Where does the money go?

Twice each year the Friends hold a fundraising book sale. We sell hundreds of thousands of books and bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Where does that money go?

Where the rubber meets the road.

Where the rubber meets the road: Nina Scholtz (left), Friends of the Library president, delivers a check to Susan Currie, director of the Tompkins County Public Library after the Fall 2015 Book Sale.

After meeting Book Sale expenses (maintenance on the warehouse building and general utilities: all the labor is provided by volunteers), we give money to the Tompkins County Public Library and to the the Finger Lakes Library System.

We also give money to not-for-profit organizations in Tompkins County for reading-related materials, give educational grants to residents of Tompkins County pursuing library degrees, and contribute to continuing education programs for county and school library personnel.


Here are just a few of our many grant recipients:

  • Izzy’s Closets, Inc. Izzy’s Closets run a number of programs to provide schoolchildren everything they need to succeed in school, from basic supplies to warm clothing. A grant from the Friends will support one of these programs, Izzy Reads, providing books to brand-new readers. In addition, program volunteers will read once a month to the three- and four-year-olds at the Groton preschool programs and to students in the Head Start programs at Groton and Dryden. Approximately 225 students will benefit.
  • Hospicare and Palliative Care Service was awarded a grant to purchase books for the Bereavement library – both for children and adults. In past years, the Friends made it possible for Hospicare to print pamphlets on grief for patients and their families. Their programs serve approximately 500 families each year.
  • Golden Opportunity was given a grant that purchased books for more than seventy low-income students to build their home libraries.
  • IPEI (Ithaca Public Education Initiative) – received money for books for their ‘Kids Discover the Trail’ program.
  • Thanks to a grant from the Friends, theCornell Cooperative Extension 4-H program will be able to purchase books to build libraries at West Village and Northside Apartments.
  • OAR (Opportunities, Alternatives, and Resources of Tompkins County) was warded $1,000 for college student book stipends to serve previously incarcerated adults.
  • Big Brother/Big Sister programs with the Ithaca Youth Bureau. Awarded $600.00 for the purchase of books for youths newly matched with mentors. Serving approximately 50 new matches a year.
  • Tompkins Learning Partners. Awarded $1,000.00 to purchase books for Adult Basic Education and ESL students and volunteers. Serving approximately 150 students and 85 volunteers each year.
  • Advocacy Center of Tompkins County – FOL funds helped the Advocacy Center purchase books on sexual abuse and domestic violence topics to stock an in-house library and to give to clients
  • Challenge Industries, Life Options Program – an FOL grant will go toward the purchase of supplies that will help disabled adults to improve functional math and reading skills
  • Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Rural Youth Services – the Friends helped purchase books for the Trumansburg teen reading group, the DeWitt Middle School Library, and the TCPL ESL Program
  • Family & Children’s Services – an FOL grant will cover the purchase of books on mental health topics to stock an in-house library and to give to families in therapy.
  • Ithaca Housing Authority, Titus Towers – FOL funds cover the cost of workbooks used by residents in a financial literacy class
  • Ithaca Public Education Initiative, Kids Discover the Trail! – a Friends grant purchased books for ICSD 5th graders, helping turn their class visit to the Cayuga Nature Center into an ongoing opportunity for learning
  • Southworth Library – The Friends helped Southworth purchase CD players and books on CD for residents at Willowbrook Manor, a senior apartment complex in Dryden
  • Tompkins Learning Partners (formerly Literacy Volunteers) – FOL funds will go toward buying books for adult basic education, ESL classes, and incarcerated youth programs
  • Unity House of Cayuga County, Ithaca Day Hab Center – an FOL grant will allow Unity House to establish an in-house library with computers for adults with developmental disabilities
  • YOURS (Youth Outreach Undergraduates Reshaping Success) – the Friends are helping YOURS purchase books and presentation supplies for college student mentoring youths living at the Hanshaw and Conger mobile home parks

You can find more information about our grant programs here, including information on how to apply.

Your love of reading makes all this possible!