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About Us

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Welcome to the Rochester Public Library!


Rochester Public Library is committed to meeting the needs of our community as it changes and grows.

In May, 2018, Rochester Public Library was given the National Medal, the highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.  We were one of only five libraries nationally to receive this distinction.

Our strategic plan, written with extensive community input, focuses on three key areas: growing literacy, engaging the community, and building infrastructure to meet community needs.  We pride ourselves on being responsive to the community, and we have worked diligently on these three goals for the last few years. In order to grow literacy, we are strengthening and leveraging local talent and partnerships to reach more people through Rochester Reading Champions. The Library's active leadership in the new Cradle to Career community initiative highlights our role as an integral community education institution

We continue to engage the community through dynamic and innovative programs, both in the Library and out in the community through our Bookmobile and BookBike & ArtCart  services. Our new logic model, developed with the help of Wilder Research, allows us to track outcomes and better measure the success of these and other library activities.

Our final goal of building infrastructure has multiple parts.  Our digital infrastructure continues to grow through expansion of digital collections, increased bandwidth, and the addition of hotspots for check out.   Solving our space needs continues to evolve. The Library Board and City Council will be working together to determine how to find a solution for the long-term library space needs.


As always, we are a welcoming space for community members to read, explore, create, and connect.

Audrey Betcher

Rochester Public Library Director


Mission Statement

Welcoming all to connect and learn.

Vision Statement

A strong and equitable community.

Core Values

(Approved by the Rochester Public Library Board of Trustees on February 19, 2020)

As part of the City of Rochester we adhere to the city’s organizational values (Customer Focus, Respect, Integrity, Safety, and Excellence), and we also affirm the following:

Welcoming Environment

Committed to inclusivity
Access for all
Respect Intellectual Freedom 
Exceptional library service

Welcoming Environment – We provide safe and welcoming spaces. Our policies and practices ensure safety, our physical spaces are well-maintained, and all library spaces are inclusive and non-judgmental places to gather or reflect. We care about each other, our customers, the community, and what we do.
Committed to Inclusivity – We honor diversity and are inclusive. We seek to represent all people in our collections, events, services, workforce, and other areas. We are committed to collaboration with community members and partners to ensure we reflect the diversity of our entire community.
Access for All – We provide basic library services at no charge and serve all users fairly and equitably. We harness the talents and resources of our vibrant community and connect individuals in order to ensure everyone can achieve individual and community dreams. 
Respect Intellectual Freedom-- We respect everyone’s right to intellectual freedom and the need for the library collection, services, and events to represent many different points of view. Individuals are responsible for making their own choices regarding appropriateness of materials, and parents/guardians are responsible for the choices made for their children. We are committed to providing prompt, objective, confidential, and knowledgeable responses to requests for assistance.
Exceptional Library Service – We provide quality library service with a smile. We embrace creativity by being innovative, open to new ideas, and willing to try new things to serve our community better. Community members can ask any question, find materials for learning or enjoyment, connect with others, and use technology that will enhance their lives

We live out these values by following the Four Cs:

  • We champion collaboration by working together and with community partners to meet goals and develop positive relationships, while maintaining open communication.
  • We embrace creativity by being innovative, open to new ideas, and willing to try new things while having fun.
  • We engage in the community by harnessing the talents and resources of our community and connecting individuals in order to achieve individual and community dreams.
  • We care about each other, our customers, the community and what we do.

Library Board

The Rochester Public Library Board, representing the community served by the library, has ultimate responsibility for providing the services needed by the community in an effective, efficient manner.