Submitted by Howard B. Owens on August 13, 2014 - 10:06am
Richmond Memorial Library patrons and supporters got a chance to meet new director Bob Conrad during a reception Tuesday.
Conrad is originally from Rochester, a 1992 graduate of Eastridge High School. He lived for 22 years in the Chicago area where he earned an undergraduate degree in Radio, TV and Film and a graduate degree in Library and Information Science.
He worked for 10 years in the Chicago library system before he decided he wanted to take his career to the next level. He started looking for jobs in New York and California and when he found the opening in Batavia he said it was "a perfect fit."
As a new director, he's not coming in looking to make a lot of changes. We have something good here in a library, he said, and he wants to keep it that way.
"I want the best library that this community can support and the best library that can support the community," Conrad said, adding, "Right now, I'm just learning the job. I'm delighted that the staff all seem to know what they're doing and that the community really treasures the institution, so my first job is not (to) break it."
Conrad is buying a home in Batavia, but in the meantime, he's staying with family in the Rochester area.
He's very familiar with WNY. His family took annual trips to Letchworth and Watkins Glen and he worked at Seabreeze in high school. But when Conrad started spreading the news that he was taking a job in Batavia, it prompted a little geography lesson for those around him in Illinois. They are far more familiar with another Batavia (their very own).
"I did have to disambiguate to all of my colleagues when telling them where I was going to be library director," Conrad said.