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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.
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Specialized Spaces

murals at Frederick Douglass Community Library, Story Walk @ Sully Branch, Arnett Branch

FFRPL helps organize and fund murals at Central and throughout the branch Libraries on an ongoing basis. See FFRPL-supported murals here

FY2022-23

In this fiscal year, we saw the final phase of two large-scale, long-term projects.

Technology Center

In FY2017-18, FFRPL raised more than $1.4 million for the Library’s From Collections to Community Capital Campaign, supplementing additional funds from Library, City, County and NY State Partners. The final phase of the multi-year project was the Technology Center, with meeting/conference areas and maker spaces for creation and collaboration.

Construction began on Central Library’s new Technology Center in FY2019-20,with meeting/conference areas and makerspaces for creation and collaboration, and the Center opened (with COVID restrictions in place) early Fall 2020.

The Renaming and Dedication of the John Lovenheim Center for Technology and Innovation was then held on April 28, 2023.

As a staunch supporter of libraries and intellectual freedom, John Lovenheim served as a member of the Rochester Public Library Board of Trustees for 19 years (including two terms as President), on the Monroe County Library System Board, and on the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library Board.

The John Lovenheim Center for Technology and Innovation is located on the link level of the Bausch and Lomb Library Building and is one of the most heavily trafficked areas of the library.

Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project

Construction began Spring 2020 and was completed in the Summer 2022. The Ribbon cutting ceremony and Dedication of the Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project was held on August 2, 2022. FFRPL contributed $125,000 towards the art installation. Our organization is proud to be a part of this historic project. Learn more here

FFRPL also helped support the Library’s re-design of two other significant spaces.

FFRPL raised $23,600 towards the Lincoln Branch’s/Toy Library’s reconfiguration project to purchase new supplemental furniture, fixtures, and equipment not covered by municipal budgets. The completely redesigned and renovated space features a new entrance, better signage, reconfigured layout, additional family friendly restrooms, materials and meeting space for kids and youth near the popular Toy Library, upgraded windows, and a skylight that brings natural light throughout the space. The Grand re-opening of the Lincoln Branch and Toy Library was held in September 2023.

FFRPL also covered $61,060 of the renovation at Central Library’s Business Insight Center, which included new furniture, fixtures, and meeting room walls.

FY2021-22

In June 2022, FFRPL gave $39,145 for support of the Children’s Center, including $15,000 for the Talking Is Teaching program and $11,680 for supplemental materials for the new Children’s Secret Room.

FFRPL also contributed $11,600 for computers and gaming equipment for the ImagineYou lab.

FFRPL raised approximately $13,500 for supplemental furniture, fixtures and equipment for the Lincoln Branch reconfiguration (during ROC the Day) to help improve the quality of life for some of our most vulnerable residents. The Lincoln Branch Library is a unique anchor institution in northeast Rochester. Lincoln has the largest collection of books and films in Spanish in the Rochester Public Library system and many of its staff members are bilingual. Lincoln houses fun and educational toys in its innovative Toy Library, and the Branch is one of six sites for Safe to be Smart, the Library’s flagship afterschool program. The new space includes a new entrance, better signage, reconfigured layout, additional family friendly restrooms, materials and meeting space for kids and youth near the Toy Library, and upgraded windows and a skylight that will bring natural light throughout the space.

FY2020-21

FFRPL was proud to serve as a partner with Arnett Branch, to accept online gifts that helped cover the cost of their mural project. This enabled the Arnett Branch to hire local artist Richmond Futch to paint murals depicting the biographies of Harriet Tubman and Austin Steward, African and Seneca folk tales, a Motown music CD and the Jackie Robinson Story DVD, which were completed Fall 2020. (see “FFRPL-supported murals” above, for related information)

FY2019-20

The Groundbreaking for the Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project was held March 5, 2020, and completed August 2022. Learn more here

Construction began on Central Library’s new Technology Center, with meeting/conference areas and makerspaces for creation and collaboration, and the Center opened (with COVID restrictions in place) early Fall 2020.

Guest speakers Neil Massong and Spruce Fraser of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with keynote speaker Susan Tull of the D.C.-based law firm Finnegan pictured with FFRPL E.D. Ned Davis, Carlson Center Manager Kate Meddaugh, Central Library’s Division Head for Science and History, Jennifer Byrnes, and History’s Librarian I, Lily Anthony; Center’s new logo; custom cake (the mousetrap is the most patented item in the U.S.)

FFRPL continued our long-standing support of Central Library’s Carlson Center, as it celebrated its 20th Anniversary as a Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) of the US Patent & Trademark Office. The Center honors Chester F. Carlson, patent attorney and inventor of xerography, and is now named The Carlson Center for Intellectual Property. Learn more.

FY2018-19

Studio rendering of Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project

FFRPL began planning and fundraising for the Downtown Central Library’s Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project which was designed to transform a long-closed area into a new park-like public riverfront terrace, designed with spaces, pathways and seating for engagement, education and reflection.

Learn more here

FY2017-18

Before the end of this fiscal year, FFRPL exceeded our $1.4 million fundraising goal for the Library’s From Collections to Community Capital Campaign, supplementing additional funds from Library, City, County and NY State Partners. The final phase of the multi-year project was the Technology Center, with meeting/conference areas and maker spaces for creation and collaboration.

Alan S. Kusler (l) and William (Bill) H. Cox, Jr. (r); renovated space

In March 2018, renovations began on the former Rundel Auditorium, and when completed in October 2018 the space was renamed the Kusler-Cox Auditorium, in recognition of Alan Kusler and William H. Cox, Jr., two librarians with distinguished careers at RPL who left the FFRPL its second-largest bequest in our organization’s history. The extensive work included a new ceiling, lighting, carpet and window shades; a new, single room partition; new AV systems for the main room and partitioned rooms; asbestos abatement and removal; HVAC upgrades; new tables and chairs; and repaired/refreshed wood finishes.

imagineYOU Digital Media Learning Lab, Dorris Carlson Reading Garden

FFRPL continued to help maintain and improve the Library’s specializes spaces, such as Teen Central, the imagineYOU Digital Media Learning Lab and the Dorris Carlson Reading Garden (which we are able to help maintain thanks to the expertise and efforts of our volunteer Master Gardener).

FY2016-17

Harold Hacker Hall, Teen Central, Anthony Mascioli signage

With funds raised by FFRPL, the Rochester Public Library renovated ~16,000 sq. ft. of space at Central Library in the Arts Division and ~11,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to Youth Services (Teen Central, B Hive and Middle Ground).

The renovations in the Arts Division included March 2018’s creation of the Anthony Mascioli Gallery in Harold Hacker Hall, the space where Central Library’s 2019 Stonewall: 50 Years Out exhibition was held and the annual Art of the Book exhibition are now mounted each year.

FY2015-16

Central’s History signage, Robert (Bob) Becker, Bob and FFRPL E.D. Ned Davis

In 2015, Central Library’s Local History & Genealogy Division dedicated the Walter F. Becker Digital History Center. Made possible by a generous donation from Robert & Georgianna Becker to FFRPL in memory of Robert Becker’s father, the Becker Center transformed a space that had been a passive study area into an interactive, collaborative center where people can discover, create, preserve and share local and family history in ways never before possible.

In the Walter F. Becker Digital History Center, Library users now have access to digital microfilm/microfiche readers and scanners, high-resolution document and photograph scanning equipment, analog-to-digital video conversion tools, and an interactive collaboration station for viewing/hearing documentaries and oral histories.