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Who We Are

The Tompkins County Public Library Foundation is a nonprofit partner to the Library, providing opportunities for people to express their support through financial contributions. We serve as a focal point where Library advocates and supporters can assist TCPL in continuing to build a public institution that welcomes and serves all.

The Tompkins County Public Library Foundation (EIN 16-1422052) is an exempt organization as described in Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A professional staff raises and administers gifts in accordance with donor wishes, and a Board of Directors provides oversight.


Since its founding in 1993, the Library Foundation has generated and dispensed over $8.7 million in funds to TCPL, supporting collections, programming, and unique initiatives in response to community needs.

TCPL Foundation Mission and Vision


The Tompkins County Public Library Foundation sustains and strengthens our library by inspiring community support. The Foundation serves as a bridge between the library and the community, encouraging engagement through philanthropy and participation.



The Tompkins County Public Library Foundation envisions every community member having the opportunity for personal development and enrichment at the public library. We support the highest caliber of library service which evolves in response to changing and growing needs, and serve as responsible stewards of the resources with which we have been entrusted. We encourage library lovers to take an active role in their public library, as supporters, users and advocates.

How the Foundation is Different from the Friends of the Library 

In 2017, I finally got to be a part of my favorite place when I started my dream job with the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation, responsible for raising funds for the library [...] I love that I get to use my skills to generate support for our incredible library.

Kerry Barnes, Executive Director, Library Foundation

Both the Foundation and the Friends of the Library raise money for TCPL, but in different ways. The Foundation serves as the fundraising arm of the Library, while the Friends grant money from the proceeds of the Book Sales to TCPL, as well as supporting are literacy initiatives.

To learn more about the Friends, membership, and their legendary book sales, go to their website at

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