Tompkins County Public Library

Friday, December 27, 2013

Celebrate the New Year and TCPL’s 150th Anniversary - Create a special Library Card for Diary of a Library

 TCPL is one of the oldest public libraries in the country having been
Ezra Cornell
founded 150 years ago in 1864 by Ezra Cornell. 

To celebrate our 150th anniversary we are inviting the community to participate in a special project: fill the drawers of a special card catalog with library cards created by all of us! You are invited to write/draw a card to tell your story/memory of the library – or any library.  Together these cards will become the Diary of a Library. Stop by the Welcome Desk next time you are in the Library and pick up a flyer with a blank library card.  Go to for information about our Anniversary Celebrations and to find more details about Diary of a Library and download a library card template.  Send a photo of yourself in your favorite library spot, or with your favorite book, together with your comments and library story to and we will create a card for you. 

Do you remember what card catalogs used to look like?  This is the card catalog when TCPL was located on Cayuga Street.

Here is the card catalog we need your help filling now. Go to for a full list of drawer topics.
Check out some of the cards we have received already.

We have a drawer for volunteers to fill.

Olympia McFall has been a volunteer for many years and has many stories to tell.

Local author, Anne Mazer, is a longstanding Library Lover and has contributed several cards.
Library Director Susan Currie, and Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen contributed this card and promise to send more.

Some of our youngest patrons are sending us cards.
Send your unique card as soon as possible to TCPL Card Catalog, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14950, or drop off at the Welcome Desk in the Library.  Diary of a Library will go on display in the Library on April 4, but cards will be accepted and added to the catalog throughout the year.

For more information email

Monday, December 16, 2013

Books Re-Purposed and Book Covers Re-designed join “BANNED!” books at the Library’s Gallery Opening Night on Friday, January 3, 5:00 – 8:00 PM.

Two new book exhibits created by the 6th grade students at Boynton and 7th and 8th grade students at DeWitt Middle Schools provide a fascinating new presentation of books in the Teen Services Department at the Library.

Looking through the eyes of talented young artists from the classes of Caitlin Chan (Boynton) and Aubrey Hetznecker (DeWitt) the viewer is given a completely new insight into the way people view books. This exciting new exhibit perfectly complements the exhibit “BANNED!” curated by Suzanne Onodera which has been left on display especially for the January 3, Gallery Opening Night.

The sixth grade students of Boynton Middle School created new covers for favorite books.
Students read their chosen literature, identifying symbols, themes and characters that best represented the story they were to illustrate. In the classroom, a variety of media was available for them to use. Students selected materials that they were interested in exploring more deeply and independently. As a class, they discussed the connection between visual art and literature. Students researched illustrators who worked on book jackets and studied how illustration styles change.

Each new book jacket is successful because the students, responding to the art materials and story, were motivated to create a more visually compelling cover.

The seventh and eighth grade students of DeWitt Middle School created a variety of sculptural and poetic works using discarded books.

Students folded, tore, glued, collaged, cut, sculpted, and reshaped the books to create  new works of art. These artworks are as varied as the contents of the books themselves, reflecting the unique talent of each student.

After discussing ideas regarding function and form each student selected the book they wanted to rework and used their own strategy to create their altered book. Some used the content or theme of the actual text to guide their work, while others chose to base their artwork on their own interests and to use the book accordingly. Regardless, all of these works create a beautiful display of new narratives that rethink the relationship between function and form.

Gallery Night access to the Library will be through the BorgWarner Community Room door behind the TCAT bus shelter on Green Street.