The Ephemeral Library Society

2024: January 10, 17, 24, 31 & February 7, 14The Commons @ 401, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Ephemera are things that are virtually useless in research most times. However, they may be useful in some pinches. They mostly occur in special library collections such as those found in archives… You should not go into a research resource looking for ephemera, but they can give context for your understanding [my emphasis].

Reed, H. & Horalek, D. “Reference Librarianship,” February 14, 2023.

FADO invites you to The Ephemeral Library Society
DROP IN: From 5pm – 7pm
DATES: Wednesday January 10, 17, 24, 31, & February 7, 14
Series facilitated by Claudia Edwards

The Ephemeral Library Society is a weekly research social held in the Library & Research Centre at the Commons @ 401. Over six consecutive Wednesdays in mid-winter, you are invited to join FADO for performance-art themed group activities and solo study time in a community setting. All are welcome—from the newly performance-curious, to lifelong-devotees.

Each session may or may not include:

  • Opening group activity (creative exercise, performance game, screening, etc);
  • 30-40 minute quiet study period (solo research, browse the archive’s books and useless ephemera, or any work you choose to bring with you);
  • Closing group reflections and discussion.

Weekly activities will be iterative, taking shape based on the interests of participants. There is no need to prepare or attend every session: you may come and go, show up late, leave early, come for quiet time and skip games, whatever suits. There will be space for offerings and interventions from members, too.

Come with your burning questions and your soggy answers, leave with more questions than when you arrived, or join for the ride and tabula rasa that shit! This winter, FADO wants you to gather and dissolve with us each week at The Ephemeral Library Society.

Group Activities may include:

  • performance games, fluxus games, relational exercises (all activities adaptable);
  • creative prompts and written reflections;
  • facilitated group discussions;
  • screenings;
  • collage night???

Quiet Study Period (30-40 min)

  • with a group of focused peers, bring your solo research, or any work you’d like to get cracking on!
  • co-working / body doubling / parallel play at its finest.

Don’t sweat it if you’re unsure of what to work on, we’ll have activities on hand such as:

  • activate our Zoom livestream installation with creative interventions;
  • write letters for Gaza;
  • browse the archive’s books and useless ephemera;
  • Ask the Librarian: If you want to explore any topic or artist in particular, email us your research questions ahead of time and we’ll prep some materials for your visit!

Amenities / Accessibility

  • laptop-friendly space with outlets & wifi; AC/ventilation system; washrooms close by;
  • building with accessible entrance and elevators (Commons Library located on the 4th floor);
  • Reach out to if you have any other access needs, or let us know when you arrive and we’ll sort you out!

Helpful Links & Contact
401 Commons Library and Research Centre
Map: See last slide

Email us at to sign up for Society updates!







Books & Ephemera