Outside view of VIDA Building

The Central Library Is So Much More Than Books

The Rochester Central Library Rundel Building. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

May 2023


Now, we know it’s probably been a while since you last visited a library, and physical books might not be your go-to anymore. But the Central Library has so much more to offer, and you should definitely know about it. It’s conveniently located at 115 South Avenue, nestled between E. Broad Street and Court Street. And while they have tons of books in two beautiful buildings, they also have quite a few things you might not expect.

State Park Passes:
Believe it or not, just like borrowing a book, you can borrow a pass to any New York State Park from the library. Grab a pass and enjoy free admission to explore the great outdoors.

Notary Services:
Ever found yourself in need of a notary but unsure where to go? Well, guess what? You can head to the library! Just give them a call in advance at (585) 428-8020 to make sure a notary will be available when you plan to swing by.

Meeting Rooms:
Planning a meeting and need a space to gather? You can reserve a meeting room at the Central Library for up to two hours, and the best part is, it’s absolutely free! And if you need more room, you can even reserve the Kate Gleason Auditorium for a small fee.

Author Talks:
Get ready to be inspired! The Central Library hosts a variety of talks by bestselling authors and thought leaders, and the best part? It won’t cost you a dime. Check out their calendar of upcoming author talks to stay in the loop.

Prepare to be amazed by the Central Library’s impressive large-scale historical and thematic exhibits. They also feature Juried Shows year-round, primarily in the Anthony Mascioli Gallery, located in Harold Hacker Hall on the main floor of the Rundel Building.

If you’re curious about your family history, head up to the 2nd floor of the Rundel Library Building. There, you’ll find the genealogy division with an extensive collection of resources to help you dig into your roots. Plus, they have a vast collection of local history source materials to satisfy your curiosity about the area.

Lessons, Workshops & Clubs:
The library is truly a hub of learning and community. They offer a wide range of free events, from ukulele lessons and puzzle clubs to resume assistance and sewing classes. The list is endless! You can easily find these events by visiting their online events calendar.

Say goodbye to hauling around physical books and hello to a vast collection of e-books. The library has an incredible catalog of e-books that you can download and read for free. Just hop over to your app store, download the Libby app, and log in to the Monroe County Library System to start exploring the virtual library shelves.

And yes, there’s even more to explore. To find it all, just visit the Central Library’s website at https://roccitylibrary.org/