James Brown / WXXI News

Select Rochester Public Libraries are reopening Monday. The libraries have been closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Central Library will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, while all branch libraries will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, closed on Friday.

The library system’s Associate Director Adam Traub said they plan to roll out the reopenings slowly starting with larger libraries in order to enforce social distancing guidelines.

Even with Rochester libraries being closed due to the pandemic, staffers are busy providing services in other ways.

As of Monday,  Rochester Public Libraries are expanding the way that they provide reference services. Previously, that help was provided by phone, email or the library website.  And now, that customer assistance will also be available if you click a ‘chat’ button on the libraryweb.org website.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all libraries in the Monroe County Library System are closed to the public. The libraries have adjusted services, with staff will be available online at http://libraryweb.org and by phone at 585-428-7300 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

New York State's libraries could face another round of funding cuts. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget includes cuts to operating and construction aid for libraries, leaving advocates and patrons concerned about how many people – including those who live in poverty – will access the materials, technology, and services they need. A 2017 Siena Research Poll found that two million New Yorkers rely on public libraries to access the internet, including 25 percent of low-income households.

We explore how the potential cuts could impact library users, including those in local rural communities where a significant number of families do not have access to the internet at home. In studio:

Tianna Manon


Ping-pong, video games, a music studio.

Libraries have been changing for several years, offering electronic books and other technology. However, they’re also changing to become more accessible, offering young people a safe place to explore and nurture skills needed for today’s economy.



The Gates Public Library and the Westside Family YMCA have partnered to offer a new preschool program for children in the district. Gates Chili does offer university pre-K, but based on a lottery system. In the three years prior to this school year, the district was unable to accommodate every family that requested preschool. That changed in the 2017-2018 school year, after the district worked to expand its program.

Both efforts emphasize the value education and childcare leaders place on early childhood education. This hour, we discuss learning outcomes for young children who attend preschool programs, and the accessibility of those programs in our area. Our guests:

How is technology changing the way that we read? And how is social media changing how we tell stories? These are questions that will be addressed at an upcoming symposium hosted by the Monroe County Library System.

We discuss how emerging technology and trends will impact the future of reading, and how to make this kind of technology available to all readers. Our guests:

  • Bob Scheffel, librarian at the Central Library and member of the Emerging Technology Committee at the Monroe County Library System
  • Erika Linke, associate dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the American Library Association Digital Content Working Group
  • Eric Hellman, president of the Free EBook Foundation
  • Greg Benoit, director of the Gates Public Library

When it comes to literacy, we're number... seven? A new world ranking has Finland leading the way, and western hemisphere nations are struggling. It's national Children's Book Week, and we're focusing on what kids are reading.

We discuss the vital nature of literacy, along with efforts to identify the great books for kids. Our guests:

When you hear the word “library,” your first thought may be of books, but 21st century libraries are transforming into learning labs, technology centers, and community gathering places, where building engagement with patrons is a priority.

Our focus this hour is on public libraries and their vision for the future despite the challenges they face. How can libraries continue to provide valuable community services when securing funding is often a struggle? And how are libraries evolving to meet the changing needs of patrons, especially in today's technology-rich society? Our guests:

Libraries say the state is short-changing them, and the fight is on. We talk about how libraries use public funding -- often to provide internet access to people who don't otherwise have it. We also discuss the future of libraries. How are they adapting to technology? Our guests: