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.
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 $10.5-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.
FFRPL organizes, hosts, and helps fund:
- Legacy Programs, including Books Sandwiched In, Tuesday Topics and the Sokol High School Literary Awards
- Special Events, including Rundel River to Roof Tours, Spooky Stories in the Stacks, June Jazz Combos & The Jazz Starts Here
- Community Partnerships, including those with the KeyBank Rochester International Fringe Festival (see our Fringe 2019 line-up here), Writers & Books’ Rochester Reads, the Rochester Children’s Book Festival and the Anthony Mascioli Rainbow Dialogues
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.
FFRPL supports Central Library’s thematic, historical exhibitions such as 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).
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. For FY 2017-18, Safe to be Smart had 54,263 recorded interactions with youth: students received mentoring, educational support and career exploration help, and were able to access Library resources including books and wi-fi.
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.
Supplemental materials and equipment
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.