Tompkins County Public Library


Mayor Carolyn Peterson read a City of Ithaca Proclamation showing support for the Ithaca Reads: a Cornell/Community Collaboration program.

Essay contest for Tompkins Country high school students announced by the TCPL.

Introduction at reading of proclamation by Michele Moody-Adams

July 25th, 2005
Tompkins County Public Library

Cornell’s New Student Reading project is now in its 5th year. Over the course of those five years, we have been delighted to be reminded of a very simple truth: shared experiences of reading—and of talking together about that reading—create and sustain communities. They sustain communities in which we can appreciate the value of great literature, recall the importance of human creativity, and grapple with important, if sometimes unsettling, ideas.

The reading project has been greatly enriched by the participation of neighbors, alumni, and local high school students who have joined our community of reading over the last five years. This year, as we read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, we are expanding the boundaries of our reading community to include nearly 5,000 high school students (in 67 high schools) across the state of New York. But we are especially grateful for the chance to reaffirm ties to fellow readers who are close-at-hand. It is thus a special pleasure to help mark the opening of another collaboration between Cornell and the Ithaca Community. To support that collaboration, we will continue the tradition of securing cable-access broadcasting (on Time Warner Cable 16) of our Book Panel Discussion, taking place this year on the afternoon of August 21st. I also invite you to visit the Tompkins County Public Library web page devoted to the community-wide read, and the Cornell reading project website for further details about campus events—including Chinua Achebe’s September 15th visit to the Ithaca campus. The Cornell website also has links to a variety of references related to the book, and to a videotaped discussion of some of the book’s major themes.


Michele M. Moody-Adams

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Director and Hutchinson Professor, Ethics and Public Life
Professor of Philosophy


Tompkins County Public Library


2005 New Student Reading Project Cornell University