By Nancy Aravecz
This spring, the Jefferson Market Library is adding two new discussion groups to its popular roster of regular book discussions. Rather than talking about books, however, the two new groups being launched will be centered around contemporary topics: current events, and technology.
Beginning Tuesday, May 8th, at 6:00 p.m., the Current Events Café will hold its inaugural meeting in the third floor Mae West Community Room of the library. This monthly discussion group will meet on the second Tuesday of every month. The Current Events Café promises to offer participants a lively moderated discussion on up-to-the-minute topics in the news; and there is plenty to talk about! Here’s how it will work: moderators will come prepared with two or more topics to discuss, along with printed news articles on those topics. Participants will then vote on which topic to discuss first. Discussion group members are also invited to bring a topic of their choice to put up for the vote. Library Manager, Frank Collerius and Adult Librarian, Nancy Aravecz will moderate the hour-long discussion in a democratic, equitable manner that ensures all participants are able to have their voices heard. This group presents an opportunity for Greenwich Village residents to talk through their opinions and frustrations, to hear what their neighbors are thinking, and to stay abreast of important topics in the rapidly moving news cycle. Refreshments will be served. No registration is required! Just show up with your opinions and an open mind.
In addition to the Current Events Café, the Jefferson Market Library is also initiating a weekly seminar-style workshop on issues related to modern technologies. In light of recent news about violations of privacy on Facebook and other social media, as well as the many high-profile security breaches discovered in the past year, it is critical that consumers have awareness of how these technologies work, and how they can best take back control to protect their data against misuse by third parties. The Tech Support workshop provides an open-ended, easygoing, and non-intimidating space for people to ask questions, converse, and learn from each other about how best to navigate the wilds of our current information landscape. These workshops will be led by Nancy Aravecz, Adult Librarian. Attendees are encouraged to bring a specific question with them, or to just come in and soak up some new knowledge! The goal of the Tech Support workshop series is to create confident, empowered, and secure computer users! A sampling of the topics that may come up are: best practices on social media; data privacy and security; identifying digital propaganda; the internet of things, algorithms, and data mining; machine learning. The workshops begin Thursday, May 10, at 2:30 p.m., and will run weekly through June 21 in the third floor Mae West Community Room. No registration is required.
If you have a topic idea for either discussion group, please email your suggestions, interesting articles, or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Aravecz is a librarian in training at Jefferson Market Library. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English Language and Letters from New York University and is working toward a Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Her studies focus on privacy and intellectual freedom, big data, the digital humanities, critical theory, and metafiction. She has taught English Composition at Pace University, and regularly teaches seminars on literature and technology at the Jefferson Market Library. Photo credit: Justin Lee.