Tompkins County Public Library

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Library, Orchestra to Partner for Family Concert

Tompkins County Public Library, in partnership with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, will present “I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello,” a free, family-friendly concert, Thursday, March 9 at 4 p.m. in the Library’s Ezra Cornell Reading Room.

This fun-filled, musical storytime will bring to life the acclaimed picture book, “I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello” written by Barbara S. Garriel and illustrated by John O’Brien.  This lively book reimagines the folk rhyme “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” using musical instruments.

This storytime will feature CCO musicians and the performance will include an opportunity for young participants to try out an assortment of instruments.

For more information, contact the Library’s Youth Services Department at (607) 272-4557 extension 275.

This program was made possible by the Tompkins County Public Library with support from M&T Savings Bank.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Currie Announces Retirement, Search for New Library Director Begins

Susan Currie, celebrated director of the Tompkins County Public Library, has announced plans to retire effective September 30.

During her eight-year tenure, Currie has helped establish TCPL as an award-winning model for peer libraries. Among her lengthy list of successes are a building-wide reorganization, which served to flatten the Library’s supervisory structure, providing increased leadership opportunities for staff members; the development of the County Library Budget Working Group and community engagement process, designed to identify sustainable funding for the Library; the successful 21st Century Library Campaign, which helped raise over $3.5 million in support of library programs and services; increased collaborations with local businesses and not-for-profit organizations; a reduction in barriers to access for families and young adults and strengthened relationships with UAW 2300, the labor union representing the library’s professional and support staff members. She is currently overseeing capital improvements and the construction of a 21st Century Learning Lab and teen center.       

Noting her significant contributions to the Library, Bruce Ryan, president of TCPL’s Board of Trustees, said Currie’s retirement is bittersweet.

“Our public library and community are better for the tireless enthusiasm, dedication and advocacy Susan Currie has brought to the role of library director,” Ryan said. “While we are truly excited for Susan to begin the next phase of her journey, I know I speak for the entire Board and staff in saying that her exemplary leadership will be greatly missed.”

Currie, who previously served as director of resources and planning for the Cornell University Library’s Instruction, Research and Information Services unit and as associate director of university libraries for the State University of New York at Binghamton, echoed Ryan’s mixed emotions regarding the transition.

“Serving as director of the Tompkins County Public Library has truly been the greatest honor of my professional life,” Currie said. “Our community is so fortunate to have such an incredible public library, and to have been able to spend the past eight years working to preserve its rich history and ensure a promising future for this amazing institution has been so meaningful. There is no better way to end a 36-year career than knowing that I held, even for a little while, my dream job.”

A nationwide search for TCPL’s next director will begin February 20. Applicants will be vetted by New York State Civil Service standards and a search committee comprised of members of the Board of Trustees, Library staff, Suzanne Smith Jablonski, executive director of the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation, Sarah Glogowski, executive director of the Finger Lakes Library System, and Nina Scholtz, president of the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library. Finalists will make public presentations in August.

While her time at the Library is drawing to an end, Currie noted that her most important task as director is about to begin.

“I am committed to ensuring that the next director understands just what a special place our public library is,” Currie vowed. “I’m not going anywhere until I know that it is in the right hands.”

For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty or (607) 275-1548.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Library to Host Women’s History Month Writing Workshop

Tompkins County Public Library will host, “Oh, the Women!,” a Women’s History Month writing workshop facilitated by Tompkins County Poet Laureate Irene “Zee” Zahava, Wednesday, March 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the BorgWarner Community Room-East.

Being held in conjunction with International Womens’ Day, this free program will encourage participants to write and share stories about the special women in their lives—friends, family members, literary characters or historical figures. Men and women are invited, but not required, to bring photographs and keepsake reminders of these women to inspire their writing.

Zahava is a writer, publisher and anthologist. She is the founder of Zee’s Writing Studio in downtown Ithaca where she has offered workshops for adults and teens since 1994.

This program is free and open to the public, but the workshop will be limited to 15 registered participants. To register, contact Zahava at (607) 273-4675 or

For more information, contact Teresa Vadakin at  

Library to Showcase Local Talent During Black History Month

Tompkins County Public Library will host community advocate Aloja Airewele and friends for, “Inspired Expressions,” a Black History Month celebration featuring stories, music and art by talented members of the local black community, Saturday, February 25 at 3 p.m. in the BorgWarner Community Room.

“Inspired Expressions” will provide community members of all ages an afternoon of reflection, friendship and unity and offer an introduction to the work of several talented locals, including artist Sherri Porter. An Ithaca native, Porter will discuss her background, the issues that inspire her work and offer audience members an opportunity to view her paintings for the first time.

The afternoon will also include Airewele’s energetic and encouraging stories, African drumming and dance.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Airewele is a trained physician and worked in family medicine before immigrating with his family to the United States in 1997. He is former president of the Tompkins County Public Library Board of Trustees and currently serves as coordinator of Tompkins County Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Energy Warriors program.

This program is free and open to an all-ages audience. For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at or (607) 275-1548.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Library to Host Talk on Evolution and Diversity

In celebration of Black History Month and the conclusion of Ithaca Explores Human Origins, Tompkins County Public Library will offer, “Human Diversity and Evolution,” a presentation by Charles Aquadro, Thursday, February 23 at 6 p.m. in the BorgWarner Community Room.

This program will explore “who we are and where we come from” and discuss the scientific journey of humanity through the application of research from Cornell University’s 2011 Genetic Ancestry Project.

Aqaudro is the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences and a professor of population genetics in Cornell University’s Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.  His talk is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Sally Grubb at