Jefferson Market Library Happenings

By Corinne Neary


We have several exciting updates to share from the Jefferson Market Library this month. The first is sure to appeal to our neighborhood history aficionados! Some of you may know that we have a publicly accessible archive in our basement reference room, mainly containing information about the building, the community efforts to save it, and its 1960s conversion into a library. During our more recent renovations, some previously undiscovered archival materials were found, tucked away in filing cabinets for decades.

Coincidentally, we recently hired an archivist librarian, Alyona Glushchenkova, who came to us from the Tompkins Square Library earlier this year. She is beginning the process of exploring and organizing these papers, many of which are from the Jackson Square Library, which previously served the Village before the opening of Jefferson Market. We plan to host a series of public programs diving into these new findings in the Fall. We would also like to extend a call to our neighbors who may have ephemera related to the library or the Village, and are interested in donating them to our archive. Items could include neighborhood photographs, news clippings, vintage menus, maps, advertisements, and more.

Next up in library news is a summer offering of our Jefferson Market University: A three session course called Wandering Through Centuries, with professor Nadia Bongo. The course will interrogate the notion of wandering through some of the most beautiful and intriguing works featuring a wanderer, flâneur, or stroller. Students will look at works from the 17th century until today. Through works of Rimbaud, Zadie Smith, Sophie Calle, Christophe Honoré among others, the class will study the techniques used to understand how wandering showcases self-discovery, artistic practice, social commentary, and existential quest.

Class times are Sundays July 9, 16, and 23, from 1:30-3pm. Registration for this course begins Monday, June 12, and class size is limited to 15 participants. Class readings will be made available at our circulation desk. Nadia Bongo holds a Ph.D. in French Language and Literature from Aix-Marseille Université. She taught French Language, Literature and Research in the French Academy for six years. Nadia is a poet and was a Brooklyn Poets fellow (Winter-Spring 2021). She also works as a tutor, writer, and translator, and is based in Harlem. She is originally from Gabon.