Books Sandwiched In
- One of FFRPL’s most popular programs, BSI has been running continuously since 1956. Each year, the Fall series of book reviews runs September through November and the Spring series runs March through May. Learn more here
- FFRPL offers a Winter series of presentations given by local experts on current issues in science, the arts, the economy, health care and government. The series runs January through March each year. Learn more here
Sokol H.S. Literary Awards
- Since 1958, the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library has sponsored a creative writing contest for high school students in grades nine through twelve. Learn more here
Conversations on Race
- Conversations on Race (2012 – 2018) were free, facilitated small-group conversations — about race, awareness of racial identity, segregation, racial privilege and the connection of race to poverty — that were offered by FFRPL with community partners, and held at various libraries throughout the Monroe County Library System, as well as on college campuses and in faith based communities. One of the goals was to talk honestly about race as well as race and poverty in same and mixed-race groups. FFRPL helped organize and promote 86 Conversations on Race throughout the program’s run, serving 1,605 participants. Innovative at the time of its inception, the program provided a much needed forum for our area, and served as the inspiration for other regional organizations to begin offering similar programs of their own.
Recurring Special Events
Rundel River to Roof Tours
- Offered only once or twice each year, FFRPL’s unique ‘River to Roof Tours’ offer exclusive, behind-the-scenes views of the Rundel Memorial Building. Learn more here
Spooky Stories in the Stacks
- Usually offered during the Fringe Festival, Spooky Stories in the Stacks provides patrons with the unique experience of hearing ghost stories in the lower stacks of the Library, which aren’t otherwise open to the public. The program is presented by FFRPL and Central Library’s Local History & Genealogy Division.
- See the Fringe Festival info., below, for our virtual version of “Spooky Stories in the Stacks” for 2020 and 2021.
June Jazz Combos and The Jazz Starts Here
- Through a generous music lover’s gift, FFRPL sponsors the June Jazz Combos and The Jazz Starts Here at Central Library Downtown every Summer. The concerts are free and open to the public and held in the Dorris Carlson Reading Garden.
One-time Special Events
KeyBank Rochester International Fringe Festival
- FFRPL is proud to help RPL maintain a vibrant presence in the KeyBank Rochester International Fringe Festival. Central Library has been a presenting venue for several years, and FFRPL has regularly offered our signature River to Roof Tours and Spooky Stories in the Stacks as well as unique one-time events in support of the Fringe programming.
- With FFRPL’s help, Central Library served as a venue for the 10th annual KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival held in September 2021. We presented two free, live, family performances with the BenAnna band in the Dorris Carlson Reading Garded, and also offered three free, on-demand videos of “Spooky Stories in the (virtual) Stacks,” in partnership with Central Library’s Local History & Genealogy Division.
- Since 2014 FFRPL has partnered with Rochester’s non-profit literary center, Writers & Books, to bring ‘Rochester Reads’ authors to Central Library for free readings/talks. Learn more here
Rochester Children’s Book Festival and Festival-To-Go
- FFRPL has been a long-standing Fiscal Sponsor of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival (RCBF) which takes place annually on the first Saturday of November at Monroe Community College. Learn more here
- RCBF’s free Festival-To-Go program brings the Festival to K-6 students at select Rochester City Schools each year who might not otherwise have access. For FY2018-19, the Festival to Go provided each student with a complimentary copy of an autographed, personalized book by an author who visited their class. FFRPL was proud to be able to support this new project with funds received by Donor and Library advocate Susan Brown and from the Ruby M. Jefferson Memorial Book Fund. Learn more here
Greater Rochester Teen Read
- For the last 6 years, FFRPL has served as the Fiscal Agent for the Greater Rochester Teen Read. We also help support their program and publicity efforts.
- GRTR encourages everyone in the community to read the same Young Adult book. Many copies of the featured book, including back list titles by each author, are available at libraries across Monroe County. Learn more here
Anthony Mascioli Rainbow Dialogues
- The Rainbow Dialogues were designed as a series of community building conversations demonstrating how LGBTQ+ history and archival documents from the past are relevant today. The Dialogues reference and contextualize LGBTQ+ life in Rochester against the backdrop of local and national social justice issues. Learn more here
Thematic, historical large-scale exhibitions
- FFRPL is proud to support Central Library’s perennial large-scale exhibitions and related programming for shows such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race (2020); Stonewall: 50 Years Out, commemorating the anniversary of the uprising that sparked the gay liberation movement and exploring 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); 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); and the traveling exhibition Al-Mutanabbi Street: the Conversation Starts Here (2014), which served as a tribute to all that was lost in 2007, when a suicide bomber in Baghdad, Iraq, exploded his car on a street populated by hundreds of bookstores, publishers, printers, bookstalls and cafés. Learn more about exhibits here
Annual Art of the Book International Juried show
- FFRPL is proud to have supported Central Library’s Art of the Book project, since the exhibit in 2011, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Rochester Public Library. In subsequent years, the exhibit has grown to include entries from all over the world, featuring well-known artists for their exquisite work. Entries are solicited each Spring, and the exhibit is on view each November through January in the Anthony Mascioli Gallery. Learn more here
Click here to sign up for our e-newsletter to receive program information