This From Indie to Institution article in The Harvard Crimson by Elyse D. Pham describes the differing environments of the zine collections of the Papercut Zine Library and Harvard’s Schlesinger Library. Though the institutions are less than a mile apart in Cambridge, Massachusetts, their differing focus is clear, with preservation and research access being key at Schlesinger while Papercut establishes a more reader-friendly vibe. The article is a short but excellent description of the wide range of what a zine library can be!
CMLE (the Central Minnesota Library Exchange) is a regional multitype library system which supports collaboration between public, academic, school, and special libraries. Their Reading with Libraries podcast explores a specific genre each episode and features guest hosts who help give recommendations for great reading materials.
Episode 409 focuses on zines and features long-time zine librarian Violet Fox (me!). During the show we discuss zinelibraries.info, the Zine Librarians unConference, and the Zine Pavilion, as well as some recent young adult and middle grade fiction that includes zine making as a significant part of the storyline.
Queer Zine Library, a London-based roaming DIY queer zine library, announced their new online catalog which describes about 25% of their collection of over 400 zines. They’re using LibraryThing to catalog their zines, with LibraryThing’s TinyCat as a front end to enable advanced searching on the collection.
Volunteer catalogers at the Queer Zine Library shared their thoughts and experiences in a blog post that’s well worth reading. They’ve also published their cataloging manual online which gives guidelines for choices made in cataloging zines.
On August 29, after the closing session of the 2019 IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) conference in Athens, Greece, I visited the Athens Zine Bibliotheque. A project by architect Panayiota Theofilatou and graphic designer Tassos Papaioannou, the library was founded in November 2014 and contains more than 300 zines from around the world.
Subject strengths of the collection include photography, art, illustration, design, architecture, and literature/poetry. Theofilatou and Papaioannou have traveled with zines from the collection around Greece and to neighboring countries, and have contributed to exhibitions of photo zines.
If you’d like your zine to be a part of the Athens Zine Bibliotheque, send it via airmail to:
Athens Zine Bibliotheque
attn: Panayiota Theofilatou & Tassos Papaioannou
26 Kariatidon str.
174 55 Alimos, Greece
(Please note that their physical address is different than their mailing address!)
Chicago librarian Alenka Figa has started a new series on online journal Women Write About Comics which “will explore how librarians use zines in both public and academic institutions, and how these organizations serve marginalized communities.” First up in the series: Our Queer Older Siblings Will Guide Us: An Interview with the Queer Zine Archive Project. Alenka talks with QZAP co-founder Milo Miller about the the archive’s beginnings, the historical canon of queer zines, and challenges faced in digitizing zines and maintaining the archive.
Over on Ye Olde Yahoo email list, librarian Mimosa Shah recently shared a collaborative zine (created by Jason Alderman, Elizabeth Bouton, Rachel Ropeik, Mimosa Shah, and Beck Tench) created for MCN 2018 (the annual conference of the Museum Computer Network). It’s titled DIYempathiZINE and consists of empathy building activities to use in a library or museum. Check out the free pdf and print off a copy to use in your institution!
Get ready for International Zine Month 2019! Every year, zinester Alex Wrekk (founder of IZM and author of Stolen Sharpie Revolution) creates a flyer that highlights zine-related activities to do each day in July. July 21 is Zine Library Day, traditionally observed by visiting your nearest zine library/archive and by purchasing pastries for your favorite zine librarian.
Check out this year’s flyer, available for download, and use the hashtag #IZM2019 to share your celebrations!
London-based zine librarian Holly Casio writes about being a resident at Asia Art Archive, and shares thoughts on the ethics of zine librarianship as performed by large organizations flirting with DIY culture. Holly also talks about being inspired by artists and activists authentically engaging with libraries and archives.
Cristen and Caroline share their thoughts on having a zine collection at a library: “That was an inspiring thing about being at the library and being surrounded by what basically looked like pieces of copier stapled together, but being in a ‘real library’ and around the corner from literally the classics, Jenna’s telling the world by having this collection that these zines are just as valuable as all those other books and all those other ways of knowing.”
For those who have been curious about the status of the ZAPP (Zine Archive and Publishing Project) collection at the Seattle Public Library, this status report published in the Seattle Review of Books features photos and information about where things stand now: https://seattlereviewofbooks.com/notes/2019/02/05/it-s-been-a-long-long-time.