MKE ZLUC happened

Check out the notes from the Zine Librarians Unconference held in Milwaukee earlier this month. Go to the schedule page to see what was discussed and to read any notes posted.

Two highlights

Call for Workshops: 2nd Zine Librarians (un)Conference

Call for Workshops: Zine Librarians (un)Conference, ZL(u)C 2011

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

July 8-9, 2011

Calling all zine collectors, information activists, underground bibliographers and barefoot librarians! We’re seeking librarians of all stripes to lead a workshop or discussion at the 2nd bi-annual (un)conference of zine librarians!

We are interested in hosting informational skillshares that might include hands-on activities, or showcase what your library has accomplished. Your workshop could describe a task, approach, or scheme that would be of interest to fellow zine librarians. We are open to new ways of approaching zine librarianship, whether your collection is housed in an institutional, public, or community library or archive.

Workshops will be scheduled into the rest of the events that will occur on July 8 and 9, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Facilitated discussions and other events will also be worked into the schedule of events by participants at the conference, in the style of bar camp and other unconferences.

Scheduled events will include a zine reading (the culmination of the Orderly Disorder: Librarian Zinesters in Circulation Tour) and tours of local zine libraries, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Special Collections and the Queer Zine Archive Project.

The first Zine Librarians (un)Conference was held in Seattle, Washington in March 2009 at Zine Archive and Publishing Project (ZAPP), to great success. The second bi-annual (un)conference is to be held July 8-9, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, or to propose a workshop, visit http://mkezluc.wikispaces.com/

Orderly Disorder: Librarian Zinesters in Circulation Tour, Summer 2011

Announcing a librarian zinester summer tour, making its way from the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans to Milwaukee’s Zine Librarians (un)Conference.

Projected stops and dates:

New Orleans, LA – June 26
Atlanta, GA – June 28
Murfreesboro, TN – June 29
Pittsburgh, PA – July 1
Cleveland, OH – July 3
Toronto, ONT – July 4
Detroit, MI – July 5
Chicago, IL – July 6
Milwaukee, WI – July 7

We haven’t really started contacting people in our host cities, so this whole schedule could blow up at any time!

Core participants are Jenna Freedman, Celia Perez, Debbie Rasmussen (and her Zine Mobile), Jami Sailor, and John Stevens (from Australia).  We’ll pick up other library worker zine makers along the way!

Call for Participants- One Day Zine Librarians Mini Conference (ODZLMC)!

A group of zine librarians have started spontaneously planning a one day conference to talk about zines in libraries of all kinds on Monday, August 30th, the day after the Portland Zine Symposium wraps up.  The conference will be held at the North Portland Multnomah County Library branch at 512 N. Killingsworth St from 10:30-5:30pm.  The tentative plan is to have a half day conference and a half day work session to accomplish some tasks that would be a benefit to zine librarians.  One idea was to gather all of the zine related policies in one spot so that people had access to them. Another idea was to collectively add a bunch of entries to Zinewiki. Or… ? This conference is open to anyone interested in zines in libraries/archives/infoshops/etc; not just card carrying librarians!

A planning wiki has been set up- please register if you’d like to attend and share your ideas with us.

http://zinelibrarianconference.wikispaces.com/

We’d love to hear all of your great ideas.

Zine Librarians Zine Reading at Quimby’s

During the Midwest Archives Conference, library workers and students Celia Perez, Jami Thompson, Jenna Freedman, and Nell Taylor will read from their zines at Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago: Friday, April 23, 2010 at 7pm.

Email Celia for more info or RSVP on Facebook if you want to.

Fan Magazines vs. Fanzines: Another Voice

Hi! Inspired by Jenna’s call to action, I took a stab at writing a letter to LOC on the fan magazines vs. fanzines issue myself. I’ve posted the letter, like Jenna’s addressed to Barbara Tillett, below. Not being a cataloger or someone who deals with cataloging issues on a regular basis, I realize my letter lacks the cataloging expertise, temininology or sourcing that Jenna’s does or I’m sure yours will. But hopefully every voice helps the cause…

Jeremy B.

Dear Ms. Tillett,

Good morning. My name is Jeremy Brett, and I am an archivist with Special Collections, University of Iowa. One of my projects over the last two years has been to acquire and process materials for our growing archival collections of zines. Special Collections is making a concerted effort to collect zines in all formats in order to preserve these materials and make them accessible to wider popular and research audiences. Zines are windows that provide glimpses into fascinating and often-under documented social worlds, worlds that we believe deserve to have their voices rescued from obscurity.

At the present time, we are not cataloging zines in any sort of traditional library format. However, as an information professional who deals with zines in an institutional setting I am interested in the ongoing development of uniform cataloging standards for zines. I recognize that this is more an art than a science, because of the peculiarly idiosyncratic nature of the zine medium. However, I also understand that such standards are useful both to catalogers and to interested readers and researchers. Subject headings that accurately reflect zines and related publications are key tools in the provision of access to those materials.

Thus, I am concerned with the Library of Congress’ recent decision to eliminate “Fanzines” as a 150 field and replace it with the term “Fan magazines”.

I believe that this decision represents a misunderstanding of the nature of both types of materials. Fanzines are decidedly not fan magazines, but separate and independent materials with their own particular history. Fanzines are non-professional publications that relate to a particular cultural genre, subject, product or phenomenon. They are most associated with science fiction fandom, within which fanzines have formed an active and integral source of fan communication since the early 1930s. In science fiction and related fandoms today, fanzines continue to be a popular mode of personal opinion and expression.

However, fanzines are not limited to science fiction fans. As an example, many members of the vast and varied world of music fans have also embraced the medium. Music fans continue to use fanzines as methods of publicizing their own musical works and those of others, particularly
those considered “underground” and who stand outside the traditional corporate music scene. For these artists and fans, fanzines are a vital method of making their voices heard.

For members of these and many other fandoms, the term “fanzine” has a storied intellectual and emotional association. It is a popular term that accurately describes a particular family of publications and that is universally recognized among, across and beyond fandoms. To replace this term with a less adequate one, I believe, does a disservice to fans and to researchers who, because of the long use of the term “fanzine”, are much more likely to search for materials primarily under this term than under the term “fan magazines”.

A fan magazine is a professionally produced publication devoted to some aspect of popular culture. While fan magazines may deal with some or all of the same subjects, topics or genres as a fanzine, the former are distinguished from the latter by their for-profit status and their more typical concern with mainstream rather than fringe aspects of their subjects. A fan magazine is a perfectly legitimate form of publication, but it is not a fanzine.

In my opinion, the Library of Congress should retain “Fanzine” as a 150 term rather than relegate it to the 450 field as a UF term under “Fan Magazines”. To continue using fan magazine as a term for fanzines (as opposed to recognizing fan magazines as a genre generally associated with fanzines) is misleading to researchers and readers alike. The two types of publications are dissimilar in their production, their authorship, their professional status, and, very often, their intellectual and creative focus. Both types deserve recognition by the Library of Congress cataloging authorities as discrete media and each type deserves its own 150 field.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Brett
Special Collections Project Librarian
Special Collections and University Archives
University of Iowa
University Libraries
100 Main Library
Iowa City, IA 52242

Fan Magazines vs. Fanzines: letter to LC from Jenna Freedman

This letter was sent to Barbara Tillett, Thompson Yee, and policy@loc.gov on October 10, 2009

To Whom It May Concern at the Library of Congress:

I want to ask you to reconsider your decision to absorb FANZINES into the new FAN MAGAZINES subject heading. I believe the two publication types are so different that even connecting them with a Related Term would be erroneous. Perhaps the defining characteristic of FANZINES is that they are self-publications that stem from subculture movements, primarily punk rock in their current incarnation, and science fiction in the 1930s. FAN MAGAZINES are commercial and mainstream, catering to celebrity culture.

Sources:

  • Wikipedia (Wikipedia is cited in the FAN MAGAZINES authority record, so I feel it is not inapropriate to use it here, as well.)
    “The term fanzine is sometimes confused with ‘fan magazine‘, but the latter term most often refers to commercially-produced publications.”
  • Merriam Webster
    “a magazine written by and for fans <a sci-fi fanzine><a punk rocker with her own fanzine>”
    No result for “fan magazine” search
  • Googlefight
    Fanzines results in a Google search: 319000 vs. “fan magazines” results: 3940
  • Anthony Slide’s website
    I am unable to review the work that inspired the change, but judging from the author’s website (presuming I have identified the correct author, which I am fairly confident that I have), his writing is entirely related to film fandom, not at all to science fiction or punk, which are the primary subjects of FANZINES.
  • Bowling Green State University Fanzines page
    “Fanzines (or zines) are magazines published by individuals or groups of individuals who have a particular subject interest or who just want to express their own ideas to the public. These are generally self-published magazines, usually issued with less than 2,000 copies, and typically have irregular publication times (i.e. not monthly or quarterly, etc.). Although most zines are pubished independently, some zines may be published similarly to standard library periodicals, including publication information, reviews, editorials, and regular numbering sequences. However, the typical zine is usually stapled together, sometimes folded and in small print, may have strings holding it together, or any other means of collating.”
  • University of California at Riverside Fanzines page
    Zero references to film or movie fan magazines.
  • Whatcha Mean What’s a Zine, The Book of Zines excerpt
    “Zines (pronounced ‘zeens,’ from fanzines) are cut-and-paste, ‘sorry this is late,’ self-published magazines reproduced at Kinko’s or on the sly at work and distributed through mail order and word of mouth. They touch on sex, music, politics, television, movies, work, food, whatever. They’re Tinkertoys for malcontents. They’re obsessed with obsession. They’re extraordinary and ordinary. They’re about strangeness but since it’s usually happening somewhere else you’re kind of relieved. You can get to know people pretty well through their zines, which are always more personal and idiosyncratic than glossy magazines because glossies and the celebrities they worship are so busy being well known.”
    [You'll note that this definition does reference movies, but the essence of the definition is the self-published, obsessive nature of the works.]

    Also, from the author’s Master’s Thesis:
    As Fredric Wertham points out in his book “The World of Fanzines.” The word fanzine was originally an in-group slang expression used loosely and interchangeably with ‘fan-mag,’ that is fan magazine.”
    This signification of “fan magazine” differentiated the publications produced by fans from the “professional newsstand magazines” such as Amazing Stories and Weird Tales, which were referred to as “prozines”—professional magazines. Fanzines were widely devoted to discussion of science-fiction and fantasy literature, and featured articles, cartoons, and fiction related to the subject, all produced by the fans themselves. In her introduction to “Some Zines,” Cari Goldberg-Janice writes that the fanzines united far-flung fans to write about “the subject they loved to talk about the most—science fiction.”

I hope you’ll agree with me that the self-published/underground nature of FANZINES vs. the corporate/celebrity focus of FAN MAGAZINES is an essential difference. I know that the scholars that use the Zine Collection at Barnard College and other zine libraries will be poorly served by this change.

FANZINES would be better placed as a narrower term for ZINES, with other narrower terms for ZINES such as:
ART ZINES
COMPILATION ZINES (UF COMP ZINES)
DIY ZINES (UF COOK ZINES)
LITERARY ZINES (UF LIT ZINES)
MAMAZINES
MINICOMICS (UF MINI-COMICS)
PERZINES (UF PERSONAL ZINES)
POLITICAL ZINES
I give examples of each of these on the Barnard Library Zine Collection website.

It would be helpful if the terms were also usable as genre headings.

I invite you when making any future changes to FANZINES and ZINES headings to consult the Zine Librarians discussion list. Contributors give matters related to zine librarianship great thoughtfulness and expertise. We are very happy that the Library of Congress has established headings useful to our work. It is an exciting time as this specialty grows and we develop standard practices for cataloging it.

Thank you!

Jenna


Jenna Freedman, MLIS
Coordinator of Reference Services and Zine Librarian
Barnard College Library
212.854.4615
AIM, Google Talk & Yahoo: BarnardLibJenna

Zine Librarians’ Primary Web Resources

There’s been a request for a little extra info about the primary communication pages for zine librarians. I’ve added the ones I know about and since I registered for two of them today, I’ll annotate the processes required by each briefly.

> *We Make Zines (ning site) – wemakezines.ning.com

This one is probably the most complicated to get settled into. One trick is just to think of it like a zine-specific, simplified version of facebook or myspace.

On the home page, you’ll see multiple “signup” buttons on the right side of the screen. Click any. Fill in your registration data and create your user name and password. The process is pretty straighforward. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be redirected to a welcome page on the authenticated side of the site. If you look in the upper right corner again, you’ll see a few new options available to members:

Inbox: needs no explanation

Alerts: Alerts are messages sent to you by applications you or your friends have added.

Friends: functions just the way any social networking site does (facebook, myspace.)

Settings: Through this option you can do things like set up your profile, add pictures, and change your privacy settings.

Setting up a profile is quickly accomplished, if not exactly intuitive. Once you click “settings” you’ll be directed to a page with fields asking for your profile information, gender, age, location, etc. Fill in as much or as little as you like (and, as mentioned before, if you want nothing to be visible, edit your profile in the privacy settings page.)

The final step is adding information about your professional activities (your zine doings) in your profile. Goto the page wemakezines.ning.com/profile/*yourprofilename*. From this page you can add your information either in the text box provided, or blog style. Please, as a zine librarian or ZL sympathizer, give us all a clear idea of where you work, what your collection’s mission is, your areas of interest in the big scheme of zine librarianship worldwide (web development? cataloging? programming? preservation? etc.) Aside from aesthetic improvements to your profile, you’re done!

> *zinelibrarians yahoo group

This is primarily used for email correspondence. To subscribe, send an email to zinelibrarians-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

> *zine unconference wiki site

This site was the planning hub for ZL(u)C 2009 at the Hugo House and Zapp in Seattle. Now it is the temporary home for the outcomes of the conference workshops and discussions and hub for workgroups to organize their thoughts and strategies. It functions as a typical wiki and anyone can edit any page (though please try not to delete anything if possible)

> *zinelibraries.info site

You are here. It has been suggested that this site become the primary reference point for all zine librarian related needs including policy and procedure manuals, programming help, cataloging discussions, and other meta-knowledge type, ongoing discussions. No need to register with the site in order to read or comment on posts. If you would like to be able to contribute to the knowledge pool, though, you will have to register and be approved by one of the site moderators.

> *Zinewiki.com

There was a lot of talk about zinewiki at ZL(u)C 2009. The discussion seemed to be heading in the direction of making zinewiki.com some sort of reference encyclopedia for zines and possibly the authority file. Jerianne, one of the site moderators, expressed a little concern about not wanting it to get too cluttered with tangential entries and information. For now, it’s a text catalog 2,500 strong and constantly being updated. No need to register at all.

not a zine

I was disappointed that we didn’t get around to discussing this at the collection develpment session at the Zine Librarians (un)Conference: what are the factors that help you determine that a publication is not a zine?

Of course there are zines that meet one or more of the following criteria, but this list is a place to start. Please add yours in the comments.

  • has an ISBN or ISSN
  • has a masthead
  • not self-distributed
  • has a third person bio
  • not self-published (!)
  • motivated by desire for fame or fortune
  • makes a distinct profit
  • price ends in .95
  • has a spine
  • has any paid staff
  • reads like the author is auditioning for a book deal

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