Alert: Between May 20th and June 14th, the Alternatives Library will be open Monday-Friday 11am - 5pm.

Summer hours (11am - 5pm, 7 days a week) begin on June 15th.

The library will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th, in honor of Juneteenth.

We encourage our patrons to attend local events such as the Juneteenth Jubilee at The Downstairs (6/19) and the Southside Community Center's Juneteenth Block Celebration (6/15)!

Be inspired, Get connected, Explore Alternatives

Resources For Social Change – Free & Open to All



Spring 2024 Hours

Mon-Fri: 11am - 8pm
Sat-Sun: 11am - 5pm

Note: Library hours are subject to change. Upcoming special hours will be noted at the top of this page.

Our misson: the "Alternatives" at the Alternatives Library


The Durland Alternatives Library is a small non-profit library that serves the Ithaca, Cornell, and Tompkins County communities. We work to provide literary resources and library services to these communities, with a particular focus on alternative, educational, and liberatory viewpoints, and with an overall mission to provide resources for social change. Since our establishment in 1974, the library collection has focused on alternatives. The first books were about alternative communities & lifestyles in the 70’s. Our collection has since grown to include a variety of topics, all with themes of social justice, ecology, and transformative action; here at the library, we continue to work towards providing the greater community access to resources for liberatory work.

The Durland Alternatives Library is a project of the Center for Transformative Action (CTA)

Browse Our Collection Online:

Our collection is distributed throughout the Finger Lakes Library System. Every week bags of materials are circulating from the Durland Alternatives Library.

Simply visit our page on the FLLS catalog to see what’s new, manage your account, and search our collection.

Correspondence & Programs for Prisoners:

2012-03 - Lanny's Photos at Library - 18

Prisoner Express (PE) is one of our core programs and currently serves over 4,000 people incarcerated in U.S. prisons. PE offers information, education, and opportunities for connection through distance learning and creative expression. PE programs include: history, culture, creative writing, poetry, and art.

This program involves many volunteers to respond to the hundreds of letters we receive each month. Want to help out? Contact Us.

To learn more, and to read Prisoner work, visit

the new alt library