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Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library

What We Do

Here are a few highlights from a wide variety of essential and impactful work in which the Friends & Foundation of RPL is currently engaged on behalf of the Library:

  • FFRPL, in FY15-16, contributed more than $900,000 to support the Central and branch libraries! More than $400,000 was given for the Library's Capital Campaign, another $400,000 was given for various Library programs and projects, and an additional $100,000 drawn from an Annual Campaign and bookstore sales, providing books, materials, digital content and programming that would otherwise not be possible within municipal budgets. 
  • FFRPL continues the tradition of providing outstanding Library programming: the flagship Books Sandwiched In and Tuesday Topics series and the Sokol High School Literary Awards have been beloved by the Rochester community for decades. Newer programs offering education, entertainment and enlightenment to the community include several years of Conversations On Race at city and county libraries, River to Roof Tours in the historic Rundel Memorial Building, community-wide collaborative events like 2013’s Pride & Passion: the African American Baseball Experience and the 2017 Suffrage Centennial's Because of Women Like Her, and international programs such as the Art of the Book competition and Al-Mutanabbi Street: the Conversation Starts Here.  In 2016, nearly 9,400 Library and FFRPL programs attracted more than 230,000 adults, teens and children at just the Central and branch libraries, a 15% increase in attendance from the year before! 
  • FFRPL is in the final phase of a five-year $3.5M Capital Campaign, From Collections To Community, to rejuvenate and transform Central Library into the Library for the 21st century. To date we have raised $1.1M on the FFRPL goal of $1.4M, with the balance provided by City, County and NY State funding.
  • FFRPL has provided more than $100,000 annually since 2001 for Safe to be Smart, the Library's successful afterschool program. Last year, Safe to Be Smart sites in the Central Library downtown and five of the ten branch libraries served on average 160 youth every day (about 40,000 visits annually), providing teens with a safe environment and helping them learn and improve their work and life skills.Three years ago, the FFRPL helped secure a $100,000 IMLS/MacArthur Foundation grant to create the imagineYOU Digital Media Learning Lab at Central Library, which helps teens learn, from mentors and peers, skills with digital video and audio production to tell their own stories.
  • FFRPL supports summer reading through purchases of books and prizes for Central and branch libraries.
  • FFRPL regularly secures annual grants for the Business Division and the Chester F. Carlson Patent & Trademark Center that help provide business resources and essential databases which are especially important to local small business owners revitalizing downtown.
  • FFRPL continually helps the Library upgrade its technology by providing computers, software, iPads, large monitors and other electronic necessities to enhance patrons’ experiences, most recently to support building the $400,000 Reynolds Media Center on the 1st floor of the B&L Library Building.
  • FFRPL has for decades taken in tens of thousands of book donations annually and runs a successful bookstore business, selling quality used books onsite and online, on behalf of the Library and two dozen academic and cultural partners.  We currently transfer $40,000 from booksales to the Central Library.
  • FFRPL acts frequently as the collaborative connector between the Library and our many arts and cultural partners, friends and allies, bringing together disparate groups to work on new, interesting and mutually beneficial projects and events.
  • FFRPL manages and grows the Harold Hacker Fund for the Advancement of Libraries, which funds professional development for librarians as well as innovative library projects and programs benefiting libraries throughout Monroe County.
  • FFRPL stewards and builds a $10M endowment - including a $1.7M bequest earlier this year from former Rochester Public Library librarians Alan Kusler and Bill Cox - which is permanently invested to provide continuing support of the Library.
  • In summary, the value of an educated, informed society is immeasurable. But we are confident that every one of the hundreds of thousands of patrons who come through the Central Library doors every year benefits - in ways small and large - from the programs, services, space, materials and/or equipment supported by the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library. It is our honor and privilege every day to support the marvelous activities of our beloved community jewel of an institution: the Rochester Public Library/Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County.

All of the above is only possible through the generosity of Library lovers and donors. Please consider making a gift to support the Library. Thank you! 







Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County | 115 South Avenue | Rochester, NY 14604

Member of the Monroe County Library System