Tompkins County Public Library

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Library to Host Community Conversation on the Importance of Black History Month

When Historian Carter G. Woodson initiated the celebration of “Negro History Week,” in 1926, his hope was that that it would inspire the recognition of black history as an important component in the teaching of world history.  Nearly 90 years later, the United States has seen the March on Washington, an end to segregation and the election of a black president. So, where does that leave what is now-known as “Black History Month?”

Join Eric Kofi Acree, director of Cornell University’s John Henrik Clarke Africana Library, for “Black History Month:  Is it Still Needed, Where Do We Go From Here?,” a community conversation and panel discussion, featuring Robert L. Harris, Jr. and Margaret Washington, February 16 at 2 p.m. in the Tompkins County Public Library’s BorgWarner Community Room.
This program will explore the significance of Black History Month-- in light of this year’s sesquicentennial celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  Panelists will reflect on why it is still important to commemorate, acknowledge and participate in the celebration of the contributions made by people of African descent and look into how far blacks have come in the achievement of freedom, justice and equality.
Harris, a professor of African American History, former vice provost for diversity and faculty development at Cornell University and former director of Cornell’s Africana Studies and Research Center, has contributed more than 60 articles and chapters to academic journals and books, including “The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939.”   He serves as National Historian for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, past president of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and is a recipient of the Perkins Prize for Interracial Understanding and Harmony at Cornell, the Woodson Scholar’s Medallion from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Cook Award for Commitment to Women’s Issues at Cornell.
Washington joined the Cornell University faculty in 1988 and specializes in African American history and culture, African American women, and the American South.  She has been a Fellow at the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Fellow at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities and Senior Fellow at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Humanities.  She has published numerous articles and books, including the only edited and annotated edition of the “Narrative of Sojourner Truth” and “Sojourner Truth’s America,” which received the Letitia Woods Brown Award for the best publication on African American women from the Association of Black Women Historians and won the inaugural Darlene Clark Hine Award for the best book in African American women’s and gender history from the Organization of American Historians. 
This program is free and open to the public, audience participation will be encouraged.
For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 extension 248 or

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Library to Host ESL Snack and Chat

Beginning February 13, non-native English speakers are invited to the Tompkins County Public Library for “ESL Snack and Chat Conversation Groups.”

These informal, drop-in sessions will be held each Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the BorgWarner Community Room West and offer a relaxed setting for practicing conversation and listening skills. The meetings will help participants discover and access language-learning resources at the Library and in the community and provide a forum for information sharing.

Snack and Chat sessions are free and open to individuals with the desire to improve their English or willing to serve as conversation partners for others. All ages and abilities are welcome! Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Joyce Wheatley at or Debbie Collier at Community members interested in volunteering to help facilitate the program are encouraged to contact Tonya Curran at or (607) 272-4557 extension 226 for information about a short orientation program being held February 6.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Library to Host Silbey for Presentation on Democrats During the Civil War

Tompkins County Public Library and the Tompkins County Civil War Sesquicentennial Celebration Commission will present

“Challenging Lincoln,” a presentation on Democrats during the Civil War by acclaimed historian Joel Silbey, February 11 at 6 p.m. in the Library’s BorgWarner Community Room.
A leading historian on the politics of the Civil War, Silbey--professor emeritus from Cornell University--has penned more than two dozen books, including, “A Respectable Minority: The Democratic Party in the Civil War Era, 1860-1868 (1977).”
Silbey’s presentation will explore the often-overlooked Democratic party’s role in the Civil War.  Falling—under Lincoln--from dominance as the country’s premiere party, the Democrats were smaller in number but mighty in tenacity, battling to prevent the adoption of Republican policies.  Silbey will discuss these efforts, the role and behavior, and impact and significance, of Democrats during the War.
This program is being presented as part of a five-year partnership between the Library and the Tompkins County Civil War Sesquicentennial Celebration Commission to provide opportunities for community conversation and increased awareness about the Civil War.  It is free and open to the public.
For more information about Library programs, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at or (607) 272-4557 extension 248.  For information about the Tompkins County Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Commission, contact Carol Kammen, Tompkins County historian, at


Friday, February 8, 2013

Library to Close for Staff Training

Tompkins County Public Library will be closed February 8 for its annual Staff Development Day.

Library Director Susan Currie said the training day will help ensure that staff members are prepared to meet the changing needs of Library patrons.

"As our community evolves, so does the Library's responsibility to provide the services and resources our patrons need," Currie said.  "Staff development day gives us an opportunity to discuss those needs and make sure our staff members are prepared to meet them."

TCPL will re-open at 10 a.m., February 9.

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Library to Offer Programming for Non-Fiction Writers

Tompkins County Public Library invites non-fiction writers to network, share their work and discuss their craft during monthly meetings of its newly-formed writers’ group.

Facilitated by veteran writer Paul Boyer, this group will meet on the first Wednesday of each month—beginning February 6--from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the east side of the Library’s BorgWarner Community Room.

A full-time writer for more than 25 years, Boyer teaches writing and proposal writing at Thomas Edison State College and SUNY-Empire State College. Before moving to Ithaca last year, he had been a long-time member of a similarly-styled, supportive and motivational small group for writers.

This group is free and open to adult writers of all experience levels.  Advance registration is appreciated but not required.  To register, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 extension 248 or

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Library to Host Toddler Storytime

Tompkins County Public has announced the February 5 return of its popular Toddler Storytime.

Library staff, caregivers and toddlers will share stories, songs, fingerplays and fun, each Tuesday from 11 to 11:30 a.m..

Toddler storytimes are free and open to the public and will be held in the Library’s Thaler/Howell Programming Room. These storytimes will run through April 30.

All children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. For more information, contact the Youth Services Department at (607) 272-4557 extension 275.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Library to Screen Serials

Tompkins County Public Library, in partnership with Ithaca Made Movies, will host “Serial Saturday 5,” the latest installment in its monthly film series, February 2 at 1 p.m. in the BorgWarner Community Room.

Made popular in the mid-1900s, serial films—also known as chapter plays—were feature films broken into short segments or chapters.  Theaters would show one chapter, typically ending in a cliffhanger, one week and patrons would return for the next segment the following week.

Serial Saturdays programs are hosted by Ithaca Made Movies Founder Terry Harbin and feature episodes of rare films from the first part of the 20th century.  Audience feedback helps determine which films are shown during these fun, free events.

This month’s program will feature a screening of the 1914 film, “The Perils of Pauline,” featuring Pearl White.

For more information, visit

Library To Host Family Storytime

Tompkins County Public Library announces the much-anticipated, February 2 return of its weekly Family Storytime.

Families with children of all ages are invited to join Library staff each Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Thaler/Howell Programming Room for stories, music, fingerplays and family fun. 

Family Storytime sessions are free and open to the public; however, stories and themes are best-suited for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary-aged children. These programs will run through April 27.

All children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. For more information, contact the Youth Services Department at (607) 272-4557 extension 275.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February is Library Lovers Month

Love is in the air at the Tompkins County Public Library this February, as the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library celebrate Library Lovers Month.

Patrons are encouraged to express their love for TCPL throughout February by participating in one of the many special events planned to commemorate Library Lovers Month. From giving a library valentine to a loved one, sharing a letter of support with a local legislator, or becoming the star of a READ poster, February offers an abundance of opportunities to celebrate the library.

All month, patrons will be able to honor a special individual, organization or cause by purchasing a heart at the Library’s Circulation Desk.  Hearts are available for $1, and will be personalized and put on display in the Library’s rotunda.  Hearts will also be available for purchase from members of the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library at the Shops at Ithaca Mall on February 2.

Library lovers may also recognize a friend or family member by adopting a book in their honor or by gifting someone with a membership to the Friends of the Library at

On Saturday, February 23, visitors to TCPL can become stars of their very own READ posters. Photos will be taken—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.-- of individuals, families or friends showcasing their favorite books.  Full color posters will be created from the photos for a charge of $12 per print. 

Library lovers can also show their love all year by volunteering for jobs ranging from shelving DVDs to “The Reader Is In” read-aloud program, helping the library staff with special projects and spreading the word about the importance of public libraries.

For more information, contact Liz Hudson at (607) 272-4557 ext. 219 or

Library Lovers Month is made possible through the partnership of the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library.  Learn more about these organizations by contacting Suzanne Smith Jablonski, executive director of the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation, at (607) 272-4557 ext. 231 or by email at or Nancy Morgan, vice president of membership for the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library, at (607) 257-3416 or by email at