Tompkins County Library

Since it reopened in June, Tompkins County Public Library and its librarians have been busy meeting the needs of their patrons. Although new health regulations have limited the library’s indoor operation to in-lobby pickups and 30-minute computer sessions, there is no shortage of activities, clubs and reading materials being made available. 

Here’s a preview of all the things coming to TCPL this month:

Curbside Pick-up

One of the first things the TCPL did when it reopened was design a way to get literature to its readers’ hands. What they came up with was a brilliant take on an American standard— curbside delivery and pickup. Patrons need only visit the TCPL website, peruse the online catalog of books (which even holds books available through interlibrary lending) OR call 607-272-4556 and to place a hold on the desired reading. When the book is ready to be picked up, patrons are sent a notification!

Thanks to the CIty, the library (which ordinarily has no parking) has four designated curbside parking spaces located on S. Cayuga St. Patrons must register at least a day before they intend to utilize the curbside pickup feature to reserve a timeslot. Reservations can be made using the TCPL events calendar, only after receiving notification a confirmation email to pick up the books. Curbside Pick-up is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (times are displayed below). 

In-Lobby Pick-up

If you’re not sure what your schedule looks like, or you're just have an on the fly personality, then in-lobby pickup is probably the way to go. It’s available to drop-ins and only requires that patrons have ordered books and received their “Your book(s) are ready” notification before arriving. 

In-lobby pick-up days are available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Due to the reopening plan, separate entrances are being utilized for entrance and exits. Patrons are only permitted to enter through the southside entrance, just beyond the Ezra Cornell mural. Masks wearing and social distancing procedures are expected to be followed upon entering. 

Mon: 10 p.m.–1 p.m., 3 p.m.–6 p.m. Curbside

Tue: 10 p.m.–1 p.m., 3 p.m.–6 p.m. In-Lobby

Wed: 10 p.m.–1 p.m., 3 p.m.–6 p.m. Curbside

Thu: 10 p.m.–1 p.m., 3 p.m.–6 p.m. In-Lobby

Fri: 10 p.m.–1 p.m., 3 p.m.–6 p.m. Curbside

Sat: 10 p.m.–1 p.m., 2 p.m.–5 p.m. In-Lobby

All book returns can be placed in library bins, located near the official entrance where the books are held for 72-hours before being handled by librarians, sanitized and recirculated. 


Break For Books | Sept. 2

On Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m., break for books on Facebook with a lively discussion about what everyone’s reading! Following the book chat and  the Patron Picks list to have a handy list of the recommendations for the week.

Break For Movies | Sept. 4

Talk about movies every Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Facebook.

Virtual Chinese Storytime | Sept. 3 and Oct. 1

Join families and friends for songs, rhymes and stories at the monthly online Chinese (Mandarin) storytime on the first Thursday of each month. Children of all ages and their caregivers are welcome to participate! Find the link to the storytime at or TCPL's YouTube channel. 

Virtual Robotics Club | Next session: Sept. 4

Robots can’t die and neither can TCPL Robotics Club, which has gone virtual. Each week participants will virtually program and armor up a wrestling robot to compete in a biweekly tournament shared on Youtube. Through a Google form participants will send in Scratch codes and armor selections they wish to add to their robot. “Don't know how to code a robot in Scratch?” says the website, “No problem!” Before each Google form is sent out a live Youtube tutorial or Q&A session will be provided.   Registration is required prior to the event.

Virtual Panel by Panel Graphic Novel Book Club | Next session: Sept. 4

Adults are invited to celebrate their love of this diverse and subversive medium. Registration is required, and books will be provided for participants. (Those who have their own copy are welcome to participate as well, just note when you sign up that you won't need one of our copies.) This month, we will be reading Almost American Girl by Robin Ha:

Tween Book Club | Sept. 9

Children ages 9-12 are welcome to join our Tween Book Club. In September we will be reading We're Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey. Registration is required as space is limited. Register and reserve your free copy of the book by emailing Pick up your free copy of the book by curbside appointment or in lobby pick-up. Book Club will meet via Zoom. Participants are welcome to bring suggestions for future books to read together! After a year on Mars, a young boy and his family migrate to the planet Choom, but the inhabitants of Choom, the Zhuri, who look like giant mosquitoes, don't really like humans and it's up to the boy and his family to change their minds if they hope to survive.

Interim Managing Editor

Glenn Epps is an Ithaca College alum who's held previously held positions at The Ithacan as a reporter and podcaster, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, and Ithaca's Kitchen Theatre Company. He's an active tweeterhead at glenn_epps_.

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