The following articles were authored by vachonjude

Zine Librarians Code of Ethics: Use

Whereas “access” is getting to read and look at online archives, or in places like zine libraries, zine fairs, or special collections reading rooms, “use” means reproducing or quoting from zines. Reproduction can include copying zines in their original formats and redistributing them; printing portions in books; or any kind of online sharing, from comprehensive archive projects, to publishing images online newspapers, blogs, or any form of social media. This section should guide yourself and others when it comes to questions of zine use best practices and ethics regarding copyright and seeking permissions (and using citations!)

Most importantly, we consider ourselves members of a community:  As zine makers and zine librarians, our practices are not just about what’s legal, but also about what’s respectful to the people and the work.


Copyright and Ethical Use

The U.S. copyright code has a special section for libraries, allowing librarians to make copies for researchers to use for their own research. This assumes you won’t be sharing it or reproducing it in any way. If you do want to reproduce something, copyright law requires that you ask permission from authors (there are time restrictions on these, but we’re assuming that you’re mostly going to be working with late 20th century and contemporary authors, so these won’t apply). If you are reproducing for educational purposes or significantly transforming the original, your use may fall under Fair Use (discussed further below).

However, in our experience, reproducing or sharing zines is not just about copyright. It’s also about zinesters’ right to decide how their work is distributed and how widely, and how it is contextualized. It’s also about community, respect, and just being a nice person.

Zines are not like mass-distributed books. They are often self-published and self-distributed, and sometimes printed in very small runs, intended for a small audience. In addition, perzines are by definition “personal,” and zinesters may feel different about having their zines distributed in print than they would about having them openly available on the internet or print. This can be especially true in the case of “historical” zines in library collections — for example, a teen girl writing a zine for her close friends in 1994 may not want her zine distributed online or in print 20 years later.

Some zinesters also feel that context is important. This can mean the format – that it was meant to be on paper, and held in the hands – or it can mean that the zine works best when it’s read as a whole, rather than having one or a few pages excerpted or reprinted.


Asking for permission

There are many different uses of zines you should seek permission for. For students and researchers who want to use excerpts or even images in an academic paper that isn’t going to be published in print or online, a citation is usually enough. [See “Cite this Zine” zine:]  If you want to publish an image from a zine in print or online, we recommend obtaining permission from authors. There are some gray areas or casual uses that zinesters may not usually request permission for, like posting a picture from a zine or the cover on Twitter or Instagram or in a blog, usually with a short credit including the title of the zine and/or the author. Copying an entire zine, even for personal use, is generally not a respectful practice unless the creator specifies copyleft or appropriate Creative Commons permissions.

In cases where you are not planning to reproduce a zine, researchers or journalists writing extensively about a particular zine creator or community should get in touch with those people directly. The zine library holding their works is not a proxy for the people who created them.

Whenever you reproduce or describe a zine online, in social media, in a library catalog or website, or other venue, if the zine creator(s) contact you and request that you remove the content or edit it, we recommend respecting their wishes. You may be able to argue fair use based on these principles: (1) the purpose of the use; (2) the nature of the work used; (3) the amount and substantiality of the work used; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the work used. However, in our community, it’s not just about what’s legal, it’s about what’s respectful. We advise getting explicit permission whenever possible.

What does asking for permission mean? If you are publishing a book or academic article, the editor or publisher may provide you with their official form to get a signature. You can create your own form if you are working independently. If you use a formal letter, we recommend writing a more conversational email explaining who you are and what you are seeking.

What to include (from the Purdue Library website):

  1. Your name, address, telephone number, and email address.
  2. Your title/position and name of any institution you might be affiliated with.
  3. The date of your request.
  4. A complete and accurate citation.
  5. A precise description of the proposed use of the copyrighted material as well as when and for how long the material will be used.
  6. A signature line for the copyright holder including their title if they are representing a company and the date.

Tracking down the creator of a zine can be difficult, particularly for those published in the 1990s (pre-internet/email times) or under a pseudonym. If you can find contact info on the zine, try using that, or using google to search for an email address, blog, facebook account, etc., to make your request. The zine librarians email list [] or other online forums may be helpful in tracking down people. Document your efforts to contact the person. If you are doing a project with multiple zines that require permission, use a spreadsheet to keep track of when/how you attempted contact. This will not completely protect you legally, but it is important to do your due diligence in this process. If a zine has more than one author, you may need to contact the editor (if there is one clear person) as well as the creator of the content you wish to use. Locating one of those people will most likely lead you to the others. Sometimes if a zine was created collectively, one person may feel authorized to speak for the group, and in other cases, they may wish to each individually give permission for the usage.

Guide to copyright permissions:

Fair Use for Libraries:


Research Guide Page for notes from ZLuC 2015


Kelly McElroy, Honor Moody, Dianne Laguerta, Jennifer LaSuprema and Jude Vachon at ZLuC 2015 bar time.

Questions we’d like to address on page:


  • What info can you get from zines? Why use zines in your research?
  • Challenges in researching zines? e.g. metadata
  • Resources for researching zines:
  1. zinewiki – can we reach out 1x/yr to ask people to update zinewiki entries?
  2. info
  3. zinelibrarians yahoo group
  4. Google zine libraries/archives map
  • Particular areas, examples of richness, that zines do well with e.g. health, queer zines, trans zines, punk music… – we can link here to lists we made/are going to make of zines in particular categories
  • ALTHOUGH zines are about absolutely anything/everything


We also thought it would be good to post a sample research guide on one subject e.g. bikes.


PS Can we have a Donate Zines page on


Application due May 11, 2015!!

For the fourth consecutive year, zine librarians & their friends are subsidizing a librarian of color’s participation in the Zine Librarians Unconference. Here is the application form.

We recognize an underrepresentation of people of color (POC) in previous (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. We have about $300 total to award.

Your answers to these questions will help volunteers from library and zine communities award scholarships to zine librarians & archivists (including aspiring ones) to attend the Zine Librarians (un)Conference 2015 in Austin, Texas on June 5th & 6th at the Perry-Casteñeda Library at 21st & Speedway on the University of Texas‘s main campus. It is free to attend.

Consent Zines

Here’s a selective, annotated list, alphabetically by author:

1. Break the Silence Northwest

Consent is My Operating System

This zine features sample conversations to help people learn how to ask for and get consent. Free for download at

2. Crabb, Cindy Ed.

Learning Good Consent

This is an edited and updated version of the Learning Good Consent zine. Among other topics, it has articles on consent for queer people, an outline for a consent workshop, and a resource list. Held at Brooklyn College, Barnard, Sarah Lawrence, Indiana University, West Bend Community Memorial Library, Schlesinger Library at Harvard, Plymouth Regional High School Zine Library, Rainbow Resource Center Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Sallie Bingham Center at Duke.

3. Crabb, Cindy Ed.


This zine contains helpful information for victims of sexual abuse and their allies on topics from active listening to safe sex. Held at Bowling Green University, Swarthmore College, Michigan State University Libraries, New York University, Brooklyn College, Barnard Library, FAQ Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland Women’s Center Sallie Bingham Center at Duke.

4. Crabb, Cindy Ed.

See No Speak No Hear No: Articles and Questions about Sexual Assault

 Various pieces from survivors’ and accused peoples’ perspectives. Held at Barnard Library, Indiana University Libraries, Multnomah County Library, University of Maryland Women’s Center, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

5. Jamie

Thoughts About Community Support Around Intimate Violence

This is a guide for learning how communities can support both perpetrators and survivors to work through instances of sexual assault. Held at Wisconsin Historical Society, Multnomah County Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland Women’s Center, National Library of Scotland.

6. Molasses

My Feminist Manifesta: A Call-Out to Men

“I don’t want to see my friends raped and murdered, sexually assaulted and sexually harassed, afraid to travel and scared to walk home alone at night. I want to see change. Radical change. I want to see it in my lifetime, however long or short it may be. I hope this zine is a start…” Held at National Library of Australia,

7. Neckmonster, Cheyenne

Ask First

“this zine is a guide to assisting others with their issues, and confronting our own. Hopefully you can take the information in here and use it as inspiration to work towards the liberation of all people – abused or not.” Held at Gustavus Adolphus College, Cowley Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

8, 9, 10. Thunder Collective

What Do We Do When? A Zine About Community Response to Sexual Assault #s 1, 2 and 3

These zines, which are collections of stories, articles, interviews and other types of writing, were designed to be companions to workshops presented by Australian Thunder Collective as a resource for people thinking about how assault affects communities and thinking about how to respond. Held at Barnard College, National Library of Australia, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

+++ Note on holdings: I searched WorldCat and LibraryThing. Let me know in the comments if you have these items and weren’t listed as such.

Final Schedule

Time/Location Classroom A Teen Meeting Room Large Print Room Apse Conf Room
60 people 20 20 16
Friday, July 27th
10-11am  X
11am-12pm  Zine Lib Day  Zine Talking  X
12-1 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1-2  X  X
2-3  X  X  Hit by a bus
3-4  X  X  Zine Librarians Identity
Saturday, July 28th
10-11am  Show & tell  X
11-12 Union catalog  X
12-1 Lunch Lunch Lunch  Lunch
1-2  union catalog timeline  X
2-3  zinewiki editing & free form discussion  X
3-4  world’s largest zine  X


If you are interested in leading a one-hour workshop during the conference, please submit the following information by creating a page for your proposal on this wiki and linking to the proposal on this page by Friday, May 27th, 2012 (deadline okay?).

On your workshop page, please include:

  1. The title of your workshop
  2. Your name and a very brief biography of all workshop leaders (1-3 sentences each)
  3. A brief (100 word) summary of topics you would address
  4. Any tools, equipment or technology that would be required
  5. Add your proposal page to this list (You’ll need to be logged into the wiki to do so):
    1. Sample proposal from the 2009 ZL(u)C: Zine Anatomy


Guidelines for workshops: We are interested in hosting workshops that will be informational, how-to’s and describe a task, skill or scheme that another zine library would find useful. This could be hands-on, or a presentation of what your library has done well.
Note: This is a call only for workshops that require extensive pre-planning, are practical in nature, or require specific materials.

We will also have facilitated discussions at the conference, but those will be selected at the conference itself. List of potential discussion topics. Please add yours!

Remote Access

Looks like we can at least videotape sessions we’d like to, then upload to YouTube or some other place of our choosing. Who wants to be our tech person/s?!  – Jude


To register for the PGH ZL(u)C you will need to register for this wiki first.

After you have logged in to the wiki add your name, alphabetically if you please:

  • Elvis Bakaitis, Queens College student in Archives & Special Collections
  • Marie Elia, Archivist Time Capsule Project, Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh
  • Violet Fox, Zine Archive & Publishing Project, Seattle
  • Jenna Freedman, Zine Librarian and middle manager, Barnard Library
  • Eric Goldhagen, technology worker and zine librarian groupie, NYC
  • Rhonda Kauffman, adjunct cataloger, New York University.
  • Alana Kumbier, Research & Instruction Librarian, Wellesley College
  • Jill Luedke – Reference & Instruction Librarian/Art Subject Specialist, Temple University, Philadelphia.
  • Kelly McElroy, Undergraduate Services Librarian, University of Iowa
  • Milo Miller, Co-founder, Queer Zine Archive Project
  • Honor Moody, Cataloger, Schlesinger Library
  • Erica Saunders, Brooklyn College Library Zine Intern
  • Alycia Sellie, Zine, Media and Cultural Studies Librarian, Brooklyn College
  • Kalmia Strong, Graduate Fellow in Special Collections & Archives, University of Iowa Libraries
  • Jude Vachon, Librarian/Zine Librarian Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
  • Celina Williams, Zine Librarian and Graduate Research Assistant, VCU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives
Virtual registration — if you’re interested in viewing sessions from afar, please put your name and your email address here. We’ll be in touch with more details soon.
1. Gina Solares, Catalog Librarian
2. Joshua Barton, zine guy, cataloger, etc., Michigan State University,

Possible Discussions

Please include your name and a short description when proposing a discussion.

  • union catalog update
  • update/check in
  • microcosm update
  • zine libraries day
  • Hit By A Bus (Milo) – in many instances there is a single person who has initiated or organized a library’s zine collection.  What happens if that person gets hit by a bus?  How is institutional knowledge about the collection shared so that it can be maintained?
  • Zine-talking (Kelly) – Reader’s advisory fer zines
  • Zinewiki (Kelly) – if there are computers available, let’s chill out and make some updates
  • Show and tell (Jenna): forms, processes
  • contribute to world’s largest zine
  • any Carnegie PL service projects?


For keeping track of who is willing to to what, where we are, and what skills we have, here’s a page for the conference (un)organizers.

Jude, Pittsburgh, find rooms and housing, general make this thing work work