Tompkins County Public Library

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cornell Off Campus: The Impact of Cornellians on Tompkins County 1865 - 2015 Opens April 22

Just as the Tompkins County Public Library celebrated its founding in 1864 by Ezra Cornell last year, it wished to honor Cornell’s much larger gift to the community with an exhibit in 2015 to commemorate the university’s sesquicentennial.  While the inspiration for this exhibit was the signing of Cornell University’s Charter by Governor Reuben Fenton on April 27, 1865, the exhibit isn’t about the university or what has taken place on campus since that date. Instead, it is an attempt to illustrate the impact the institution has had on Tompkins County as demonstrated by its most significant local contribution, its people.

Fifteen people associated with Cornell were selected by curator Julee Johnson to represent its past and present, one for each decade of its existence; fifteen Cornellians – students, alumni, faculty, and staff members – who have had an undeniable impact on this community.

A special opening reception takes place on Friday, May 1 from 5 – 8 PM in conjunction with Gallery Opening Night. Join curator Cornell Alumna Julee Johnson at 6:15 PM in the Avenue of the Friends for a tour of the exhibit and to learn about the range and variety of impacts these 15 Cornellians have made on Tompkins County from 1865 to 2015.

1865-1875: Ezra Cornell, co-founder and benefactor of Cornell University, who also founded the Tompkins County Public Library in 1864
1875-1885: William H. Miller designed over 70 buildings in Tompkins County, on and off campus
1885-1895: Mary Isabelle (Belle) Sherman, beloved science teacher at Ithaca High School for over 30 years
1895-1905: Martha Van Rensselaer taught extension courses to New York farm wives, and later joined forces with Flora Rose to found the College of Home Economics at Cornell University
1905-1915: Everett Fleet Morse, inventor with numerous patents and co-founder with brother Frank of Morse Chain Company, once the largest employer in Tompkins County
1915-1925: Robert H. Treman, businessman and philanthropist who donated Enfield Glen and Buttermilk Falls to the New York State Parks system
1925-1935: Howard E. Babcock was one of the founders and first general manager of the cooperative Grange League Federation (GLF), which stabilized prices and guaranteed markets for farmer-members in Tompkins County and statewide
1935-1945: Romeyn Berry for the Ithaca Journal, his column “State and Tioga” appeared weekly for 28 years
1945-1955: Laura Bryant, revered music teacher with a 44-year career in the Ithaca School system and author of several music books for children
1955-1965: Katherine Van Winkle Palmer was one of the founding incorporators of the Paleontological Research Institution and director of PRI during its move to West Hill and establishment of its on-site museum
1965-1975: Assemblywoman Constance Cook represented Tompkins County and co-sponsored the landmark abortion rights law in 1970
1975-1985: Beverly Martin, teacher and later principal at Central Elementary School and Ithaca City School District’s first Director of Affirmative Action
1985-1995: Ilma Levine with Debbie Levin taught after-school science classes at Central Elementary School and founded the Sciencenter
1995-2005: Stuart Stein was a member and chair of the Tompkins County Legislature and advocate for arts funding, cooperative energy purchasing, and heritage tourism
2005-2015: Svante Myrick was a member of the Ithaca Common Council and now Mayor, the youngest and first African American to hold this office 

This exhibit was made possible by the Office of Community Relations, Cornell University and the Tompkins County Public Library.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Cornell Boys (and Girls) in the Boat

1935 Women's Crew
The exhibit The Cornell Boys (and Girls) in the Boat is designed to show events at Cornell that mirror events in “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown the first book to be discussed at TCPL’s new non-fiction book club “Truth Be Told.”

On display in the Avenue of the Friends it features a one-man scull built by legendary boat builder George Pocock, photographs, trophies and other artifacts on loan from Cornell Rowing.  
1937 Cornell Heavyweight Crew

To add further to the experience of reading and discussing “The Boys in the Boat," Cornell Athletics Department is sponsoring a presentation and discussion by Christoper J. Kerber the Henry Bartels LWT Men’s Rowing Coach on Wednesday, March 11. Kerber coaches the LWT crew who just won the IRA national championship. He will talk about Cornell’s Rowing Program today, and how it relates to the book. The program takes place 7:00 – 8:15 PM in the BorgWarner Room East on Wednesday March 11. Join us for a fascinating evening.
1936 HWC launching their boat
Boarding the Lehion Valley viewing train
Racing on Cayuga Lake 1900's

These two programs are made possible thanks to the support of Cornell University Athletics and the Rowing Program.


Two New Exhibits Open at Gallery Night on Friday March 6

TCPL presents two new exhibits at an opening reception being held in conjunction with Gallery Night from 5 to 8 PM on Friday, March 6.

The Cornell Boys (and Girls) in the Boat features a single scull built by the renowned boat builder George Pocock, photographs of Cornell Rowing including images from the early 1900's which call to mind scenes featured in the book "The Boys in the Boat - Nine Americans and their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics" by Daniel James Brown and other artifacts.
Ann Piombino from the Ithaca Youth Farm
12 Seniors from LACS present Inspiring Ithacans.

Owen Lennon, Keegan Bakos, Billie Joe, Adrienne Wooster, Adrian Clavel, Caleb Lucas, Michael Belle and Violet Briggs photographed and interviewed some of the many people who have done selfless acts to benefit our community and display a gallery of their photographs and the interviews in the Avenue of the Friends. Join us at Gallery Night as we pay homage to these people and celebrate their innovative acts. 

After 5:00 PM please enter the Library through the BorgWarner Community Room Door behind the bus shelter on Green Street.

The exhibit "The Cornell Boys (and Girls) in the Boat" has been made possible through the support of Cornell Athletics and the Cornell Rowing Program.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Evolution in your Backyard - an exhibit sponsored by PRI Opens First Friday Gallery Night on March 6

TCPL joins PRI's annual celebration of Darwin Days 2015 with a small exhibit centered on this year’s theme: Evolution in Your Backyard. An opening reception is being held during Gallery Opening Night from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday March 6 in the Avenue of the Friends.

Although Darwin is noted for his vast travels and five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle, he also knew that evidence of evolution is all around. From birds to mammals, from plants to insects, you can learn a lot about evolution right in your own backyard! The exhibit will feature fascinating specimens native to Ithaca, with images and graphics that explain what they can teach us. Additionally, portraits, journal entries, and historic specimens will tell Darwin’s personal story and the history of PRI’s annual Darwin Days celebration.

For more information about the other events which take place all over Ithaca in celebration of Charles Darwin's Birthday go to Darwin Days Events. From Darwin's Dog Days at Cayuga Nature Center, Darwin's Birthday Bash and a Family Day at the Museum of the Earth, Trivia at Felicia's Atomic Lounge, Science Cabaret at Lot 10, plus panels at Cornell University and a screening of Microcosmos at Cinemapolis, there is something for every age. The exhibit at TCPL will be on display through the end of March.

The exhibit is made possible by PRI with support from Cornell University and Derek and Leora Kaufman.

After 5 PM on Friday, March 6, please enter the Library through the BorgWarner door behind the bus shelter on Green Street.

"What Would MLK Say Today?" Poster Contest Display opens during Gallery Night on March 6

The award ceremony for the winners in the First Annual "What would MLK Say Today?" Poster Contest, sponsored by the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights, takes place at 6 PM Gallery Night on Friday, March 6.
Adult and Teen award wining posters admired by a Library Patron
Visit the Avenue of the Friends to see the posters entered in the contest. Winners in four age groups are displayed in the Avenue.  Other entries are found on the pillars along the Avenue, on the walls of the Ezra Cornell Reading Room and the walls around the Fiction Bookstacks.

The Posters will be on display through February 27.

The award ceremony is the first event taking place during "Human Rights Revisited" which is sponsored by the Tompkins County Human Rights Commission. The schedule of events follows:

6:00 Poster Awards Ceremony (Avenue of the Friends)
6:45 Human Rights Video (BorgWarner Community Room)
7:00 "A Diversity of Perspectives" Panel Discussion moderated by Pat Pryor (BorgWarner Room) 
7:30 Community Discussion (BorgWarner Room)
8:00 Closing remarks

This event is sponsored by the Tompkins County Civil Rights Commission and the Office of Human Rights and co-sponsored by Tompkins County Public Library.

After 5 PM on Gallery Opening Night please enter the Library through the BorgWarner door behind the bus shelter on Green Street.

Diary of a Library - Artists Books from the Card Catalog

Artists books donated to Diary of a Library, the repurposed card catalog created during TCPL's Sesquicentennial Year 2014, can be seen on display in the Avenue of the Friends.

These tiny 3" x 5" books were created by local book artists including Werner Sun, Parbara Page, students in a workshop presented by Laurie Snyder and many others to help celebrate 150 years of Library Service to our community.  Together with hundreds of library card catalog cards, contributed by members of the community of all ages, these books will be stored in an historic card catalog, displayed in the Avenue of the Friends and are available for all to browse through.

Members of the public are invited to continue contributing cards to add to the catalog.  Tell us your library story, or tell us your favorite book.  Pick up a card, write your story and drop it off in the box provided.  As with all library catalogs whether digital or on cards, Diary of a Library will continue to evolve and we will add new cards whenever they are contributed.