Volunteer Rosie Rich: Dedicated, detailed, and delighted with organizing

By on May 6, 2019
Rosie Rich was recently on one of her many visits to the Seymour Library Local History room. Shown here is one of the two file cabinets she is filling up. On top of the file cabinet is a framed certificate which reads: Those who can, do. Those who can do more volunteer -- Author unknown. “Grateful thanks to Rosie Rich and everyone who assisted her in organizing this collection.” Photo by Dianne Hickerson

Rosie Rich was recently on one of her many visits to the Seymour Library Local History room. Shown here is one of the two file cabinets she is filling up. On top of the file cabinet is a framed certificate which reads: Those who can, do. Those who can do more volunteer -- Author unknown. “Grateful thanks to Rosie Rich and everyone who assisted her in organizing this collection.” Photo by Dianne Hickerson

When I visit the Local History Room at Seymour Library, I usually come upon Rosie Rich, working diligently at a table or sitting in front of files and bookshelves. She is sorting papers, clipping, checking and labeling file folders. I usually startle her with “Hi, Rosie,” and she perks up and gives me a cheery greeting. And, in the brief exchange, her comments have wry wit and a bit of wisdom. 

One day I finally stopped to ask her what she was doing there so often. Rosie said, “Well I’m an organizer. Basically, I like to organize things into particular categories. So, when I saw that box of 1,000 clippings from the Morgan-Manning House, I was delighted to help organize them. I took things home every night. I sorted file folders on my floor, then I’d bring them back and put them in the file cabinets. It’s been a year and half to do this project. I love it! I love it! I love it!”  

Carl Gouveia, Director of Seymour Library, tells of Rosie’s amazing volunteer history. 

Our volunteer records for her go back to 1997. Over the 20 years that we have records for, Rosie Rich has volunteered 1,914.25 hours at Seymour Library! She has maintained our collection—giving items needed repair and maintaining the vertical files of local newspaper articles. And, when we received the 1,000 clippings from the Morgan-Manning House, she integrated them, expanding our one file cabinet to three. 

The 1,000 clippings from Morgan-Manning House were part of the many local news clippings gathered over 25 years. The duplicates were pulled and shared with Seymour Library. Rosie continues to add clippings to the file as she finds current local newspaper articles. 

Rosie is no recluse. She is an avid golfer and she told me she won’t be around much when golfing season starts. Her career as an educator includes being the creator and director of the first women’s Health and Physical Education Program at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon from 1964 to 1968. In the 1967 Six Day War, she was the only woman on a committee with seven men to plan and evacuate 5,000 Americans from Beirut. She has given over 30 talks on her book Crossing Boundaries, Beirut and Beyond. She also taught Physical Education in Canada and the United States: at University of Buffalo, Troy High School, Batavia Middle School, The College at Brockport, and retired from Batavia Public Schools in 1989.

Only a few years later she started volunteering at Seymour Library in 1997. A public recognition is on a framed certificate that sits on top of the file cabinet where she works. It reads: Those who can, do. Those who can do more volunteer — Author unknown. “Grateful thanks to Rosie Rich and everyone who assisted her in organizing this collection.”