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Finger Lakes Library System

Finger Lakes Library System

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Tompkins County Public Library
Location101 East Green Street, Ithaca, New York
Coordinates42°26′18″N 76°29′54″W / 42.43824°N 76.49831°W / 42.43824; -76.49831Coordinates: 42°26′18″N 76°29′54″W / 42.43824°N 76.49831°W / 42.43824; -76.49831
Access and use
Population served101,564 (2012)
Other information
Budget$3.87 million (2014)[3]
DirectorAnnette Birdsall[4]

The Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL) is the public library for residents of Tompkins County, New York. The library has one branch which is located in Ithaca, New York.


The library was founded by Ezra Cornell as the Cornell Free Library in 1864, one year prior to the establishment of Cornell University. In 1967 the library was recharged as the county's library when the county paid for the construction of a new $1.7 million building.[5] The Library serves as the Central Library of the five-county Finger Lakes Library System [6] and provides free and equal access to residents of Tompkins, Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, Schuyler and Tioga counties.

TCPL hosts nearly one million visitors each year, making it the single, largest driver of traffic to downtown Ithaca. The library provides access to digital resources, including wireless internet access, databases and eBooks, as well as an extensive print collection. It also serves as the cultural hub of Tompkins County, providing museum quality art exhibits, opportunities for civic engagement and programs for children, teens and adults.

The library's current building is located at the corner of Cayuga and Green Street (New York Route 79) just south of the Ithaca Commons. The building was originally constructed as a Woolworths department store which was renovated and opened in November 2000.[7]

The library's primary budget allocation comes from Tompkins County, with additional support from the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation and The Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library. In November 2014, The Tompkins County Public Library Foundation announced a $2.75 million Campaign for a 21st Century Library in support of the construction of a digital literacy lab, a teen center, collection expansion and endowment building.[8] Another $1.4 million was granted in 2016 for the creation of a teen center and renovations to the interior.[9]

Support from the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library is funded by the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library Booksale. One of the largest events of its type in the United States, the booksale draws thousands to an Esty Street warehouse each year in search of books, records, CDs and DVDs provided through community donations.[10]

It is a part of the eight-site Ithaca Discovery Trail.

One of the reading areas of the library, with a painting of Ezra Cornell in the background


  1. ^ a b c "Profile & History". Tompkins County Public Library. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  2. ^ "About Us". Tompkins County Public Library. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  3. ^ "TCLP Budget" (PDF).
  4. ^ Mearhoff, Sarah (August 30, 2017). "Tompkins County Public Library BOT names new director, Currie retires after eight years". The Ithaca Journal. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  5. ^ http://tcpl.org/libinfo/about-history.php
  6. ^ http://www.flls.org/
  7. ^ Our History TCPL website; accessed Nov 7, 2015
  8. ^ http://www.tcplfoundation.org/#!
  9. ^ Casler, Andrew (January 6, 2016). "$1.4M Tompkins library renovation OK'd". The Ithaca Journal. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  10. ^ http://www.booksale.org/

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