Thursday, January 28, 2010


The Library's blogs have been updated along with the new website.  The new address for this blog is


After more than a year of proposals, plans, designs and drafts, the Tompkins County Public Library has a new website.

The Library launched the newly-designed Thursday with the hopes of making the website more easily accessible and visually appealing for its patrons.

"We are tremendously excited to finally debut our new site," Library Director Susan Currie said. "We hope patrons will appreciate the fresh look and remote access to such a wealth of information."

The new site offers patrons online access to local history, special event, exhibit and programming information, downloadable music and videos, access to magazine and newspaper archives, databases for language learning, reference and reading and the ability to search the Library’s catalog.

Reference Librarian and Web Manager Joyce Wheatley and fellow librarian Cassandra Shortle have worked with Chris Grant and his staff at Gorges Website Design and Development to make the idea of a new website a reality, and Wheatley was quick to praise the Gorges Team.

"None of this would have been possible without Gorges," Wheatley said. "They helped us turn our thoughts and goals for a new site from something that seemed overwhelming to something tangible that we are really proud of."

Gorges has assisted in the development, design and scripting of countless regional and nationally-recognized websites including: Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Plantsmen Nursery, Earthsense and Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

Wheatley said their expertise was invaluable in creating visually appealing designs to engage audiences of various ages and help the Library meet the growing and changing needs of its patrons.

Among the features patrons can expect on the new site are: multiple points of access to information, drop-down windows, breadcrumbs to help users locate where they are in the website, easier access to language-learning tools and updated kids and teen pages. Library patrons can also access account information, place holds on materials and access Library databases and electronic resources. The new site is also accessible on mobile devices such as iPods and cellular phones.

For more information about the Library’s new site, contact Wheatley at

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The Tompkins County Public Library will celebrate the annual Light in Winter Festival, Sunday, January 24 from 12:00 to 3:00 PM, with an Urban Lichen Walk.

Sponsored by the Library and the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society (FLNPS), this program will include a short, indoor presentation on identifying these stunning, but often overlooked, creatures, followed by a walking tour of downtown where participants will have the opportunity to test their identification skills.

David Werier, a botanical consultant and steering committee member of FLNPS will serve as guide during this fascinating and informative walk. He will help participants appreciate lichen by explaining their morphology and identifying characteristics.

The program is free and open to the public, and will start in the BorgWarner Community Room. Participants should enter through the BorgWarner door, adjacent to the new Green Street Gimme Coffee. Warm clothing, field guides and magnifying lenses are recommended.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Library Announces New Series of Art Exhibits

The Tompkins County Public Library has announced the exhibition of sculptures created by Francis Charles Moon as the first installation in its new series The Art Behind the Scientist.

Moon, the Joseph C. Ford professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University, carves his pieces from wood native to this area. His pieces are often inspired by mathematical concepts—most notably the Chaos Theory. Moon is the first artist to be featured in the Art Behind the Scientist series, which features work from artists more commonly known for their contributions to the scientific world.

This exhibit will be on display in the Library's Ezra Cornell Reading Room during January and February.

Moon will be available to discuss his work during the Light in Winter Gallery Opening event, Friday, January 22, and the Library will host him for a presentation about his sculpture in February.

For more information, contact Sally Grubb at (607) 272-4557 extension 232.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The Tompkins County Public Library will host Author and Social Worker Elizabeth E. Root for a discussion and signing of her new book, KIDS Caught in the Psychiatric Maelstrom: How Pathological Labels and "Therapeutic" Drugs Hurt Children and Families, Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 6:00 PM in BorgWarner Community Room.

Root's book explores the dramatic increase in the issuance of prescription drugs for children with mental health disorders and explores alternatives to improve the emotional health of children without drugs.

Root will also bring her therapy dog, Leo, a miniature poodle, to the presentation.

Books will be available for sale, and Root will sign copies before and after the presentation.

For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 extension 248.


The Tompkins County Public Library has announced plans to launch its new website later this month.

The year-long project to enhance included a complete redesign and significant content upgrades with the goal of creating a more user-friendly and visually appealing site.

"The goal of the project was to make the site more intuitive and comprehensive," said Joyce Wheatley, an adult services librarian and webmaster for TCPL. Wheatley and fellow Librarian Cassandra Shortle worked with Gorges Websites of Ithaca to ensure the success of the project.

Among the upgrades patrons can expect on the new site are: multiple points of access to information, easy access to local history collections, drop-down windows, breadcrumbs to help users locate where they are in the website and a slideshow featuring information about Library programs, exhibits, events and special features, such as new booklists and language-learning tools. Library patrons can also access account information, place holds on materials, access Library databases and electronic resources and download music and videos from the site.

"Our current site is really nice, so we had a good starting point," Wheatley said. “Our goal was to enhance what we already had."

Additional enhancements include makeovers to the kids and teen pages. The kids page is audience-focused and even includes a parrot that squawks when kids click on it.

Library Director Susan Currie praised the efforts of Wheatley and Shortle and said the website upgrade was an essential element in the Library's goal of staying abreast of technological trends.

"We really strive to offer our patrons the most up-to-date and easy to use resources," Currie said. "The new website is paramount to those efforts and I believe our patrons will be as happy with it as we are."

The official date of the site launch has not been announced, but patrons are encouraged to check regularly for information on the rollout.

For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The Tompkins County Public Library and the Ithaca Area Storytellers will host Winter Tales: Stories for the Season, Tuesday, January 19 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM in the BorgWarner Community Meeting Room.

Six storytellers will share folktales with a winter and New Year themes. This program is free and open to the public; it is most suitable for families with elementary-aged children.

Ithaca Area Storytellers includes members of varying storytelling backgrounds who work to promote the timeless art of storytelling and to support those who aspire to perpetuate the oral tradition.

For more information contact the Youth Services department at (607) 272-4557 ext. 275.

Monday, January 18, 2010


A Celebration of the Finger Lakes Flora, an exhibit organized by the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society, will be on display at the Tompkins County Public Library from January 18 through March 26.

The first in the Library's Year of Art at Your Library 2010 series, this juried exhibit includes the work of more than 50 artists and highlights the beauty and diversity of our region’s native plants. From traditional botanical illustrations and wildflower photography to more abstract treatments and sculptural forms, this exhibit features an astounding diversity of subjects and styles. An opening reception will be held Friday, January 22 in conjunction with the Gallery Opening Night festivities of the Light in Winter Festival.

Jurors included members of the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society and local artists: David Watkins, photographer, Camille Doucet, watercolor artist, and Eric Serritella, potter.

Founded in 1997, the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society's mission is to teach people about native plants, the importance of conservation and the threat of invasive species. The group regularly sponsors free lectures, field trips and special events.

As part of this exhibit, the Library will host five workshops facilitated by FLNP and will provide a display of plant-related resources and educational materials.

This exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Brooks Family Foundation and the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County and the support of the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Tompkins County Public Library will host local musicians Johnny Russo and Doug Robinson for a performance and discussion in celebration of their new CD, Sunday, January 17 at 2:00 PM in the Ezra Cornell Reading Room.

"All Original…Johnny Russo with Doug Robinson & The East Hill Classic Jazz Group" features 16 original compositions written and recorded in Ithaca between 1984 and 2007 including local favorites, Mystery of Taughannock, College Ave Strut and Ithaca Our Home. More than 25 musicians and vocalists lent their talents to the album including, Sally Ramirez, Annie Burns, Minden Jones, David Kent and London McDaniel.

The Library program will include a performance by Russo and Robinson as well as a discussion about the songs featured on the CD. The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 extension 248.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The Tompkins County Public Library invites opera enthusiasts to join monthly meetings of the Bel Canto Society of Ithaca for informal presentations of recorded, historical operatic performances and lively discussions.

This group, led by veteran vocal instructor Tom MacDonald, will meet on the second Tuesday of each month, beginning January 12, at 6:00 PM in the BorgWarner Community Room East.

The topic of the first meeting will be "Voices and Voices In Between," and will highlight the various voice types of opera singers. This is a two-part discussion, with the first portion focusing on male voice types.

MacDonald has studied and taught voice in the United States and abroad and was a member of the Bloomsbury Recorded Vocal Arts Society of London.

Bel Canto programs are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 extension 248.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


The Tompkins County Public Library and Cornell's Center for Materials Research will host Families Learning Science Together: Vitamin C, Saturday, January 9, 2010 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM in the Thaler/Howell Programming Room.

Families are invited to explore why Vitamin C is an important part of our diet, how indicators help chemists measure ingredients and determine how much Vitamin C can be found in different juice drinks.

Families Learning Science Together is a free program designed to help children develop an early love of science through hands-on participation.

Families Learning Science Together programs are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Reserve your spot today by contacting Kevin at or (607) 254-8256.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Tompkins County Public Library Board President Henrik N. Dullea has announced the appointment by the County Legislature of four new members to the Library's board of trustees.

The County Legislature voted during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, December 15, to appoint:

• Gwen R Glazer, staff writer and editor for the Cornell University Library system. Glazer received her bachelor of arts degree from Wesleyan University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. She has an extensive background in journalism and public relations.

• Diane Goodman-Daniel, director of social media strategy and technology specialist for Communique Integrated Marketing Company. Goodman-Daniel has extensive experience in web design and management. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in community studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and holds a postgraduate certificate with honors in new media from the Vancouver Film School.

• Cynthia Nicholson, licensed professional engineer for Tetra Tech Architects and Engineers. Nicholson received a master of engineering hydraulics and hydrology degree from Cornell University and a bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering from Clarkson University. She has an impressive volunteer background, including work with the Ithaca Festival, the Ithaca Downtown Partnership and the City of Ithaca.

• Martha Walker, director of the Fine Arts Library of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. Walker received her bachelor of arts degree from the State University College at Oswego and holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

"It is with great pleasure that I welcome these outstanding community members to the Library board," Dullea said. "Each of these individuals bring unique experiences and professional backgrounds to the board, but like all TCPL board members, they are united in their shared love of our public library."

In addition to the new board members, the County Legislature also voted to reappoint for three-year terms Michael Stamm, president of Tompkins County Area Development, and John Vineyard, president of Sunlake Investment Management

The 15-member Library board is comprised of Tompkins County residents who are appointed by the County Legislature.

For more information, contact Dullea at (607) 277-2488.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Graffiti Found at Library

The Tompkins County Public Library has confirmed reports of graffiti, and it looks like it will be there to stay through the New Year.

The Library has announced the installation of six, 8 foot panels of vibrant graffiti on display throughout the book stacks. The panels, donated by Cornell University's Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, were an integral and authentic part of the set for the Center’s recent production of "Romeo and Juliet".

Created through a unique collaboration between Ken Goetz, professor of theatre, film and dance, who is also a scenic designer, local graffiti artist Jay Stooks and Ithaca High School Art Teacher Jocelyn Lutter Carver, the panels were painted by members of the high school's graffiti club and Cornell students and tagged by club members, students and members of the cast.

The panels will be on display through the middle of January, and the Library plans to host hands-on workshops, which will include a discussion about when graffiti is acceptable and how it becomes “street art”. Workshop dates will be announced on the Library’s website,, in the upcoming weeks.

For more information, contact Sally Grubb at (607) 272-4557 extension 232.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The Tompkins County Public Library will host local author Michael Turback for a discussion and signing of his latest book "Surrounded by Reality: 101 Things You Didn't Know About Ithaca," Thursday, December 10, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM in the BorgWarner Community Room.

Turback’s latest offering explores little known facts, such as how Ezra Cornell made his fortune, and answers mysteries such as how the Volvo became the vehicle of choice among Ithacans.

Inspired by the locally-famous bumper sticker, "Ithaca: 10 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality," Turback’s book "informs, entertains, corrects myths and misconceptions, and reveals an unexpected treasure trove about Ithaca".

During his Library presentation, Turback, who owned and operated Turback's of Ithaca for nearly three decades, will discuss how he conducted his research for the book, and his writing process.

Copies of the book will be available at the event for $10, with $5 from each sale benefitting the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation.

Turback has written several single-topic books including titles on the ice cream sundae, the banana split, hot chocolate, and creative coffee drinks. He is currently developing a cookbook for the Ithaca Farmer’s Market.

The Library program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 extension 248.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Volunteers Available to Read to Children at Library

The Tompkins County Public Library has recruited volunteers to help spread the love of reading and books.

The Library is proud to present, The Reader is In, a group of volunteers who will be available to share stories with children of all ages during their visits to the library. There is no set schedule for this program and the readers will be available at different times during regular library hours beginning December 7, 2009.

Parents can look for the "Reader is In" sign in the Youth Services Department. If a reader isn’t available, the sign will read, “Reader is Out.”

In recognition of the significant role reading aloud plays in the development of early literacy skills and a life-long love of reading, TCPL is excited to have this additional resource available for its patrons. In addition to The Reader is In, the Library also offers weekly storytimes for families and babies.

For more information about this program, please visit or call the Library’s Youth Services Department at (607) 272-4557 extension 275.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


The Tompkins County Public Library invites children aged 8 and up and their caregivers to attend a special holiday bookmaking workshop, Instant Bookmaking, Saturday, December 5 from 3:00 to 4:45 PM in the Thaler/Howell Programming Room.

Facilitated by Christa Wolf, curator of the Library’s current art exhibit, "Books to Prints—Prints to Books," this workshop will show children how to create and illustrate their own art books—perfect for gift giving this holiday season.

Supplies will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own special touches, such as photos, to include in their books.

Attendees will also be able to view Wolf's exhibit during this free program.

For more information, contact Sally Grubb at (607) 272-4557 extension 232 or

Support TCPL at the 2009 Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair

Tompkins County Public Library Foundation is participating in this year’s Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair on Saturday December 5.

The Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair offers an opportunity to give charitable donations as holiday gifts for friends and relatives. The Fair will be held from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday, December 5, at the First Presbyterian Church, 315 North Cayuga Street and the First Baptist Church, 309 N. Cayuga St. More than fifty organizations will be represented and each gift you buy comes with a free greeting card and an insert about the organization you are supporting. All of the money collected at the Fair goes directly to the participating organizations. The Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair is sponsored by the Center for Transformative Action and Tompkins Community Action with support from Alternatives Federal Credit Union and Lightlink.

The gifts the Library Foundation is offering this year are: one hour of free public Internet access, $10; a new book for the youth fiction or non fiction collection, $25; a new book for the adult fiction or non fiction collection, $50; one early childhood library story-time session for babies, toddlers, or preschoolers $100; and support in making lifelong learning and enrichment available to people of all ages and backgrounds in any amount, all at Tompkins County Public Library.

We hope to see you at the Fair. It’s a wonderful way to learn about our community, share holiday cheer with others, support Tompkins County Public Library, and give gifts that have less impact on the environment.

If you are unable to attend in person, gifts will be available on line after the Fair through the website