The Friends of the Brighton Memorial Library celebrate golden anniversary

The Friends of the Brighton Memorial Library celebrate golden anniversary

[Carol Kramer (1933 – 2021), center right at table, at the Brighton Memorial Library annual dinner for volunteers held at a local country club. Each volunteer brought home a gift. To Carol’s left and right are fellow book menders. Circa 2000.  In Jane Keller’s comment on the Miller Funeral Home site, she mentioned the dinner: “More than 20 years later, I saw Carol a time or two at the Brighton Memorial Library’s annual dinner for volunteers. . . What a wonderful person she was!”]

The Friends of Brighton Memorial Library is fifty years old and going strong. Last week, in the Friends of Brighton Memorial Library Learning Center, the Friends celebrated with a slide show and a table offered literature on the group. The Friends happily explained their mission to library patrons.

(left) Betsy Soffer at the information table; (right) Betsy in the The Dorothy & Jack Pitlick Store

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Friends. My mother, Carol Kramer (1933 – 2021), was a Friend. Although, Carol was most enthusiastic in her role as a BML volunteer book mender. Every week, until Parkinson’s hindered her, Carol was on her shift repairing books. On nice days, she walked the 7 tenths of a mile to the library.

Carol’s partners, also elderly women, gathered in a back room to mend books, some in dire distress, damaged by a negligent patron or just suffering from old age.

Basic Book Repair kit from Binding 101. Not pictured are Paper Trimmers and Scissors, essential to book mending.

Using some variety of Bone Folders and Burnishing Squeegees, Book Repair Glues, Weights and Press Boards, Book Cleaners, Book Repair Tape, Paper Trimmers and Scissors, Rulers and Measuring Devices, and Magnifiers, the ladies resurrected books otherwise on their deathbeds. Carol became so good at her craft that she repaired dog eared books in her husband’s collection.

When Carol passed, Reference Librarian Matthew Bashore sent me a nice note recalling that era:

Sorry to hear about your mother. I always looked forward to the days she came to the library to repair books. Carol, Sally Springer, and I would have amazing conversations on a vast variety of topics. She was a wonderful person, and I am deeply saddened this world will be without her.

Media & Network Services Manager Kory Yerkes fondly remembered Carol and her team. Kory explained that since the latest remodeling the back room is gone; staff members now repair books at their desks. We both agreed expert book mending is a lost art.

When I heard about the 50th anniversary event, I recalled the photo of Carol at the annual dinners pinned to the “old photo wall” in the eating/tv room. Wondering if the Friends might know more, I brought the photo to the event. Much to my surprise, the Friends had recently seen a copy of the photo!

When creating the slide show, they went through a trove of photos accumulated over the years — and one of them was the dinner at the country club, circa 2000. The photo did not make the slide show, but knowing the Friends had seen the over 20 year old image felt serendipitous.

The mission of the Friends can be found on the BML website:

The Friends of Brighton Memorial Library

The Friends advocate for the Library at the local, state and national government levels; provide extra equipment for new library technologies; support the development of new services, and provide  financial gifts with funds raised through membership, the Friends Store & book sales.

You can follow them on Facebook.

The Friends originate or support programs for the library including, but not limited to:

5x7xDesign Teen Art Contest , Adult Book Discussion Groups , The Alice Wilson Teen Literary Contest , Book Sales ,

The book sale is held three times a year. This man was buying books at the 2016 book sale for his friend who owned the now defunct Dark Horse Café in the Village Gate. The books adorned the coffee tables. 10/30/16 from A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library

Books Sandwiched In Book Reviews ,Children’s Summer Reading Program, Computer Training Classes, Movies for Kids and Adults, Sunday Serenades and Tuesday Travelogues.

My favorite program is the Dorothy & Jack Pitlick Store located in the year of the library. The store sells books of many genres and time periods, as well as audio material and even board games. The interesting element is that over the years, the top of the shelves have been decorated with paintings, memorabilia, two small sculptures, and odd looking rock and a clock.

(left and center) Two plaques in memory of some Friends; (right) David Kramer with the old photo of Carol [Photo: BML staff member]

(left) Cleopatra?; (far right) Native American brave on horse back. (center left) the odd rock; (center right) The clock keeps accurate time.

The Dorothy & Jack Pitlick Store

Store Hours

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 AM-8 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM-6 PM
Saturday: 12-4 PM (closed June 15- Sept. 15)
Sunday: 12-4 PM (all year)

We invite you to visit the Friends Store when you are in the library. Stop in for a great selection of quality used books, audio books, and videos at bargain prices. Items for sale are updated regularly.
All books are $1 and up.

Several of the paintings are Chinese themed.

The History of the Store

In honor of Dorothy and Jack Pitlick for their many contributions to the Brighton Memorial Library, a major gift was made to the Brighton Memorial Library Capital Campaign by their children and grandchildren. In tribute to the Pitlicks and in recognition of the gift, the library named the Friends bookstore the Dorothy & Jack Pitlick Store of the Friends of Brighton Memorial Library. The naming and reception were held on Friday, November 26, 2004 at the library.

Photo of Dorothy Pitlick signed by staff, friends and patrons on the 20th anniversary of the store, 2019

Library Board Vice President Rose-Marie B. Klipstein, Executive Director Angela Bonazinga, and Friends Co-President Judy Engerman acknowledged the Pitlicks’ generous contributions of time and talent toward the growth of the library. Jack joined the Library Board of Trustees in 1989 and was instrumental in planning the new library building and advancing a public referendum that was overwhelmingly passed by the community.

(top left) Hall of Fame, Oak Hill by Elizabeth King Durand; (bottom left) Blackwell’s, Oxford 1950 by Murihead Bone; (bottom right) “Southbound” by Anne K. McCaughey

Both Jack and Dorothy lent their dedication and enthusiasm to the development of the Friends Store that operates out of the library. Since its inception, they recruited volunteers and oversaw operations. The Store raises funds for the library from the sale of quality used books.

Sometimes the Friends hold events outside the library.  Friends of Brighton Memorial Library will hold a Cookbook Swap from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, in the parking lot at Brighton High School, 1150 S. Winton Road. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Sep 26, 2014

Though they are no longer with us, Jack and Dorothy’s passion for the store and the library lives on through their friends, family, and the volunteers who staff and stock the store each day.



The Friends of the Brighton Memorial Library celebrate golden anniversary

A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library

Remembering Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, at the Brighton Memorial Library and Buckland Park

John le Carré (19 October 1931 – 12 December 2020) at the Brighton Memorial Library

Donating to the beloved Brighton Memorial Library

Read about Sutton Griggs at the Brighton Memorial Library

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

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.


  1. Celia Francoeur

    I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a year ago at the age of 67. For several months I had noticed tremors in my right hand and the shaking of my right foot when I was sitting. My normally beautiful cursive writing was now small cramped printing. And I tended to lose my balance. Neurologist had me walk down the hall and said I didn’t swing my right arm. I had never noticed! I was in denial for a while as there is no history in my family of parents and five older siblings, but I had to accept I had classic symptoms. I was taking amantadine and carbidopa/levodopa and was about to start physical therapy to strengthen muscles. Finally, I was introduced to Kycuyu Health Clinic and their effective Parkinson’s herbal protocol. This protocol relieved symptoms significantly, even better than the medications I was given. After First month on treatment, my tremors mysterious stopped, had improvement walking. After I completed the treatment, all symptoms were gone. I live a more productive life. I was fortunate to have the loving support of my husband and family. I make it a point to appreciate every day!


      My mother had Parkinson’s for seven years, diagnosed at 81. Alas, it is progressive disease without a real cure, although exercise and medicine can help. She lived to 88 1/2 but the Parkinson’s go worse and contributed to her death. Glad you’ve done will with this fearful disease.


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