tcpl120Planned renovations to the Tompkins County Public Library received a financial boost recently in the form of a $300,000 grant from the New York State Dormitory Authority.

Sponsored by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-125 AD), the grant will support TCPL's efforts to promote accessibility and digital literacy through the construction of its 21st Century Learning Lab and teen center.

Library Director Susan Currie lauded Lifton for her unwavering support of the library and said the funding will help to ensure that TCPL remains a vital and vibrant community cornerstone.

"Assemblywoman Lifton has long been a champion of public libraries and literacy," Currie said.  "Through her efforts, library patrons of all ages will have access to technology and services that inspire knowledge and creativity, build literacy and encourage personal and professional development."

tcpl constructionPictured from left to right: Library Director Susan Currie, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and Suzanne Smith Jablonski, executive director of the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation. (Photo courtesy of Patricia Wall)

Lifton recognized the ongoing importance of the library as a hub for technological instruction and opportunity and as a safe space for young community members.

"I'm very pleased to have secured this $300,000 in state funding to assist the Tompkins County Public Library in expanding its mission to meet the demands of a digital world. As new technologies have arisen, libraries have had to evolve, and the Tompkins County Public Library is no exception. Increasingly, libraries are not only places where you can take out books – they are also places where you can host a workshop, build a website, or hone job-training skills," Lifton said "I'm particularly excited that this funding will be used to create a new Teen Center and a "21st Century Learning Lab," giving teens a safe and enriching place to hang out, where they can learn about the new technologies and use them in creative and exciting ways, all of which will help them succeed in the information age."

The grant funding is part of the more than $3.5 million raised during Tompkins County Public Library Foundation's 21st Century Library Campaign.  Concluded in June, the Campaign endeavored to raise funds in support of the construction of the learning lab and teen center, enhanced collections, ongoing program support and a strengthened endowment.

Construction is slated to begin in early 2017.