Best Icebreaker Ever zine

Best Icebreaker Ever printable one-page zine

click to download printable pdf

Inspired by Alana and Noah’s “Icebreakers are Awkward” zine, Jamie Glass created a zine for library student worker training—it’s a one-pager and a quick ‘n’ easy way to get to know people! Use and adapt as desired.

Zines for kids

Hands with scissors and markersI love sharing zines with all kinds of audiences, and have been leading zine-making and zine history workshops with campers at Girls Rock NC summer camp for about a decade. One big challenge is finding zines that are appropriate for ages as young as 7-8 through high school. Kids are always eager to point out any “bad” words they find, and can be a tough crowd! I eventually started making my own mini-zines about women musicians since I had a hard time finding things I could share. I am always on the lookout for all-audience zines, and over the past few years other folks have asked about these as well.

What does “kid friendly” mean? Think about G-rated movies, and if in doubt, err on the side of caution. No bad language–and be liberal (or is that conservative?) with what might be “bad.” No naked pictures or sexual content beyond hugs and (chaste) kisses. Keep it to topics kids can understand or relate to– some of the science zines are fine content-wise, but are they about insects or particle physics? (Not that 2nd graders aren’t into physics, but you know what I mean.)

Kid-friendly zines that are free to download or cheap to buy: pile of zines

Tips for finding or making your own kid-friendly zines:

  • If you want to make multiple copies of any zines you purchase, ask the creator. I have found that many people are open to this since they often want to share the love of zines. Or ask if you can pay extra when you purchase and then make copies. Keep it ethical!
  • Try searching Etsy.com for “your mellow and innocent topic” plus “zine” and see what comes up. Sometimes “girl” + “zine” = zines that are perfect for Girls Rock camp, and sometimes it doesn’t. DIY zine is another good search to try. I always end up spending a few bucks on things for myself, so be warned!
  • Sometimes I go ahead and buy zines when I’m not sure if they are G-rated. I can afford to just keep the DIY zines with gratuitous swears or inappropriate crafts, but if you’re in doubt and don’t want to risk it, just message the seller.

Please add any other suggestions to the comments!

ZLUC 2016 in Boston

The Zine Librarians unConference (ZLuC) is coming up quickly! This year it’s taking place Friday July 29-Saturday July 30th at Simmons College in Boston. Registration is free, so if you’re near Boston and want to sign up for what has lovingly been described as “nerd summer camp,” [coughMilocough] please join us. Registration and a preliminary schedule can be found at http://zinelibraries.info/wiki/zluc-2016-bos/

This is an unconference, so we’ll finalize the topics when we arrive Friday morning, but if you have ideas for what might be worthwhile topics to talk about, add them to the list here: http://zinelibraries.info/wiki/zluc-2016-bos/workshops/

If you need a login (or a reset password) to this website, just contact Violet (violetfox [at] gmail [dot] com) or Jenna (jfreedma [at] barnard [dot] edu).

Zine Pavilion at ALA Annual 2016

There will be a few zine librarian-related events at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando, June 23-28—if you’ll be at #alaac16, please stop by the Zine Pavilion or join us for the special events planned.

The Zine Pavilion will be celebrating its fifth anniversary! It will be at booth 751 in the exhibit hall (in the West Concourse, Level 2). There will be tablers from near and far, lots of supplies to help make a page for our collaborative zine, and a raffle where library workers can win a starter zine collection! Events include:

Please share the word about the Zine Pavilion on Tumblr and Twitter using #ZinePavilion.

Code of Ethics 11/15 – Web Version

When this was published in November 2015 we neglected to put up the web version, so here it is. Please see this entry for printable versions.


Zine Librarians Code of Ethics
Zine Librarians Interest Group, October 2015

This document is emerging from years of challenging and joyous conversations about the work we do with zines. As caretakers of these materials, in our
roles as librarians and archivists – independent, public and academic alike – we believe in a set of core values that inform and guide our work. We
disseminate those values here in order to communicate openly and build trust.

This document aims to support you in asking questions, rather than to provide definitive answers. Guidelines may not apply uniformly to every situation,
but include discussion of disputed points. This gives zine librarians and archivists ideas of what has been challenging in the past and how other zine
custodians have dealt with those issues. These points can guide conversations with users, institutions, authors, donors, and communities — including other
zine librarians and archivists.

Continue reading

Favorite copyright/fair use statements in zines


I’m posting this to the zine libraries site because I want people to contribute to it, but I should also put out there that the front matter is not necessarily representative of all zine librarians everywhere, zine librarians who add their favorite intellectual property claims and disclaims from zines, or even of myself tomorrow. That said, here goes:

Unless they say otherwise, zines are protected by copyright. You can’t digitize first and ask questions later. A bunch of zines are orphan works, meaning the creators are impossible to find. You still have to try. I won’t say anything more about digitization because Kelly Wooten already said it all, in 2009. Anyway, zine digitization isn’t the point of this; it just can’t be avoided when you’re talking about copyright. In this case, I’m merely wanting to celebrate cute and clever statements zine librarians have found in zines.

  • “Copylefted because everyone owns words and I trust people to give credit”
    Libel #18: The Europe Poems by Jenna DeLorey, 1998? (postmark
  • “Reproducing/reprinting all or any part of this zine without prior consent will be considered utterly disrespectful and generally uncool.”
    Aqsa Zine #4 Ancestors + Descendents
  • “All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, including mechanical, electric, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. unless its something you’re just doing because you love it and not for any commercial gain. then you can use a little part. you can always write me if you have questions. plus I’d love to know what you are doing!”
    Cindy Crabb. The Encyclopedia of Doris: Stories, Essays and Interviews. Doris Press. 2011.
  • “Anti-copyright: Going Homo may be reprinted at will for non-profit purposes, except in the case of individual articles, grafix, and other contributions copy-righted by their creators or previous publishers. It would be nice, tho, if you mentioned you found it in Going Homo.” Going Homo #3
  • “permission for reprinting with proper credit  given is happily granted as long is it’s not for jive-ass corporate greed bullshit.  if you have to ask about that part, you probably are. go to hell.” Gumption no. 3. 1995?
  • “All material herein Is owned by Its respective creators. So don’t steal — ask
    politely. And remember to always give credit where credit Is due.”
    Queer Nasty #5.
  • “No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission by Julia. You may, however, attempt to persuade/woo her with cookies, beer, or high school handjobs.”
    Julia Wertz. The Fart Party #1, 2006.
  • “No part of this zine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, including mechanical, electric, recording or otherwise without the prior permission from its creator. Unless you’re just printing it for funzies & not for commercial gain. \_("/)_/
    (ascii art reproduced as best I could)
    Infinity Dots. Take Two: Escape from the Bayou, 2016.
  • Copyrights are silly, and we can’t keep you from stealing our shit, but maybe please don’t?
    Brook and Felicia, The Most Important Zine of the Day, 2014
  • Published by Mutya Inc.©.  And if you even dare copy the stuff in this issue for your own purposes and say it came from your own lips, be prepared to stay home a lot, lest I sick my headhunters on you!
  • Sabrina. Bamboo Girl #1. 1995.

Please add yours, either right in the post, or in the comments.

ZLuC travel grant for POC librarians/archivists

For the fourth year, zine librarians, archivists, & their friends are subsidizing a librarian of color’s (including aspiring ones) participation in the 2016 Zine Librarians (un)Conference in Boston, Massachusetts on July 29th and 30th at Simmons College.

We recognize an underrepresentation of people of color (POC) in previous Zine Librarians (un)Conferences, and it is because we value the contributions, leadership, and presence of POCs at the conference that we offer this travel grant. Grant winners may spend the money however they see fit, e.g., airfare, childcare, food, etc. (Registration is free for everyone.) 

To apply for the travel fund, please fill out this form.

To donate to the travel fund, send money via PayPal to diannelaguerta at gmail dot com (or just click the Paypal donate button in the sidebar). Thank you for your support!

Mental Health Zines

As part of LIS Mental Health Week, the Zine Librarians listserv crowdsourced a list of zines related to mental health that we love.

zines with personal narratives of mental health/illness
April Fools Day, by Kathleen Hanna
Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of riot grrrl band Bikini Kill, writes about her struggle with alcoholism and its effect on her life in this personal zine. Also included are non-destructive ways to get high, things that are better when sober, and a conversation about addiction with Brian Starhawk of Fitz of Depression. Read it in a library.

Clark 8, by Megan Gendell
A college student documents her stay in a mental health ward. Read it in a library.

Collide: on physical and mental health, edited by JC Parker
This compilation zine put together by JC presents personal essays from people living with physical disabilities and some form of mental illness including debilitating migraines, PTSD, suicidal ideation, brain injury, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, seizures, deafness and anxiety. Many of the contributors, including one who is genderqueer, have a family history of alcoholism and/or have their own issues with addiction. Contributors include Maranda Elizabeth, Kerri Radley and Sara Bear. There are also photographs, illustrations and recommended resources. Read it in a library, or buy from Stranger Danger Distro.

Doll Hospital, by Bethany Lamont
“It’s an art and literature mental health journal which encourages an intersectional focus. Rooted in self-advocacy, it centres the voices of those who are largely unheard in the mainstream narrative of mental health. It aims to be an alternative and does an excellent job of it. It takes submission from anyone who has experienced mental health illness firsthand and wants to talk about it in their own words and on their own terms.” (Quoted from this interview with the creator.) Buy from their website.

Filling the Void: Interviews about quitting drinking and using, edited by Cindy and Caty Crabb
A collection of interviews with people who have quit drinking or using drugs, about why they quit, the process, and their experiences.
Buy from Doris Zine Distro.

Functionally Ill (multiple issues) by Laura-Marie
In this zine, subtitled “Adventures with Mental Health” and “becoming bipolar”, Laura-Marie discusses what depression and mania feel like for her and describes her voices. Read in a library, or buy from the author.

Get a grip: travels through my mental health by Sarah Tea-Rex
Subjects: Sexual consent, Adult child sexual abuse victims. Download the pdf from the author.

Pathologize this!: a zine about mental health, edited by Sarah Tea-Rex, Rachel and Iris E.
Pathologize This! shares people’s mostly autobiographical stories of their experiences with mental illness. Issue 1 chronicles life with obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, alcoholism, chronic pain, depression, anxiety disorders, and as a sexual abuse survivor. There is also an essay about Elliott Smith and how many people use music to cope with illness. Issue 2 features writings on Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, manic depression, unnecessarily prescribed medications, suicide attempts, and the story of an artist turning their an anxiety disorder into a project. Download issue 1 and issue 2 from the authors.

Srviv 1-3, edited by Jonas
Some of the world’s best zine writers answer the question “Why I get out of bed every morning.” The results are beautiful, challenging, and inspiring. Buy from Antiquated Future distro or others.

Think About the Bubbles (multiple issues) by Joyce Hatton
“#8 A illustrated zine about my breast cancer journey, getting sober, depression, my suicide attempt, homelessness, and how breast cancer ended up making my life really awesome. #9 I went on the POC Zine Project Race Riot Tour. I learned a lot about racism, internalized racism, and how living my life in North and South Dakota has affected me. #11 A story about my lifelong BFF named Anxiety, and our destructive relationship. Lots of illustrations. #13 Mental health things, my relationship with my mother, purse-clutching, and birds. Also cancer, the Simpsons, and videogames. #14 A short comic about mental illness and isolation. Contains surreal and potentially disturbing imagery.” Read in a library or buy from the author.

“Unhealthy” : on coping with pain in socially inappropriate ways by Mika
Mika, a childhood sexual abuse survivor, challenges the recommended compulsory positivity approach to coping with personal and external (e.g., massive earthquake in Japan) trauma and instead argues that there is no “healthy” or “unhealthy” way to cope. She outlines her personal, albeit controversial, strategies, including lowering her expectations, thinking about her own irrelevance in the world, pondering the practicality of suicide after her own failed attempt, and affiliating with Buddhism. This zine is issued with a trigger-warning.

Wax and Feathers, by members of The Icarus Project
“In expressing our feelings, insights, and ideas about madness and the world around us we hope to inform and inspire others. The stories told by the psychiatric establishment, pharmaceutical industry, and the mainstream media all to often overshadow our own. By sharing our stories with others we can reclaim the right to define ourselves and our experiences. We choose to honor our uniqueness and complexity by letting our voices be heard.” Download from the Icarus Project.

self-care zines
The bad day book by LB Lee
“Made to be folded up and put in your wallet, this is a little pocket zine intended for general mental health crisis situations–dissociative episodes, psychotic episodes, suicidality, stuff like that. Obviously, this is not a replacement for a thorough crisis plan, just a quick and dirty resource for when you’re not thinking clearly.” Buy from the author.

Ease your mind: herbs for mental health, by Janet Kent
This zine serves as “a primer on the use of medicinal herbs to support mental health.” Arranged by symptom rather than by plant, each entry includes the plant’s common and Latin name, and a description of what kinds of symptoms or emotional states they are best suited to address, including anxiety, depression, grief, and insomnia. Includes a section on dosage and contraindications, a glossary, bibliography, and a brief overview of how to make teas, decoctions, and tinctures. Read in a library, or buy from the author.

Eat this sandwich by LB Lee
“Made to be folded up and put in your wallet, this is a little pocket zine intended to fight restriction urges–the psychological compulsion not to eat. Obviously, this is not a replacement for a thorough treatment plan, just a quick and dirty resource for when you’re having trouble getting food into your face. Methods true and tested!” Buy from the author.

Feeling worthless? by LB Lee
“Made to be folded up and put in your wallet, this is a tiny little pocket zine intended to help deal with… well, feelings of worthlessness.” Read in a library, or buy from the author.

The worth of water: a compzine about self-care, edited by Sarah Rose
This compzine provides articles on stress relief activities and self-care. Contributors in their 20s and 30s talk about their love for John Waters films, making films, activist burnout coping techniques, and overcoming addiction. Contributors include Sage Adderly (Tattooed Memoirs), Sarah Arr! (Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric), Laura-Marie (Functionally Ill), JC (Tributaries), and others. The zine also includes recipes, illustrations and a list of resources. Read in a library.

Other fantastic lists of mental health zines available at: https://bitchmedia.org/article/cut-paste-zines-about-mental-health-and-self-care AND http://www.soularbliss.com/2012/07/31/radical-self-care-and-community-care-zine-resources/