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FFRPL, Central Library, and all branches will be *closed* Friday, December 22; Saturday, December 23; [Sunday, December 24]; and Monday, December 25, 2023 for Christmas.

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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.

Safe to be Smart at Central and Branches

Along with the City of Rochester and Central Library, FFRPL is a founding sponsor of the Library’s flagship after school program Safe to be Smart, which launched in 2001 and serves youth at Central Library and the Wheatley, Lincoln, Sully, Maplewood and Arnett branches.

The branch libraries play a crucial role in supporting the mission of the Rochester Public Library by delivering services to neighborhoods throughout the City. They provide safe havens for children and youth and are often the only educational and cultural resource available beyond the schools.

At Central and the branches, the Safe to be Smart Library staff provide teens with counseling and mentoring, as well as assistance with homework, employment searches and retention, resume writing and the Internet. The program also provides a safe social environment, with Internet service, games, PlayStation and Wii gaming centers, listening stations and more.

For FY2022-23, Safe to be Smart offered 129 Group Programs serving 1,244 youth. The Group Programs included Arts and Crafts, Book/Reading Groups, Coding Groups, History & Science Discussions, Movies, Board and Card Games, Career Exploration, Social Mixers and Cooking Classes.

In FY2022-23, Safe to be Smart staff also provided 5,564 1-on-1 interactions with youth, including them mentoring/counseling, resume assistance and job searches, homework assistance/tutorials, digital literacy, and reading help.

Wheatley branch

Wheatley Safe to be Smart – Day in the Garden 2019 (left), trip to RMSC Planetarium 2019 (center), Seabreeze trip 2018 (right)

Lincoln branch

Lincoln Safe to be Smart – Wild Wings demonstration 2019 (left), fencing instruction 2019 (center), trip to SkyZone 2019 (right)

Sully branch

Sully Safe to be Smart – Percussion Practice 2018 (left, center), ‘Game Changer’ event 2018 (right)

Maplewood branch

Maplewood Safe to be Smart – trip to VeRacity VRcade 2019 (left and center), building a Nintendo LABO robot 2018 (right)

Arnett branch

Arnett Safe to be Smart – Nintendo LABO project 2018 (left), trip to Trillium Health’s ‘Women of Color’ 2018 event (center, right)

Central Library

Central Safe to Be Smart – Link Art Project planning 2019 (left); STBS Founding Director Derrick Coley with completed mural 2019 (center); H.S. Graduations (right)


In addition to operational funding, support is always needed for cultural and literacy related field trips, life skills programming, community service activities and guest speakers.

FFRPL continually seeks support for the Safe to be Smart program. To give a gift today, complete the Special Projects Donation Form and mail to FFRPL, email donna.borgus@libraryweb.org, or call (585) 428-8321 or (585) 428-8322.