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. Our strategic plan, written in 2012 with extensive community input and re-affirmed by the community in 2015, 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 five 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 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 continues to evolve. Following last year’s pursuit to expand at our current location, the Library Board is reconvening around the issue in 2017. Work will continue this year to develop an approach to meet the community’s growing need for library space and services.

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

Audrey Betcher

Rochester Public Library Director


Mission Statement

We strengthen community and enrich lives by sparking imagination, creativity, engagement, and learning.

Vision Statement

Where aspirations, ideas and knowledge converge

Core Values

(Revised October 22, 2012)

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 Intellectual Freedom
Access for all
Remain inclusive
Exceptional library service

  • Welcoming Environment – We are committed to being a safe and welcoming place. This is reflected through creating policies and practices that ensure safety for the public and the staff, providing exceptional customer service, maintaining physical space, and providing an inclusive and non-judgmental place to gather or reflect.
  • Committed to Intellectual Freedom – We are committed to intellectual freedom and the need for the library collection 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.
  • Access for All – We are committed to providing basic library services at no charge. Some optional services may carry a fee. Access to library service and electronic information will not be denied because of inability to pay fees. We serve all users fairly and equitably.
  • Remain Inclusive -- We honor diversity and are inclusive. We seek to represent all people in our collections, programs, services, workforce and other areas.
  • Exceptional Library Service – We are committed to providing quality library service with a smile. We are committed to providing prompt, objective, confidential, and knowledgeable responses to requests for assistance.

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.