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.
Derek Potts, zine librarian at DePaul University’s Special Collections and Archives, was featured in this Chicago Magazine article, “Why Anthony Rayson, Anarchist Grandpa, Sends Zines to Prison.”
Zines have long been a way for marginalized communities to record their stories and organize. Zine libraries are making sure those histories aren’t forgotten.
“How Zine Libraries Are Highlighting Marginalized Voices” is an excellent BuzzFeed article by Rosie Knight features zine librarians Jenna Freedman, Alana LaBeaf, Dawn Wing, zinester Zahra Swanzy, and art historian Marissa Del Toro discussing the power of zines.
Michigan State University has an extensive collection of zines, and many of them are on display on the new punk exhibit in MSU Libraries Special Collections. Exhibit curator Joshua Barton describes the zeitgeist of punk zines and highlights the uniqueness of the collection in this article from the Lansing City Pulse.
Ingrid, one of the folks who helps run the Salford Zine Library in England, has a great post up about zine librarianship. She discusses issues that come in a zine library and the approaches the volunteer staff take in addressing those issues, which are informed by but can be different than those in traditional libraries.
In this post Ingrid touches on digitization, cataloging, and the broad concern about respecting and seeking out zinesters’ consent in having very personal material available within a public space. Looking forward to reading more of Ingrid’s thoughts as the SZL volunteers thoughtfully contend with these important considerations.