On August 26 at 12:00 noon, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ithaca Commons Reading Room, sponsored by the Hartnett Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, in the center of the Ithaca Commons near Chemung Canal Trust Company.
This seasonal outdoor amenity on the newly redesigned Ithaca Commons pedestrian mall will feature adult and children’s books, periodicals, and classic board games. Periodicals and games can be enjoyed onsite in the shade of the large red umbrellas, and patrons will be able to take books home on the Little Free Library model (Take a Book, Leave a Book).
Explains Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the DIA, “When our staff saw the outdoor reading room in New York City’s Bryant Park, we were inspired to bring this creative idea to downtown Ithaca. Thanks to the generosity of the Hartnett Fund, this inspiration has become reality. We invite Ithacans and visitors alike to enjoy this ‘novel’ and engaging amenity on our new pedestrian mall.”
Adds George Ferrari, CEO of the Community Foundation, “The Hartnett Fund, our first donor-advised fund, was created by our founding board member and accomplished local philanthropist Howard P. Hartnett. It is now advised by his surviving family members. This grant, given in Howard’s memory, celebrates his longstanding support of libraries and his love of downtown Ithaca.”
All of the DIA’s ribbon cutting ceremonies are open to the public and members of the press.