Ithaca, N.Y. — Hundreds of people attended the Tompkins County Public Library’s Avenue of the Friends for the launch of its 21st Century Library Campaign.

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The library’s foundation announced a $2.75 million fundraising goal for the campaign.

Those in attendance included nationally syndicated columnist Amy Dickinson; Ithaca College President Tom Rochon; Joel Malina, Cornell University’s Vice President of University Relations; and Jean McPheeters, retired president of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.

“The quiet phase of the campaign has again showed us how important the library is to our community,” Suzanne Smith Jablonski said in a press release. “We have been humbled by the generosity of our donors thus far and are confident that the community will embrace the campaign for the future of our amazing library.”

From the rest of the press release:

Guests were treated to literary-themed refreshments prepared by the students of Tompkins Cortland Community College’s Coltivare–under the direction of Cayuga Medical Center Executive Chef Jim Durkee– music by Johnny Russo and Friends and an opportunity to learn about the campaign goals by visiting staff-run stations throughout the library.

The 21st Century Library Campaign is designed to help TCPL respond to evolving community needs. Goals for the campaign include the creation of a digital learning lab, an expanded Teen Services offering, collection development and to support the Library Foundation’s Annual Fund and endowment.

Suzanne Smith Jablonski, executive director of the Library Foundation said $2.08 million has already been raised during the quiet phase of the campaign, with lead gifts from Tom and Loren Colbert, Elissa Cogan and Barry Chester, a bequest from Edward Smith, two estate gifts, and a recent anonymous contribution.

The campaign will run through 2016. For more information, or to support the campaign, visit or contact Smith Jablonski at (607) 272-4557 extension 231.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.