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Fall hours 2022 — Mondays & Wednesdays: 9am-8:30pm; Tuesdays & Fridays: 9am-6pm; Thursdays: 11am-6pm.

*OPEN* Saturdays, 10am-5pm; *CLOSED* Sundays



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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.

Special Projects

Central Safe to Be Smart – Link Art Project planning with local artist Chloe Smith 2019 (left); STBS Founding Director Derrick Coley with completed mural 2019 (center); Graduation (right)

Safe to be Smart

One of FFRPL’s long-term special projects is the Library’s flagship after school 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.  Safe to be Smart students receive mentoring, educational support and career exploration help, and are able to access Library resources including books and wi-fi. They also go on special field trips throughout the year.

Learn more here

Raising a Reader

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. Central Library has a few hundred Raising a Reader families participating in the program. 
 Learn more here

Understanding Black Experiences

Library Resources Related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Central Library Resources at the Reynolds Media Center (Highlights)

Central Library & FFRPL Celebrate Black History Month


FFRPL took the lead and created a consolidated multi-page web-based resource of programs, events, and services offered by Central Library for Black History Month February 2022 including the Tuesday Topics lecture Repairing the Historical Record through Community Collaboration, a talk on how the Library helps to foster Equity and Justice in our society with diverse cultural community representation in programs and services, such as Central’s new Archive of Black History and Culture (presented by Christine L. Ridarsky, City Historian & Historical Services Consultant, Rochester Public Library and Mekko Griffin Mongeon, the Exhibit Project Manager for the Clarissa Uprooted Project*); Exploring the Friendship of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali (presented by Mark Sample, professor at Monroe Community College); Very Beginner Drawing: Draw Like Artist Jacob Lawrence, a tutorial on the work and style of Jacob Armstead Lawrence, an American painter known for his portrayal of African-American historical subjects and contemporary life; African American Abstract Art in New York during the 1960s and 1970s (presented by Cynthia Hawkins, Ph.D, Gallery Director and Curator of the Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery at SUNY Geneseo).

*watch the 25-minute video, Clarissa Uprooted: Youth and Elders Uncover the Story of Black Rochester, referenced by Mekko Griffin Mongeon in the “Repairing the Historical Record” talk.


FFRPL took the lead and created a consolidated multi-page web-based resource of programs, events, and services offered by Central Library for Black History Month February 2021 including Tuesday Topics lectures, Black History Lectures organized by Central Library’s Arts & Literature Division: “Charles Ethan Porter: Artist and Community” and “Dox Thrash: From Tenant Farmer’s Son to Artist at the Pennsylvania Federal Art Project;” the documentary “Black Men in White Coats;” (virtual) Fourth annual Anthony Mascioli Rainbow Dialogues;  the exhibit Everyday People: the Dinkle Family and Rochester’s African American Past, curated by Central’s Local History & Genealogy Division; the online Smithsonian Poster Exhibit A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Central Library’s Understanding Black Experiences online resource guide.

Archived Programs