Donating to the beloved Brighton Memorial Library

Donating to the beloved Brighton Memorial Library

Jennifer Ries-Taggart, Executive Director of the Brighton Memorial Library [Photo: David Kramer]

Earlier this summer, my father, Eugene Kramer, passed away. Our dear neighbors, Meg and Tom Upson, asked my mother where they could make a donation in Gene’s memory.  We had not arranged a specific charity for such requests.  Nonetheless, my mother only thought a second: kindly make a donation to the Brighton Memorial Library.

While my mother has the closer connection to the library as a former volunteer who spent countless hours gluing and binding damaged books, my father carted away his fair share of books at the book sales.  Like most of us, Eugene loved the Brighton Memorial Library. See Eugene Kramer: August 14th, 1929 to June 30th, 2019

Wanting to know more about for what, why and how people — like the Upsons — give to the library, I turned to Executive Director, Jennifer Ries-Taggart:

Where will the money donated by the Upsons ultimately go?

Unless otherwise specified, private donations are directed to the Brighton Memorial Library Foundation (BMLF). BMLF is a 501(c) (3) private organization created and operated exclusively for the charitable purposes of benefiting and supporting Brighton Memorial Library (BML). Contributions to the BML Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

You mentioned people give for a wide range of reasons and occasions. What are some?

People donate to the BMLF to contribute toward the advancement of BML services, for enhancements to the facility and library gardens, in celebration of a birthday or special event, in honor or memory of a loved one or just as a general gift of support.

How important are personal gifts to the library?

As use of BML continues to grow and public funding struggles to keep pace, donations are more important than ever and provide funding for BML initiatives and upgrades that we would not otherwise be able to afford. Over the past few years, donations have allowed us to purchase additional laptops for our computer lab, updated media equipment for the Learning Center, a DVD repair system, a concrete picnic table, a bi-level water station, a charging station for up to 8 devices and seed money needed to renovate the entrance foyer. On a greater level, they helped fund our 2016 redesign.

How can people give?

General or Annual Campaign donations to the BMLF can be made online at  Donation of Funds.

They can also be made in person at the library. Donation slips may be found on the display case to
your right, as you walk through the doors.

The Brighton Memorial Library Foundation joins the Library’s two other support groups, creating a
solid three legged stool made up of municipal funds provided by the Town of Brighton for operating
expenses, funds provided by the Friends of Brighton Memorial Library for Library programming
expenses and, now, the BML Foundation, which will allow an array of revenue sources to supplement
tax support and provide additional resources to the Library.

Please consider making a donation to help expand BML services in a thoughtful and meaningful way
that will benefit the entire community for years to come.

Library Document Station_3

Library Document Station_2

Library Document Station_1

The letter and note sent by Brighton Memorial Library Executive Director Jennifer Ries-Taggart [Scanned courtesy of the Brighton Memorial Library]


I’ve tried to give back when I can: books and candy. In 2017, I offered a volume of Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (that included an essay I had written on the 19th century African-American novelist Sutton Griggs.) On Halloween 2018, we had two candy bags left over: Reeses and Milky Ways.  I love Reeses so hoarded them for myself. But I gladly donated the Milky Ways to the BML staff and/or patrons.

(left) Offering volume to Salman Syed, Friends of the Library volunteer, 8/1/17

(left) Offering volume to Salman Syed, Friends of the Library volunteer, 8/1/17 (right) Halloween 2018, BML librarian Matthew Bashore accepting the candy.


Do the troubled spirits of John and Irene walk the Brickyard Trail? Probably not. At the Brighton Library, Matt Bashore unveils the twists and turns of the crime and punishment

Bott Grave in Irondequoit Cemetery [Photo: Matthew Bashore]

A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library


(left to right) David Kramer, Joe Robach and Jennifer Ries-Taggart, Executive Director of the Library. 10/30/16 [Photo provided by Steve Barz, Director of Communications Office of NYS Senator Joseph Robach]

Read about Sutton Griggs at the Brighton Memorial Library

Matthew Bashore and David Kramer. Halloween 2018, .



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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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