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.
Once again the time is upon us to commemorate International Zine Library Day, observed every July 21st! Read more about the event and figure out a great way to celebrate, whether by visiting your local zine library, donating your zines to a library that collects zines, or sharing your thanks with those who make zine libraries happen. Find a zine library near you using Barnard Zine Library’s worldwide list. Use hashtag #IZM2018 to follow along with all the International Zine Month events.
A heartfelt thank you to all the zine library workers out there who help to make zines accessible to everyone in a myriad of different ways. Please be sure to take time to treat yourself today!
The Washington Post‘s The Lily recently published a 22-page zine in celebration of its first anniversary, and Lily digital editor Ashley Nguyen talked to a number of zine librarians and enthusiasts to talk about what zines mean to them and why libraries collect zines. Zine librarians consulted include:
- Malana Krongelb (Brown University)
- Meg Metcalf (Library of Congress)
- Shannon Keller (New York Public Library)
- Kelly Wooten (Duke University)
- Jenna Freedman (Barnard College)
- Hana Zittel (Denver Zine Library, Denver Public Library)
- Jeremy Brett (Texas A&M University)
Take a moment to check out the article and the great list of some of the contributors’ favorite zines from their libraries’ collections!
Librarian Kate Kitchens’s most recent zine is “Librarian field notes : a zine on queer outreach ideas, reflection, and a perfect cat named Trout.” She wrote about the zine in ALA’s Intersections blog in January 2018. Kate describes the zine as “a guide for librarians who want to provide services to support their queer patrons but don’t know where to start or find it too daunting of a task,” as well as “for librarians who are seeking to better understand queer communities and their unique needs.”
You can view the zine online or contact Kate to get a printable version!
Volume 43, Special Issue 2 (April 2018) of Art Libraries Journal is dedicated entirely to zine library collections in the United Kingdom. The issue’s articles include:
“Each according to their ability : Zine librarians talking about their community,” written by Jude Vachon, Kelly Wooten, Kelly McElroy, and Violet Fox, was published as a chapter in The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship, edited by Karen P. Nicholson and Maura Seale (Library Juice Press, 2018). The chapter is a reflective, informal discussion between the four long-time zine librarians, sharing how theory and practice work together in zine librarianship in ways informed by the human connections and sense of responsibility we feel towards our resources and each other. Topics discussed include the Zine Librarians Code of Ethics, zine cataloging, and feminist pedagogy.
The latest episode of library podcast Circulating Ideas is an interview with Matthew Murray, Visiting Library Fellow at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and one of the long-time organizers of the Zine Pavilion. The first fifteen minutes of the episode are dedicated to discussing zines and zines in libraries. He also shares info about his own zine, Two-Fisted Library Stories! In the rest of the episode Matthew talks about his other pop-culture-inspired interests, including maker projects, comics, and podcasts, as well as the podcast he co-hosts, Book Club for Masochists.
Take some time to learn about all the cool stuff that Matthew makes happen!
The fourth episode of Read and Distribute, the zine-related podcast run by Canada’s Broken Pencil magazine, featured Marta Chudolinska, Learning Zone Librarian at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Listen to hear more about Marta’s work in maintaining the OCAD zine library, along with members of the student organization OCAD U Zine Collective. The zine library recently celebrated their tenth anniversary!