Meet the Ash Family

Chairs of the 2014 Annual Fund

Tompkins County Public Library Foundation Executive Director Suzanne Smith Jablonski has announced the selection of avid library users Ethan and Rachel Ash, and their sons, Eli and Liam, as chairs of the Foundation’s 2014 Annual Fund.

As chairs, the Ash family will lead the charge on several fundraising events and activities designed to sustain the Library’s vibrant and diverse collections, engage children and teens as readers and learners and provide free, year-round cultural, educational and civic programs.


“The Ash family is a perfect representation of what Tompkins County Public Library means to the community it serves,” Smith Jablonski said.  “It is truly the community center for families and individuals of every age, at every stage of life.”

Rachel Ash used the library for research while studying for her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and as an online classroom and place for personal reflection while pursuing a career in social work.  Now, it serves as a facilitator of family time.


“For our family, the Library has been a core part of our values and quality time together. Our boys, 4-year-old, Eli and 2-year-old, Liam, light up with every visit, filling their bags with books that fit their interest of the month. From there, the library books they select provide us with the most sacred part of our days—the time we spend as a family, reading at bedtime. It’s at this time, when we put down our phones, our work, our distractions, in exchange for Curious George, Paddington Bear or Dr. Seuss, that we feel more connected and real. We view the Tompkins County Public Library as a partner in raising our children, both as a place and a community to reinforce our shared values,” Rachel said.


Ethan Ash, an Ithaca native, grew up visiting the Library’s former location on North Cayuga Street.  After returning to the area, he has rediscovered the Library and recognizes the important role it plays in the lives of three generations of his family.


“It’s a place free of distraction and full of simple treasures for our kids. It’s where my mom, Karin, has found a meaningful volunteer opportunity surrounded by one of her greatest loves in life—books. For my wife, it has been her second home for the last two years as she pursued her master’s in social work. And for me, as an entrepreneur, I look to the Library as one of my many “community offices” where I can meet and work, and be connected to a part of the community I love,” Ethan said.


The goal of this year’s Annual Fund is to raise $225,000 in support of library programs, services and collections.  For more information, contact Suzanne Smith Jablonski at ssmithjablonski@tcpl.org or (607) 272-4557 extension 231.