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FFRPL is the 501(c)(3) charity that raises funds, presents programssupports special projectshelps create specialized spaces, and purchases supplemental materials & equipment for the Rochester Public Library.


The Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library (FFRPL) is the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that raises funds, presents programs, supports special projects, helps create specialized spaces, and purchases supplemental materials & equipment for the Rochester Public Library.

View our Board of Trustees here

View our staff list here

Mission, Vision and Values

Fundraising & Financials

FFRPL conducts fundraising for the Library and is the best way to support the Rochester Public Library. We raise funds through: gifts to an annual fundraising campaign; special project grants from charitable foundations, corporations, government sources and individuals; earnings generated by our $12.5-million endowment; planned gifts made through wills and trusts; and income from the sale of used books and library-related items through the Library Store, both onsite and online.

Learn more here

FFRPL Annual Reports






Community: Books By Bike (left); Legacy: BSI speakers Dr. Jen Connelly, RIT, and student Amber Dubill (center); Special Events: Rick Riordan (right)

FFRPL organizes, hosts, and helps fund:

Learn more about Legacy Programs, Special Events, and Community Partnerships here


Juried Show: annual ‘Art of the Book’ (left). Historical Exhibits: preparation for ‘Stonewall’ (center) and ‘Because of Women Like Her’ (right)

Juried Shows

For many years, FFRPL has supported Central Libraries juried shows, including the Annual Art of the Book exhibit and the Rochester Edible Books Festival and Competition. Learn more about FFRPL-supported juried shows at the Library here.

Historical Exhibits

FFRPL supports Central Library’s thematic, historical exhibitions such as Punjab: Land of Five Rivers (organized by the India Heritage Museum, located at the Vinod and Vinay Luthra India Heritage Center in Macedon and on view from December 1, 2021 through March 5, 2022.); Thrift Style (on view from May 17 – June 21, 2021); the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race (2020); Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism (on view August 1 – October 25, 2019); Stonewall: 50 Years Out, which commemorated the anniversary of the uprising that sparked the gay liberation movement and explored the history of Rochester’s LGBTQ+ communities (2019); Because of Women Like Her … Winning the Vote in New York State as part of the NYS Suffrage Centennial Celebration (2017); the traveling exhibition Al-Mutanabbi Street: the Conversation Starts Here (2014), which served as a moving tribute to the lives, books, and community spaces that were lost in March 2007, when a suicide bomber in Baghdad, Iraq, exploded his car on a street populated by hundreds of bookstores, publishers, printers, bookstalls and cafés; and Pride & Passion: the African American Baseball Experience which celebrated the story of black baseball players in the U.S. over the previous century and a half (2013).

Learn more about exhibits here

Special Projects

Dr. Tolley Reeves, Assistant RPL Director with new Library patron (left), special event at Safe to be Smart (center, right)

One of FFRPL’s long-term special projects is the Library’s flagship afterschool program Safe to be Smart, housed at Central Library downtown and five City library branches. FFRPL is proud to be a founding sponsor, with Central Library and the City of Rochester, of Safe to be Smart; since 2001, we have given more than $100,000 annually to the program. In a typical year, Safe to be Smart has thousands of recorded interactions with youth; students receive mentoring, educational support and career exploration help, and routinely access Library resources including books and wi-fi.

Learn more here

FFRPL also supports the Raising a Reader program at Central Library; RPL is a Raising a Reader affiliate.  Raising a Reader strives to instill a love of reading in children and involve families directly in literacy activities. The program trains parents in how to develop the habit of sharing books with their children. High quality books are rotated into the home on a weekly basis for families to practice regular book sharing. Families are connected to the local library in order to sustain book borrowing and book sharing practices. As of February 2023, Central Library has about 755 Raising a Reader families participating in the program.
For more information about the program contact- Tonia Burton at 585-428-8151 or email tonia.burton@libraryweb.org

Learn more here

Specialized Spaces

Rundel Arts Room/’Glass Cube’ (left), Dorris Carlson Reading Garden (center), Teen Central (right)

The last few years, FFRPL has helped create and renovate numerous, large-scale, transformative projects for the Library. Highlights of new — and renovated spaces — include: the Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project (in partnership with the City of Rochester and Central Library), the Carlson Center for Intellectual Property, Central Library’s planned Technology Center, Kusler-Cox Auditorium, imagineYOU Digital Media Learning Lab, Teen Central, the Dorris Carlson Reading Garden, murals at the Arnett and Douglas branches, the Arts Division and Youth Services (Teen Central, B Hive, and Middle Ground), the Anthony Mascioli Gallery, and the Walter F. Becker Digital History Center.

Learn more here

Supplemental materials and equipment

Ukuleles (left), sewing machines (center), Empire Passes to NYS parks (right)

FFRPL helps funds the purchase of supplemental Library materials, including books, DVD’s, audiobooks and ebooks. This past fiscal year, FFRPL helped fund themed Toy Library learning backpacks, additional sewing machines for the Arts Division, and popular Empire Passes for free vehicle entry into NYS Parks ˗̶  all available for loan. Through the successful Retirees’ Challenge, FFRPL also raised money to help fund online Overdrive eBook purchases for MCLS.

Learn more here