March 2nd, 2022
Monroe County Public Library System is the educational partner for Monroe County’s Bicentennial effort. The library system provides rich and extensive resources for local history, and regularly hosts historical events and programs for residents of all ages. In this bicentennial year, Monroe County and the libraries are co-branding their series of in-person and virtual local history programs.
“With 32 active libraries in our towns, villages, and the City of Rochester, the county is blessed with incredible resources to tell the history of our region,” said County Executive Adam Bello. “The library system reaches every corner of Monroe County, and we are grateful for the opportunity to Celebrate More Local History with them as our educational partner.”
Monroe County’s Bicentennial theme is Celebrate More — and a critical piece of that is embracing the rich history of Rochester and Monroe County. The libraries will offer dozens of programs featuring our local history this year. Residents are invited to Celebrate More Local History by checking out new and existing local history events available at Monroe County Public Libraries. The libraries have added a new search term to their calendar of events, so those interested can search using the term “Monroe County Bicentennial.”
“Our local history programs have the highest attendance with an array of virtual programming alongside traditional in-person programs, extending our reach within the community,” said Monroe County Public Libraries Director Patty Uttaro. “Having a dedicated search for Monroe County’s Bicentennial among our programs will provide a great opportunity to showcase the resources available in our libraries to a new audience.”
The history of libraries in Rochester begins around the same time of the founding of Monroe County dating back to the 1820s and 1830s with the formation of literary social clubs such as the Rochester Athenaeum, which was founded in 1828, and the Mechanics’ Literary Association, founded in 1836. Groups such as these sponsored book collections that were often made available to the public. A more complete history of libraries in Rochester can be found online at https://www.libraryweb.org/rochimag/architecture/SpecificBuildings/Rundel/Rundel.htm.
“Our history is a powerful legacy, and Monroe County has a rich and vibrant past,” said Carolyn Vacca, Monroe County Historian and Monroe County Bicentennial Co-Chair. “The addition of the Monroe County library system as an educational partner for the Bicentennial celebrations will allow residents from every neighborhood, town, village, and the City of Rochester, to learn about our shared history as we celebrate Monroe County’s 200th birthday.”
A continually-updated calendar of Monroe County Bicentennial Events can be found at