FFRPL Home | RPL Home | MCLS Home

FFRPL, Central Library and all City Branches will be closed:

Memorial Day: Monday, May 27

Juneteenth: Wednesday, June 19

Independence Day: Thursday, July 4

ffrpl logo
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.

One-time Special Events

Monroe County Library System presents: Rebecca Walker lecture and book signing: “What’s Your Story?”

Saturday, June 1, 2024, 11am-1pm

Central Library’s Kate Gleason Auditorium

Author, feminist and activist Rebecca Walker has contributed to the global conversation about race, gender, power, and the evolution of the human family for three decades.

She invites you to excavate the narratives that have shaped your life and write a new, fulfilling story for the future.

Consisting of 150+ questions − designed to be answered in as little as five minutes or as long as a lifetime − What’s Your Story?: A Journal for Everyday Evolution is essential for anyone ready to begin living their most authentic, creative, and meaningful life.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested but not required.

Funded through a grant-in-aid provided by Senator Samra Brouk and by the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library.

View/download the flyer for the Rebecca Walker lecture at Central Library Sat June 1 2024


Spring Author Series (March – May 2023)

The Monroe County Library System’s Spring Author Series was funded through a grant-in-aid provided by Senator Samra Brouk and by the Friends of the Pittsford Community Library, along with the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library.

The four-part Series included Linda Sue Park (hosted by the Penfield Public Library); Susan Orlean (hosted by the Pittsford Community Library); Jason Reynolds (hosted by East High School — limited to invited students); and Marie Benedict (hosted by the Penfield Public Library).


Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be An Antiracist (November 2019)

In November 2019, The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (headquartered at Central Library at that time) welcomed 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, National Book Award recipient and Founding Director of American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center, Ibram X. Kendi, to Rochester for a (sold out) ‘How To Be An Antiracist’ lecture and panel discussion at Hochstein Performance Hall.FFRPL & RPL sponsored the event, and purchased 700+ simultaneous e-book downloads of How to Be an Antiracist in support of the program.

Thanks to Dr. Kendi for allowing us to make his talk available (for free) to the general public. Watch Dr. Kendi’s talk.

Download the e-book How to Be an Antiracist (or place a hold for the audio book) here

Find Library copies of the book here
Dr. Kendi was named Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2020. He subsequently received a MacArthur ‘genius grant’ in 2021. Watch his 1-minute video as a 2021 MacArthur Foundation Fellows here

As of 2024, Dr. Kendi has written sixteen books for adults and children, including ten New York Times bestsellers—five of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor.

Libraries After Dark Series (2018)

Central Library’s ‘May The 4th Be With You’ Libraries After Dark event

In 2018 the Monroe County Library System presented a special Libraries After Dark series of themed after-hours social events, sponsored by FFRPL through The Harold Hacker Fund for the Advancement of Libraries. (Harold Hacker was the Director of the Monroe County Library System and the Rochester Public Library for 24 years and was instrumental in developing the ‘one county, one card’ system we have today.)

The first Libraries After Dark event, May the 4th Be With You, was held on May 4th and featured a variety of Star Wars activities, including Jedi combat training, a Death Star themed escape room, hair and make-up demos, and screenings of rare, Star Wars inspired movies and TV specials.

Other Libraries after Dark events included the Henrietta Public Library’s Game of Thrones event in August, Central Library’s Carnival as part of Fringe in September, and Gates Public Library’s Monsters Ball in October.

Rochester Maker Faire (November 2018)

FFRPL’s commissioned Airigami installation for Central, created during the Rochester Maker Faire, November 2018

FFRPL was proud to help sponsor the Rochester Maker Faire, described by organizers as a venue for ‘makers’ of all disciplines — engineers, artists, scientists and crafters — to showcase their hobbies, experiments and projects at a family-friendly event highlighting invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. The Faire had a record-breaking year in 2018: 150+ makers and 5,000 people attended the event at the Riverside Convention Center. FFRPL also funded the creation of a special, large-scale book-themed balloon sculpture which Airigami assembled at the Maker Faire and then subsequently hung in Central’s lobby.

Learn more about the Rochester Maker Faire here

Learn more about Airigami here

Jennifer Pharr Davis (April 2018)

Jennifer Pharr Davis

FFRPL funded and hosted a lecture and book-signing with award-winning adventurer Jennifer Pharr Davis at Central Library, in connection with the publication of her new book The Pursuit of Endurance. Pharr Davis is a hiker, author, speaker, and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year who has covered over 14,000 miles of long distance trails on six different continents. She has written six books, articles for the New York Times, Outside magazine, Backpacker, and Trail Runner, and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and the CBS Early Show. She is also the founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Company, that strives “to make the wilderness accessible and enjoyable” for hikers of all ages and ability levels.

In celebration of Jennifer Pharr Davis’ visit to Central Library, FFRPL also purchased 6 Empire Passes to NYS parks, available for loan with a Monroe County Library System card.

Rick Riordan (October 2017)

FFRPL E.D. Ned Davis with Rick Riordan (left), sold out event at Kodak Center 2017 (center), Riordan with library mascot

FFRPL, RPL and 1,700 teen readers and their families welcomed Young Adult fiction superstar and NYT bestselling author Rick Riordan to Rochester at the Kodak Center on October 11, 2017. The SOLD OUT Rick Riordan Ship of the Dead Tour: Rochester, NY was a collaboration between the Monroe County Library System; Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library; Kodak Center; and Barnes & Noble Pittsford. With FFRPL’s support, free tickets were distributed among the libraries. Riordan is the #1 NYT bestselling author of more than 20 novels for young readers, including the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, the Magnus Chase series, the Trials of Apollo, the Gods of Asgard, and The 39 Clues. He is also the author of the award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.