Opening the Edinburgh Zine Library

Our fellow zine librarians across the pond, UK and Ireland Zine Librarians (website, Facebook, Twitter), have a great guest post up from one of the founders of the newly formed Edinburgh Zine Library. Lindsay talks about reaching out to the public library in Edinburgh to start a collection and some of the challenges their collective encountered along the way. It’s well worth a read for those who are starting (or growing) zine collections of their own! Check it out at https://uizl.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/edinburgh-zine-library-opening/.artwork with scissors and pencils reading: "Edinburgh Zine Library, opening 1 November 2017"

International Zine Library Day

Perhaps you’re aware that July is International Zine Month, but did you know that July 21st of every year is International Zine Library Day?? It’s true! A day just to celebrate zine libraries of all shapes and sizes as well as those who keep them running. You can find a brief FAQ and some simple celebratory images on this very site.

A long-standing tradition has been to bring your favorite zine librarian a treat: vegan donuts are a particular favorite, but treats of any kind are welcome. If you’re a zine librarian—treat yourself!! Be sure to share your celebrations with the hashtag #IZM2017.

Thanks to Stolen Sharpie Revolution for making IZM a time to share the zine love.

black and white text flyer with title "July is International Zine Month" and suggestions for how to celebrate each day

Ideas to celebrate International Zine Month courtesy Stolen Sharpie Revolution—click to embiggen!

Podcast featuring Zine Librarians Code of Ethics

Delighted to have the Zine Librarians Code of Ethics featured on episode 8 of Print Fold Staple! Print Fold Staple is a podcast about zine culture with Bruce Otter & Melissa Black, brought to you by the Denver Zine Library. Zine librarians Kelly Wooten (Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University) & Kelly Shortandqueer (Denver Zine Library) talk about privacy, preservation, accessibility, organization, and other joys and challenges of zine librarianship.

Listen to “Zine Librarian Code of Ethics” on Spreaker.

Work on the Zine Librarians Code of Ethics began at the 2014 Zine Librarians unConference held in Durham, North Carolina and was released in late 2015. We’ve gotten great feedback about it, but the ZLCoE was intended to be a living document, and we’re always looking for more input. If you have thoughts about the code, we’d like to hear what you have to say! Did we get something wrong? Are there things we didn’t address that we should have? Please leave a comment on this post or chime in on the Zine Librarians email list so we can ensure that the next version of the Code of Ethics is even better!

Zine Pavilion in Chicago June 23-26

The Zine Pavilion will be back at the ALA (American Library Association) annual conference June 23-26th! This year the conference is in Chicago at McCormick Place convention center. If you’re a librarian attending ALA, please stop by the exhibit hall booth 1838 to say hello, browse our zines, and talk about getting zines into your library!

Our hours are the same as the exhibit hall:
Friday June 23, 5:30 pm – 7 pm
Saturday June 24, 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday June 25, 9 am – 5 pm
Monday June 26, 9 am – 2 pm

And we’ve got lots of events planned (UPDATED LIST as of June 11):

Follow us on Tumblr or Twitter to keep up with our fun times!

From Zine Pavilion 2015 in San Francisco!

From Zine Pavilion 2015 in San Francisco!

“Engaging the Future of Zine Librarianship”

We haven’t frequently highlighted scholarship about zine librarianship on this site, but when I read Ann Matsushima Chiu‘s chapter on “Engaging the Future of Zine Librarianship” in Librarians with Spines (Los Angeles : HINCHAS Press, 2017), I wanted to recommend it to other zine librarians. Chiu writes from her own experience as well as interviews with two experienced zine librarians, Cathy Camper (Multnomah County Public Library) and Jenna Freedman (Barnard College). The chapter moves beyond discussing how to establish zine collections within libraries, and focuses on the need for creating sustainable collections. Topics include the importance of institutional buy-in from the library as a whole, strategic and effective succession planning, and building communities through zine networks (including shout outs to the Zine Librarian email list, the Zine Pavilion, and the Zine Librarian unConference!).

I’d highly recommend this chapter as a prompt for thinking about establishing zine collections which are not just one librarian’s pet project, but instead are seen as integral parts of building more holistic library collections.

Ordering information for the Librarians with Spines book: from the publisher. Library info: WorldCat record.

Looking for Chicago-area zinesters

The Zine Pavilion will be held this June 23-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago during the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference. We’re still looking for tablers, so if you’re a Chicago-area zinester please consider joining us—you’ll get a free table and registration to the library conference! For more information, check out the Zine Pavilion page and the sign up form.

cut-and-paste flyer with text reading "Want to share your love for zines with librarians? Table at the American Library Association conference's Zine Pavilion! McCormick Place, Chicago, June 23-26. The Zine Pavilion is like a mini zine fair at a librarian conference. Free tables & admission to the conference! Be an ambassador for zines in libraries!"

ZLuC 2017 POC travel grant

We’re collecting money for a POC travel grant for the 2017 Zine Librarians unConference (ZLuC), happening August 4-5 in Long Beach, California!

If you identify as black, indigenous, or a person of color and are interested in attending ZLuC 2017, please fill out this application form by Sunday April 30th. Registration is free for all attendees–this grant is designed to help with associated travel and/or childcare costs of attending.

If you’d like to donate to the fund, please send funds via PayPal to violetfox at gmail (or use the Paypal donate button on the sidebar). Thank you!

WHY? Why Make Zines in times of strife (and calm)

Contributed by Milo Miller

I feel like this is a conversation that keeps happening over and over within zinester and zinelib communities, but it’s one that’s timeless. For some of us, we kind of know it inherently, but it’s always good for a refresher and to get new eyes, ears, and typewriters clacking about it. So, presented in listicle format, it’s Why Make Zines, Spring 2017 edition:

1) Making zines is relatively easy. There is no special knowledge needed, not a lot of hi-tech wizardry that takes days, months, and years to learn. If you can make a mark on paper with your writing implement of choice, you can make a zine.

2) Zinemakers own the whole production and distribution process. From a seed of an idea to a fruit-bearing tree of a zine, we are beholden to only ourselves. Which means that we have final say on the writing, drawing, illustrating, cut-and-pasting, copying, folding, stapling, and distribution. While it might seem labor-intensive to those who have never made zines before, it’s hugely advantageous.

3) Zines can be about ANYTHING. Because of #2, there’s no limits as to what can go into a zine. Which is part of why we make them. We can and do write about all sorts of topics – things that are challenging, or sexy, or political, or just silly and fun – without fear of being censored or even edited too hard.

4) You own and control your zines. Think about #2 and #3 combined, and what that means… In this space and time, usually someone else has SOME stake in how media gets out in the world. They own the publishing platforms, and are making money off your work. Facebook, Tumblr, Google/Blogger, YouTube, Twitter, etc… When you use them for getting your work and ideas out in the world, you’re beholden to them, and they’re selling ads and making revenue off you. And if they don’t like what you say or post, they may just delete your content, or freeze/erase your account. Not so with zines.

5) Making things can feel really good, and storytelling can be hella cathartic… And not everyone can (or wants to) knit, have bebes, or bake bread from scratch. But to catch those good, creative feels, making zines is an easy way to go. It’s “self-care” that’s not about consumption.

6) Making zines and trading them, selling them at zine fests, or through your Etsy/indy book store/distro is a great way of getting mail. Who doesn’t love mail covered in stickers and washi tape?

7) So, I’m not sure how it works for hetero-cis-male zine makers, but for the rest of us, making zines is a good way of making/expanding friend and tribal networks. I mean, really, now… most of my closest friends are zinesters (and zine librarians!)

8) I believe that we all have things to teach and learn. At QZAP, when we offer internships, we ask our interns to make zines, and specifically we ask them to make a mini-zine that “teaches somebody something.” Which means, for us, that we’ve got a huge folder with mini zines that teach how to do the dishes, put on condoms, change bike tyres, etc. So, reason #8 on why to make zines is to teach somebody something.

9) It took us a little while to get here, but for me one of the real reasons to make zines is to tell stories. The stories of our lives. Our stories are tales of people who often are marginalized in some way. We don’t have access, we don’t have privilege. Or we have some, but that gets traded away in other ways. Because we’re queer, trans, and gender non-conforming. Because we’re women. Because we’re Black and Latinx and Asian and Indigenous. We need to make zines because our stories are important, and WE are important, and zines are a great way of sharing this import.

10) Do you really need any more reasons? Add your own in the comments!

This blog post was inspired by current political events and is part of a semi-occasional series on zines as resistance.