ITHACA, N.Y. — There’s nothing like cozying up with a good book in winter so we thought we would take a look at what Tompkins County residents enjoyed reading and watching last year.

The Tompkins County Public Library is busy on any given day. In 2017, the library had nearly 250,000 visitors, according to Kerry Barnes, assistant director of the Tompkins County Library Foundation. And those visitors checked out about 595,000 items.

Some items on the list are not surprising. The community book read — this year “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” — is always one of the most checked out books. In 2017, Michelle Alexander’s book was checked out 767 times.

Classics always find a way on the list, too, like the “Harry Potter” series and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

Here is a list of the most checked out books, DVDs, periodicals and other items in 2017.


  • DVD — “Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season” (Checked out 128 times)
  • Fiction — “Blasphemy” by Sherman Alexie (Checked out 660 times)
  • Fiction (New) — “The Wrong Side of Goodbye” by Michael Connelly (Checked out 110 times)
  • NonFiction  — “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander (Checked out 767 times)
  • Periodical — “The New Yorker”
  • Audiobook on CD — “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

Children’s Books, Movies & Periodicals

  • Audiobook on CD — “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling
  • DVD — “Inside Out”
  • Easy Reader Fiction — “I Broke My Trunk!” by Mo Willems
  • Fiction — “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School” by Jeff Kinney
  • Fiction — “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling
  • Graphic Novel Fiction — “Big Nate: I Can’t Take It!” by Lincoln Pierce
  • Periodical — “American Girl”
  • Non-Fiction — “Minecraft Construction Handbook”

Young Adult

  • Fiction — “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor” by Rick Riordan
  • Graphic Novel Fiction —”Drama” by Raina Telgemeir


If you are ever downtown caught in the rain you can check out an umbrella at the Tompkins County Public Library as part of the “Library of Things.” Library cardholders can also check out tool bags, reading glasses, calculators, chargers, dry erase markers and even electricity monitors. Don’t forget passes to the Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center day passes are also available at the library.

But the most popular item checked out from the “Library of Things?” Tote bags. They were checked out 640 times.

For more information about the Tompkins County Public Library, visit

Photo Illustration by Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.