Meet Jessica Terekhov, a PhD candidate and co-leader of the Student Friends of Princeton University Library

The Student Friends of the Princeton University Library (SFPUL) is a student-run group that sponsors events and activities related to libraries, books, collecting, and other bibliographic endeavors, with a dedicated emphasis on Princeton University Library’s collections. 

Jessica Terekhov, co-leader of the Student Friends of Princeton University Library

This is a Q&A with Jessica Terekhov, one of the co-leaders of the SFPUL.

What are you studying at Princeton? What interests you about the subject?

I'm a sixth- (and final) year PhD candidate in English! I find lots of things interesting about lots of subjects! But my strength is in words, not numbers, and I'm interested in language from a more aesthetic than scientific perspective, so literary studies are a fit for me. I've been sold on 19th century prose since high school, and on the British context for it since around the same time.

How did you get involved with SFPUL? 

It's a curious story: I was contacted pretty spontaneously by a distant acquaintance who knew of my interest in libraries and collections. She thought I might like to join the Student Friends and forwarded the link to the membership form. She had the right idea!

What role do you hold with the Student Friends? 

I'm a co-leader of roughly two years' standing, along with Sophie Brady (Music, G5) and Kasia Krzyzanska (Physics, '22). But I'm also a devoted member, of course, who loves attending SFPUL events!

What has been your favorite SFPUL event? 

Probably the virtual tour of the Met Cloisters held during spring 2021. We were shown some breathtaking medieval and Renaissance objects on a private curatorial tour over Zoom, and it proved a refreshing break from the period I study (especially since I was toiling over a dissertation chapter right then). We also had a terrific amount of interest from Student Friends members: it was thrilling to sense the excitement in the (Zoom) room. 

What have you learned since joining the Friends? 

I've had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand how generous, committed, and supportive the Friends of the PUL are! They're the network of alumni, faculty, and community members that sponsors the Student Friends, along with countless other PUL initiatives and opportunities, and it's been delightful to feel welcomed into their community. 

Why should someone join the SFPUL? 

Because one gets exclusive access to Princeton's world-class collections, the people who curate them, and the community of peers keen on libraries and their holdings. But really, to quote one of our newest members, because the SFPUL is, "incredibly exciting and cool!"

To learn more or to join the Student Friends of the Princeton University Library, visit the SFPUL website.

Published on October 19, 2021

Interview by: Brandon Johnson, Communications Specialist

Media Contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications