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A Library with 10,000 Bird Books

Lab's Adelson Library opens to the public

The Adelson Library, Cornell's 20th library, opened on May 5, 2004. Photo by Diane L. Tessaglia-Hymes

On May 5, 2004, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology?s Adelson Library opened its doors, making its collection of more than 10,000 books, journals, and other media available to the public for the first time.

Visitors to the library can enjoy expansive views of Sapsucker Woods Pond from above as they browse books about birds and other wildlife. The collection includes books about birds in science, poetry, art, literature, and history, as well as 119 scholarly journals and newsletters from bird clubs. In addition to its academic holdings, the library has field guides, bird-watching books, children?s stories, and a growing media collection.

The beautiful facility offers visitors comfortable places to read books—including a nook surrounded by windows overlooking the Treman Bird Feeding Garden, an alcove with a view of the Williams Gallery of Art, chairs in front of an inviting fireplace, and a work table that follows the graceful curve of the wall of windows overlooking the pond.

The Adelson Library is Cornell?s 20th library. Its holdings are integrated with the Cornell University Library catalog at Cornell University library cardholders can check out circulating items, and everyone is welcome to visit and browse the collection.

The addition of the library to the Lab?s new building was made possible by the generosity of Cornell University alumnus Ellen G. Adelson ?58. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology wishes to thank Ellen Adelson and other library benefactors, including William E. Davis, Jr., Kenneth C. Parkes, David Junkin, and numerous Lab friends and members.

For more information about visiting the library, please call (607) 254-2165.

Jacalyn Spoon is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology?s librarian.


For permission to reprint all or part of this article, please contact Laura Erickson, editor, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd., Ithaca, NY, 14850. Phone: (607) 254-1114. email:

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