023 as well as special events in which the local DAR will collaborate and support the library's efforts to bring unique history programs to the area.  The library will have a presidential book display and has a large collection of books about the U.S. presidency for check out. For more information on the lecture series, please call Deborah Wood at (585) 343-9550.

Richmond hosting pair of virtual educational events

By Press Release
Feb 10, 2023, 1:19pm

Press release:

Attend a library program- from home! To register for either of these programs, visit

Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. on Zoom: James Herriot- The Simple Life of the World’s Most Famous Veterinarian
Join Anglophile and former UK resident Claire Evans as she recounts the life and times of Alf Wight, an unassuming country veterinarian who practiced for 50 years in one of England’s most beautiful places, the Yorkshire Dales. He rose to international fame later in life under the pen name James Herriot as he recounted the heartwarming animal stories and colorful characters of a bygone era, inspiring a film and multiple television series. Of the latest TV adaptation of “All Creatures Great and Small,” shown on PBS’ Masterpiece, The Guardian said, “Switching it on was the television equivalent of taking your brain out and dunking it into a bucket of warm tea (Yorkshire, obviously).” Bask in the visual beauty of Claire’s recent Yorkshire Dales visit and learn the surprising story of the vet whose books still entertain millions.

About the presenter: Claire Evans is a former journalist, attorney, and college lecturer who started her love of most things British as she and her mother watched countless Britcoms on PBS.  She went on to study abroad in London and, against the odds, she married a Brit she met in Peoria, Illinois.  They moved to England, where they lived for a number of years.  Outside of her work for a legal advice charity, Claire became a student of historical sights, pub dining, and tea shops.  Her business, Tea with Claire, grew from friends asking for travel and relocation advice. For more, visit

Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. on Zoom: Meet Belle Greene
Art historian Dr. Daria Rose Foner will introduce Belle da Costa Greene (1879-1950), one of the most prominent librarians in American history. Belle was hired as J. Pierpont Morgan’s personal librarian in 1905, eventually becoming the director of what was then known as the Pierpont Morgan Library. Born to Black parents, Belle spent her adult life passing as white. Belle’s life is the inspiration for several fiction books, notably The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.

About the presenter: Dr. Daria Rose Foner is an art historian and native New Yorker. She is currently a member of the Old Master Paintings department at Sotheby’s, New York. Prior to joining Sotheby's, she was the Research Associate to the Director at the Morgan Library & Museum. She completed her Ph.D. at Columbia University and is a Fulbright Award Recipient. She received her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge.

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