notes

Abstract and review writing for zines

(notes by clint)
In this session we discussed abstract and review writing for zines. We compared the two styles and discussed the uses of each.

Abstracts
•Must be completely neutral
•Should be brief–1-3 sentences is a good size.
•Take care not to use value-loaded words
•Should mention ephemera/design/binding/packaging aspects, as they, as well as the words and art, are part of the object “zine”

Reviews
•Length matters. Make sure the length of your review is appropriate to your medium. Some publications want lengthier reviews, some want 2 or three sentences.
•Know your audience and adjust to them. Reviews are specifically audience-driven. Your audience should be your primary context, that’s why we write reviews. Examples mentioned were Jenna’s zine reviews for Library Journal vs. Jerianne’s reviews for Zine World. Jerianne is writing for people who know and read zines, while Jenna’s audience is librarians who may or may not be zine friendly. Read a few of each for comparison and contrast.
•Being personal helps sell a product.

We practiced having everyone in the room write a review and an abstract for the split-zine “How to be a Good Library Patron/How to be a Bad Library Patron,” edited by Jerianne Thompson. We noted that in every abstract, similar aspects were described by all authors, like “split-zine”, “illustration”, “single-panel (comic)”, “instruction”, and “librarian’s perspective.” While they were all described with different words, they nearly all made it into every abstract in some form or another.

The same was not true of reviews. Reviews are encouraged to be more subjective and allow more for value terms. The reason a person reads a review is to hear a subjective opinion before they read the zine. Credibility as a reviewer matters more than objectivity and fair treatment.

As an example, I’ve included my abstract and review of “How to Be a Good Library Patron/How to Be a Bad Library Patron” edited by Jerianne dThompson from the session. These are intended as working examples only, not standard-setting.

Abstract: A single-panel comic zine that highlights examples of many contributing librarian’s perceptions of good and bad behavior in the library. Presented as comics with the intent of levity. Packaged in a library circulation envelope and includes ephemera.

Review: Anyone with experience on the back side of a library reference desk will be able to appreciate the cultural commentary of HTBAGLP/HTBABLP. As a zine it captures many essential elements that make great zines great: simple and clear illustrations, strong opinion, focused content, interesting layout (flip-flop) and freebies. Highly recommended.

Zine anatomy & zine preservation

session notes by Jenna Freedman. Some of the notes are based on my perceptions (and misperceptions), so comments and corrections are welcome. Also, please add in other notes or links to notes if you took them.

Heather Davis led a discussion on Zine Preservation—mostly theory, but a good bit of practice, as well. Alycia Sellie‘s Zine Anatomy was a show and tell and discuss on some of the different art techniques used in zine making.

Zine Preservation

  • Gave out copies of Zine Capsule zine
  • Store zines spine down
  • Zines resist preservation, due to their ephemeral nature
  • Does anyone consider preservation when creating their zine?
    • A resounding “no” from the zinesters in the room.
    • We learned later that Abby Bass prints her zines on archival paper.
  • Disaster preparedness
    • Few of us seem to have a plan, or if we do, they aren’t known or followed
    • We need to prove the collection is worth saving sometimes to get a disaster plan in place
    • Irony of Sarah Dyer donating her collection to keep it safe, but are our libraries really safe? (I bet Duke has a disaster plan in place, this was just a general question.)
  • There will always be a tension of preservation vs. access as a priority. You can’t be good at both at the same time. Basically, if you want to something to last, you shouldn’t allow people to handle it.
  • Archival copies
    • Not allowed to be accessed at all?
    • Make a copy of the master for general usage.
  • QZAP‘s preservation practice: zines arrive and are immediately stored in archival bags and then filed. They are scanned page by page, color zines reproduced in color at 150 dpi and made into a pdf. A lower res version is also made for reading via earlier editions of pdf readers. There is not much handling of physical collection.
  • Barnard keeps one copy in the climate controlled, acid free archive, and a second (if there is one) in the browseable stacks and makes them available for circulation and ILL.
  • Good idea to collaborate on preservation standards
  • Interest in preserving zines digitally? (question for print collections)
    • Not so much.
    • Also not necessarily something the zinesters would want.
  • Photocopying is not good for zines
    • The light as well as the folding and flattening.
    • Recommend photographing instead, preferably without a flash. But would you still be able to OCR the zine if it was an image file instead of a pdf?
    • You can create a cradle or camera stand to make folding zines unnecessary
    • Use a special scanner, rather than a photocopier
  • How does microfilm get made?
  • Is removing staples worse than having them? No–remove them.
  • Light and moisture, cardboard boxes, wood shelves–all dangerous.
  • Hugo House was a mortuary before this. ZAPP was where the bodies were stored.
  • How bad are cereal boxes for storage? Bad, because of wood lictin (acidic)
    • Alternatives? Follow library discussion lists for giveaways, cultivate relationships with local libraries
  • Fundraising idea for preservation, “adopt a call number range”
  • document your process for future reference
  • ZAPP keep seconds and thirds of zines, thirds are what they use for tabling, make copies of first/rare copies for people to handle
  • What to do with zines with add-ons
    • Separate them, but keep them associated
    • CD–move content onto a hard drive or print it out
  • Creating copies for people that are visually impaired (recording them or something)

Zine Anatomy

  • Alycia distributed a digest sized zine and a folding zine as handouts
  • The idea of this workshop was to help catalogers identify and describe the various techniques used to create art covers and content in zines. We don’t do as good a job at describing the visual elements of zines in our abstracts and reviews as we do text content.
  • Relief prints: ink is thick, you can feel it
  • You can tell visually if the image was carved (linoleum or wood cut)
  • Wood print on thinner paper, rubbed
  • Letterpress–impression in paper, paper thick and higher quality
  • Screenprinting–gocco, silkscreen
  • Stencil–mimeograph (vs. ditto, ask Alex). Also spray paint
  • Cartoneras (cartons), bound and painted, user created content a la mimeo
  • Original vs. photocopy
  • Differentiating between art zines and artist’s books
    • Intention of creator, content?
    • Class and political differences (same with chapbooks vs. literary zines)
    • Community, who you’re making the zine for
  • LCSH to define rare books and stuff? What are their criteria? Graphic Materials Standards distinguish between print and photocopy, intaglio
  • Fine letterpress–colophon at the end identifies type, paper, press, etc.

Collection development & intellectual freedom

Location: ZAPP, Upstairs Classroom
Date: Sunday, March 15, 2009
Time: 3:30-4:15PM
Facilitator: Milo Miller @ QZAP
Note Taker: Heather Davis

The session was broken up into the following categories:
•Collection Development Policy (CDP)
•Methods/protocol for turning away donations
•Challenge policies
•Access policies and age restrictions

Collection Development Policy (CDP)
Milo and Jenna Freedman discussed a CDP challenge that involved accepting Milo’s zine, Gendercide, into the Barnard zine collection. Barnard’s CDP is focused on zines made by and for women. Gendercide was about queer femininity. Freedman talked with other faculty members and opened up a discussion about gender in a zine collection made by and for women. Freedman stated she did have to review and revise the CDP, but believes it is good to do this periodically.

Milo talked about QZAP and the range of materials collected. There are zines included by queer zine writers who are both publically and non-publically identified as queer, as well as zines written by queer writers on various topics such as food, etc.

Lily @ IPRC stated that CDP is by instinct and there is little control over the volume and types of materials that flow into the IPRC. The IPRC receives huge volumes of donations. Interns, volunteers, and staff who create zines take precedence in the cataloging process over someone who dumps their zines. Lily stated that IPRC is a zine and comics library and while there are original runs of mainstream publications (e.g., the original Bust issue), this is the overarching CDP they use when administering donations. With this informal CDP in place they have been able to stop some materials before they come in the doors.

Those present agreed that some sort of definition of a CDP was critical for determining what was an acceptable addition to a zine collection. Space limitations often come into play if a CDP is not in place to control the volume and types of materials flowing into and out of the zine collection. Small press publications such as Eat the State, Covert Action Quarterly, and various fan and rock zines were discussed as possible types of materials to turn away since these materials are widely available in other libraries and/or repositories.

Emily Grayson is working with others at ZAPP to develop a CDP at ZAPP and is looking at CDPs at other organizations to guide the writing.

Methods/protocol for turning away donations
The CDP is a key tool in dealing with both desired and unwanted donations. It is important to have a CDP in place and not just take a donor’s collection because they may come back to check for their materials.

When dealing with collections of zines that have been donated there was some discussion of transferring unwanted zines to other zine libraries instead of discarding of them. Most felt it was important to be up front with the donor if you plan to dispose of unwanted materials or what the course of action is for unwanted items.

ZAPP has a form for zine donation and it records the zinester’s contact information so they can connect with them later (if address and information is current).

CDP and regionalism (collecting zines from a particular region) was discussed as a way to narrow the flow of materials coming into a zine library. Assigning hierarchies was another method that was discussed for limiting the flow of materials into a zine library (e.g., turning away comics, which is a genre that stands between mainstream print media and mini comics). Lily @ IPRC stated that local zines definitely take precedence over those zines from other areas. Beyond regional collections there was discussion that special genres within zine collections should be supplemented and built accordingly for scholarly purposes. It was discussed that there be some sort of communication amongst zine librarians to see what zines are out there. Cooperative collection development was discussed as a goal to which we should all aspire.

Challenge policies
Tyler Hauck discussed a situation he faced when working at Papercut in Boston. A patron objected to content found in a zine in the queer section and brought it to this attention. The CDP was presented and reiterated to the patron and when the patron insisted Hauck offered to have the patron write up a formal complaint and then file this with the zine on the shelf.

Abby Bass relayed a situation in which an intern objected to content found in a zine, True Porn, and raised a complaint on the grounds of feminism. The intern felt the zine created an unsafe space and Bass attempted to set up a time to talk with the intern about the complaint. The zine was also found in the trash, but the intern left permanently before any further discussion could take place. Previously there had been a sensitive section, but these materials had been reintegrated into the Adult section.

Freedman framed zines as primary source material, a reflection of the creator. Milo emphasized that zines by their very nature are unsafe by virtue of their self-expression.

Policies for working with and being in a zine collection/archive was discussed.

One attendee discussed her experiences in dealing with a collection challenge. First, you present the CDP and the challenge policy. The challenge goes through the arbitration process and can go all the way to a meeting of the director, librarian, and patron during a review committee hearing. During this phase of the challenge process the attendee emphasized that the material will be defended by the Librarian and it is critical that the material be used and discussed as an educational tool.

Tyler Hauck stated that often challenges arise from an issue of power, and sometimes it is simply a matter of finding some way to make the patron feel like their voice has been heard.

Access policies and age restrictions
Milo @ QZAP stated their policy is that patrons must be 14-16 years of age must be accompanied by guardians. Other attendees felt that queer youth needed to have access to the collection at QZAP. Milo said QZAP did once have a 14/15 year old volunteer from an area high school, who was not queer, but into zines, come in and work with the zines. Milo and others at QZAP screened out sexually explicit materials for the high school student simply as a safety measure for QZAP.

Lily @ IPRC stated that adult zines are stored on the top shelf (also alphabetical arrangement), which makes it difficult for younger people to access these materials. IPRC currently has no age restrictions access policy in place. There was discussion of a situation where the FBI came to IPRC to request zines and the membership records associated with the collection. The statement of non-compliance was referred to.

Possible action items:
•Shared collection development, access and age restriction, and challenge policies
•Shared policies for intern/volunteers/staff working with zine collections
•Shared disposition/deaccession policies
•Cooperative collection development initiative

Additional notes from Jenna

Zine catalog project brainstorm

Ideas for Catalog Records:
•Cover Image
•bibliographic information (zine title, author, format, pages, pub date, etcetera)
•description / summary. what about table of contents if it has one?
•marc record
•list of zine libraries that carry it
•link to electronic download, if there is one
•LOC subject headings
•tag suggestions (for library thing?)
•zine thesaurus tags (based on the anchor archive zine library)

Other Content:
•Authority File for zine titles and publishers (includes real name and nickname)
•Zine Thesaurus (based on Anchor Archive Zine Library)

Possible Content Platforms:
•Drupal (Clint will give a demonstration on this)
•Media wiki (out of box install :http://zinelibraries.info/w/index.php5?title=Main_Page)

catalog name ideas:
•ZineCatWiki

Questions to Consider:
• Zine Abstracting (?)

Catalog via Drupal

Title: Creating a Zine Catalog with Open-Source, Content Management Software like Drupal (or Joomla.)

Name and Bio: Clinton Watson, Salt Lake City Public Library, Alternative Press Materials Selector. New to the zine world and library work in general. Strong proponent of using sensible and powerful web technology to organize, access, and promote all independently published materials. Built SLCPL’s Alternative Press Catalog.

Summary: An introduction to the convenience and ease of content management software (CMS) for the non-programmer librarian. Drupal has become one of the most used CMS packages around the world because it is free, open-source, popular and well-designed. This workshop has two components: 1) a discussion of the advantages of a CMS package for a budding or established zine library’s website/catalog over other types of software; and 2) a brief, visual walk-through of how the software works.

Tools and Equipment Required: A digital projector for a laptop would be great. Otherwise, nothing.

Digital collections

Facilitator: Milo of QZAP
Note-taker: Kelly

QZAP and how it came into being
(In which Milo gives a detailed overview of the history and day-to-day functioning of QZAP)
– QZAP got its start in 2001 in San Francisco, when Milo met Chris. As queer zinesters with big collections, they wondered, “How are we gonna share this?”
– In 2003, in Milwaukee, with help from a straight, military-involved co-worker, they started the first iteration of QZAP, run on a Pentium 3 computer in Milo’s home office, then out of a local cyber cafe.
– Basic process is: scan zines and make pdfs.
– First version of QZAP was all manual: upload by FTP, creating thumbnail images individually, and handcoded.
– About 35 zines were uploaded in the first year or two.
– They then began using Mambo, a content management system running on a MySQL opensource database, PHP/html as front-end.
– Mambo forked, into the paid commercial version (Mambo) and the open source version, Joomla! QZAP stuck with Joomla! On the server side, all the tools are open source. This reflects the zine community, as people should be able to use the tools created. This fits with their anarchist (“with a little a”) philosophy.

Day-to-day operations
– Basically, it’s scanning zines, page-by-page!

Funding
– QZAP currently is without an IT geek, and Milo noted that, if they had funds, that is where he would like to put money.
– Money for QZAP is paid out of pocket, in addition to some money coming in from sales of t-shirts, from grants, from a silent benefactor…they have not become an incorporated non-profit, and are not associated with any umbrella organization. This is partly due to concerns about hierarchical issues.

Copyright/copyleft/ethics/other issues
– Someone asked about contacting authors of zines. Milo explained that they use “due diligence” in contacting authors (for example, if there’s an email address available). QZAP’s aim is not to take money away from folks selling their zines: the project falls under fair use, as far as copyright is concerned. We also looked at the Fair Use Info area of the QZAP’s webpage. (They snagged parts of their fair use policy directly from the Cornell University’s law pages: perhaps this or that.)
– Some creators will mail in a bunch of zines, and request that certain items not be posted to the website.
– Sometimes someone requests removal of zines, and the QZAPers have a conversation about it. They will remove items, if that’s what it comes to.
– Sometimes, QZAP will ask for permission to post zines, and the creators will refuse. This can be frustrating! However, some creators just want, for example, that their name be taken out of the record.
– Adding zines to the site makes folks’ materials reproducible.
– It can be hard to make the correct attribution to a zine (this is also true for cataloging, more generally)
– QZAP had a meltdown, and had to rebuild from scratch. In this process, they switched over from having a bunch of metadata fields to just 1 big one (including title / name / year / location / number of pages / language / keywords /notes). Some files got missed, so all that shows up with the thumbnail is the file name.

Technical details of scans
– Scans are made at 150% dpi
– Not made as flats, but page-by-page. This protects the author’s works, as it is harder to just copy the whole zine. (It’s also easier to read on the screen, too.)
– The time to scan and process a zine varies, although Milo guessed that it was about an hour or two for a typical 24 pg zine. Depends, in part, on who is doing it.
– Don’t do a lot of clean-up on scans: they automatically open in Photoshop, and they’ll often adjust the levels and the color (if necessary). If the originals were muddy photocopies, there’s not anything you can do about it.
– Poor condition of a zine may either make it higher or lower priority (for example, it may require a lot more work.)

Workflow
– Zines come in, end up at the QZAP work station, move from pile to pile, and eventually get filed.
– There are no weekly goals.
– Each intern finishes each project; if you don’t finish a zine one week, you’ll just pick it up the next week.
– Someone asked if backlog is overwhelming. Milo noted that, although they don’t have money, they also don’t have rules!
– The most recently uploaded zine shows up on the front page of the site, and it may stay for weeks and weeks.

Volunteers
– QZAP has interns who, in addition to learning about zine culture and zine-making, also spend time scanning in zines.
– As Nora put it, “interns are amazing.”
– IPRC is volunteer-run, and Lily noted that staff-volunteers are all really committed, in part because they get great benefits (like having all-hours access, or just a rad place to call your own).
– Generally, every agrees that it can be hard to use volunteers well. For example, at the IPRC, there is only q computer with access to the database, so only one person can catalog at a time.
– It’s important to accommodate for particular interests or issues that a volunteer wants to avoid (for example, violence, pornography, etc.)

Physical AND digital collections
-QZAP is trying to do both physical and digital collections. After Milo and Chris renovate their house, they hope to have a circulating collection. Currently, physical collections are held in three 2-drawer filing cabinets in their dining room.
– IPRC gets about 2 boxes of donations per week — they have a 10,000 zine backlog! (Even though they already have 6000 zines cataloged, adding barcodes to all of them could be a hassle.)
– QZAP has purchased a barcode reader and $45 Athenaeum software in the hopes of getting their circulating collection together. This software can connect both parts of the database (item records and patron records).
– IPRC membership database is currently separate from the zine database…but hopefully will be reconciled soon!
– Issues with circulating collections — barcodes getting lost, items getting stolen, etc.
– Having a union catalog, which identifies what is needed to catalog zines and comix specifically, will be good for justifying zine libraries in every community. It could also ease ways to move zines to fill gaps in various collections, and assist with fulfilling reference requests (through some sort of shared reference services, perhaps).
– Ideas for cataloging included cataloging parties/races, catalog sponsorships (like Run for the Arts)

“Outsider” librarian caucus notes

For the purposes of this discussion “Outsider” Librarians are those who probably do not have a MLIS/MLS, and are not affiliated with academic or public (or other institutional) libraries.

Issues that Outsider Librarians face:
•Accessibility AND Autonomy
•Financial Issues◦Fundraising
◦Grants/grant writing
◦Donation

•AUTONOMY!!!
•Validation
•”Library Work”◦How to explain to patrons the need for lib. skills
◦How to explain to institutions (grantors, non-profits, other library types) the need for zines in the collections

•Re-inventing the wheel
•Not burning out

How can institutional librarians support us?
•Develop programming with indy librarians and zinesters
•Professional librarians can volunteer with indy zine libraries and librarians teaching anf working (i.e. cataloging, MARC, sytems development)
•Consulting and giving validity to indy librarians
•Disaster preparation

Union catalog sampler

Lillian Karabaic of the IPRC was the notetaker for this session, but she didn’t start until after we discussed Drupal.
Drupal.org (presented and added to this page by Clint)
+ Open source
+ Highly customizable
+ Strong web-based support (documentation, forums, free downloads)
+ Many taxonomic functions and possibilities (this means tags and other options for describing materials)
+ More than a catalog, could be developed to cover all of the needs of the catalog/website with one tool (or a combination to accommodate MARC)
– High learning curve (but that’s mostly for the site developers. Once the site is in place, it could be highly user friendly and intuitive, plus I’m willing to do more work with Drupal or another similar CMS than I would be with more limiting software.)
– No acquisitions module (as such…can easily be created)
– No circ module

Biblios.net (presented by Jenna)
+ Open source
+ All Marc records are compatible- possible to upload our catalogue entries
– There’s quite the learning curve for non-librarians, as it is all in MARC
+ but we might be able to make it more user-friendly with some programing
+ Exports and Imports of various formats are compatible
+ Documentation is extensive and non-geek friendly
+ Company is really open and interested in our project
– Currently does not display holdings, but maybe within the next year
– Right now it’s a closed catalog; can’t view data without being logged in (no front-end / discovery portal)

Informative blog entry all about Biblios.net
And Youtube Tutorials
Example is the Slash fiction catalog

Zinewiki– Jerianne
+ Great resource with 2500 entries and been around since 2006, included lots of related subjects
– Not convinced this is the solution to our woes
+ Depending on the quality of the information entered you get the publisher and publication years
+ Can include issue information
– Not a catalog record but this is a good tool in conjunction with biblios.net
– Not compatible with MARC records

Athaeneum– Milo
He’s using the Light Edition, which costs about 45 bucks. The commercial version costs $450 and works with MARC
+Has a circ module
CMC’s (drupal, django, etc) allow us to catalog but not to circulate
+ Runs on a single computer
– Not open source
+ Up in running in 5 mins, takes about 20 mins for Milo to train interns on it
+ Works with barcode reader
+ Lots of places to fill in cataloging
-To make it web-based you need filemaker (also proprietary)

Milo thought that other cataloging options were too much of a learning curve for indy libraries

Librarything.com – Sonya
+ Gets lots of calls from small libraries
The developer built it for himself
+ Very easy to use interface
– If a book doesn’t have doesn’t have an ISBN you can’t duplicate the record- this might be fixed soon
+ Can pull in MARC records
– Private company
+ No evil motive
+ Can use for circulation by putting user # in comment field
– The circulation methods are pretty much a hack
+ Tags
+ Interested in our project

What We Want & Need
Biblios seems to be the most comprehensive, but it is intimidating for non-librarians
It is important to us that
-we can communicate with each other
-that there is a circ module
-that it is open source
-free or cheap
-Jenna is afraid that if it is too much effort no one will use it
-Can it solve all of our group needs? We need something to meet the needs of public, academic, and community libraries (like the IPRC< QZAP and ZAPP) OCLC & MARC. Do they suck? Are they dying? Jenna is currently working in MARC and would probably need to continue. She's willing to dual-import records. But is anyone else? It makes sense for everyone to have name authority records (eg JK Rowling versus JoAnne Rowling) There's "ownership" issues for public libraries that currently use OCLC We want to eliminate some of the big hurdles to starting a zine collection at an existing library Is cataloging via MARC essential? Clint says that it is easy to create a MARC record template for Drupal. Allison from ZAPP wants MARC to die There is No Out-Of-The-Box Solution. It seems that a drupal/filemaker front end with Biblios might meet all our needs Jenna says she relies on Drupal wizards for help and finds it a little difficult with non-geeks Union Catalog and Interlibrary Loan We need this to work with MARC as well as the records of places like the IPRC (which uses filemaker) that wouldn't touch MARC. Would need a circ module to be successful at ILL Money, Money, Money We discussed the fact that this probably wouldn't be free. We discovered that half the room that had tech spouses that could be paid with alternative currency. Lily brought up getting grants for unique technology infrastructure. Importing records is the key to getting moolah from existing institutions. What happened to zinewiki? As far as Jerianne can tell, it was possibly hacked, and then revived and made worse, then died again, and once again revived by current admins. We wondered if it could be made compatible with MARC. We like that zinewiki is all meta-data friendly. Lots of Foresight is Necessary We need to think about what we really want 10, 15 years from now and about what web 3.0 will look like. Replicating and Mirroring is necessary in order to make sure things don't die. Documentation must be kick-ass and if it isn't, we are failures as librarians and zinesters. Milo says: Make a zine about MARC! Oh The OCLC, Again Alycia stresses that we need to figure out work arounds for OCLC sooner rather than later in order to make this project work Here is information on why they are evil.

To sum up: There’s no out of the box solution and MARC records will be around for a long time, so we need to cater to them.

A working group will be established by the leads Lillian and Clinton

Here are some supplemental notes from Jenna.

Closing session notes

Closing Session Notes, as transcribed by Jerianne (please correct any errors!)

First we did a recap of all the sessions:

Timberland Regional Library’s Story – how it started, how she got admin to buy in, what programming she did, looked at examples of how she’s built interest in the community and within the structure of the library. Slideshow presentation w/ lolcats. Patron idea for blank zines with subjects on front to have people fill in info – great program, popular with people at the uncon. Good info, well rounded.

Ethics of zine collecting / feedback from zinesters – We discussed what to do if a zinester requests removing his/her zine from the collection: difference actions based on where the zine came from (publisher, distro, third policy), potential solutions instead of removing (redact personal info, closed archive). Sometimes you need to respect wishes, decide on case by case basis. What’s the reader’s rights? Write policies so we are prepared to respond. Are we more beholden to zine community or history? Potential for use of zines as evidence (Ted Kaczynski). Please don’t bind zines like you would a magazine. Also discussed dealing with weeding, photocopying, giving out personal info. We should collaborate on a zine libraries code of ethics, should include zinesters in that discussion. Digitizing – ok to scan cover, but beyond that you should try to get permission. Libraries want publishing info and copyright statement within zines.

Digital collections – QZAP, great to get perspective on how it works, reflection of digital collections vs IPRC/ZAPP, some ethics discussion (putting things online, copyright/fair use, contacting zinesters, some people don’t want things online). Discussed the technical process.

Union catalog sampler – Included presentations of five different options. Talked about pros and cons of each, what we need to cater to public, academic, and special libraries. What do we all need to get out of this resource? We did not reach a conclusion. Discussed the idea of creating a non-evil alternative to OCLC (with explanation of the problems in OCLC). Decided that zinewiki is something we’re can use in the interim while we discuss options. Could be authority for zine titles and author names, could track zine library holdings. We won’t find an out of the box solution, will need to define what we need and want and develop a solution. Use tech spouses or others for assistance.

Sustainability – ZAPP and IPRC members talked about issues we shared. Talked about board politics. Classes that could be fundraising possibility. IPRC makes money from outreach, membership, workshops. Outreach, write grants, go to schools and give presentations. July = International Zine Month. Possible partnership between ZAPP and IPRC = Cascadia Zine Coalition. Issue: the structures of nonprofits, boards don’t get what we’re doing, ways to communicate to them what we are doing, the value of having a zine library.

Caucuses:
Special libraries (aka ‘outsider’ libraries): How can institutional libraries support independent libraries? Public libraries: What happens when you have a champion who gets removed from or leaves the collection — Importance of documentation
Cataloging catchall – discussed subject headings vs tags.

Introduction to cataloging for non-librarians – Presented the history of cataloging, talked about how catalogs work. Some examples of zines, identifying the author, what information goes in which fields, how the searches work based on that. Importance of putting multiple categories so computer searches can find in more than one way. Authority on how the author is written. Comparison between what we should have for zine cataloging and IMDB when you search for actor’s name (aliases, etc., so you get full filmography), a way to understand why it is so difficult.

Advanced cataloging – We talked about our best practices and how can we coordinate. Volunteer management and using volunteers to help with cataloging. What should be in record, how can we describe zines. Subject headings vs tags. Clint & Jerianne talked about how their catalogs worked; Jerianne showed sample records. What are areas where we need improvement, issues that come up often? Author, description, physical description. Project to create a controlled vocabulary. Gathering information from experts in various fields related to zine discussion to get vocabulary to use in tags to search/describe content. Discussed how to zinewiki as an interim tool (holdings in the article, other metadata attached).

Bookbinding – We made books, it needed to be longer. No one finished in the allotted time. Skillshares are a great idea for next time. Didn’t record the whole session because of technical difficulties.

Zine anatomy / preservation – Discussed preservation issues, how to store zines, if any zine publishers consider preservation when making zines (no, they use what materials are at hand). We can’t count on zinesters to help us there. Disaster preparedness; we don’t have a disaster plan at most places. Zinesters will donate collections to a library to protect it, but we aren’t safe either. We need to think about that. Different people talked about what they do. Digital preservation (QZAP). Implications of using digitization of print zines, most not into it. But digitizing could make them accessible to people with visual impairments. Is it ok to store in cereal boxes? – not for preservation purposes. Showed examples of different types of print (relief, screen, stencil), letterpress, explanation of mimeograph vs dittos. Useful for people doing cataloging who want to do physical description.

Zine programming – (I didn’t take notes on this recap, but I can say: We discussed a variety of ideas of zine programming in libraries, including zine workshops, zine readings, using zines in outreach, zines 201, zines with seniors. David Lasky showed us how anyone can draw a cartoon character using just circles, triangles, and squares.)

Meta discussion:
We make zines – zine libraries group (using that as a common space)
Zine yearbook – possibly take that on as a project. Having one editor, different people to take charge of a specific area (genre) of zines, allow us to group edit although geographically aprt. Biannual project? Could coordinate with the zine librarian (un)conferences.
Idea that a zine librarian central fund that people can donate to, to use for specific projects (union catalog, pay for zine yearbook, updating domain fees, disaster recovery) so we’re all looking out for each other. Open ended – how much, who to keep it, lots of questions. Should we get a legitimate account, treasurer? Then donations from institutions more likely. Maybe use existing organization as umbrella group?

Collection development and intellectual freedom – Talked about policies, developing policy, some do some don’t, and the ramifications for that. Techniques for turning away donations, want to be sensitive to turning away. Challenge policies, how to deal with challenges. Access policies, age restrictions. Using zinewiki – on the entry for a zine library, have link or something to their collection policy. Or at zinelibraries.info. (Also: Owen’s survey – will share results, which includes collection development policy.)

Review and abstract writing – We practiced writing an abstract and a zine review, talked about the differences in style and content. One big distinction we made was that an abstract should use neutral language, whereas reviews need opinion. Also important to keep in mind your audience when you’re writing.

Based on these recaps, we decided that we need to set up work groups to follow-up on some of these discussions. Participants at the closing session volunteered to coordinate each group; will solicit participation from other zine librarians via the yahoo group and we make zines:
•Code of ethics – Kelsey
•Union catalog – Clint & Lily (this includes cataloging norms, controlled vocabulary/thesaurus, using zinewiki in the interim)
•International Zine Month – Alex
•Cascadia Zine Coalition – Nora & Marc
•Preservation standards – Heather
•Zinelibraries.info / we make zines – Alycia & Milo
•Zine Yearbook – Clint
•Central zine librarian fund – Jessi
•Collection policies – Abby & Emily (this includes zine ethics and challenge responses)

We also went around the room and each provided feedback on what worked and what didn’t. (Some comments were repeated; I’ll skip over those.):

Milo: Really liked the combination of conference & unconference, having some pre-planned programs, then brainstorm & go, didn’t waste a lot of time on consensus building. Every conference will have time conflicts (interesting sessions scheduled for same time), not a lot we can do about that.

Abby: Liked how we used different methods to communicate when planning, still learning which modes work best. We should pat ourselves on the back, this all went smoothly. Thanks to Nora & the ZAPP volunteers.

Elaine: It’s been a wonderful experience. The bookbinding session needed to be longer, but the flexibility of the conference allowed us to finish later in the day. Was easy to register.

Clint: Impressed with the conversations we had.

Nora: It was very helpful to hear how you’ve done it (at your libraries), had so many questions coming in.

Jerianne: The wiki had some flaws in how it was set up (difficult navigation). Where do we go from here, let’s keep it going.

Kelsey: Happy with the planners, we worked well together, shared the weight. Liked how the format let different people step up and go with it. Needed more time between the conference and the reading.

Marc: It’s hard to believe that this was the first zine librarian conference, it went so smoothly and was well-planned.

Lily: I’ve been to some unconferences that have sucked, and this didn’t suck. Would be good to email the registered participants a couple of days before the conference to remind them.

Alycia: Was a remote planner, had conversations with people here, but had no idea how amazing ZAPP is. The space helped us to be flexible, the volunteers who filled in made it run smooth.

Heather: Liked the social, participatory nature. It was completely different from professional conferences – not stuffy – being around people excited with what we’re doing, doing it for altruistic reasons. We should equalize the labor – we didn’t have to pay to be here, wasn’t required, but we should have a labor exchange to make it fair. Likes to get updates via RSS feeds (to know what changes have been made to the planning site; the wiki didn’t do that).

Emily: Need to do more PR, more on library listservs. Did everyone on the zine librarian yahoo group hear about the conference?

David: Found everything really interesting, having people come from different places was great, knowing we’re not alone in the issues we face. The conference was well-documented. Too bad more libraries couldn’t be here; try to webcast future events.

Lily: The housing shares (on the wiki) didn’t work well.

Jessi: It came together better than I thought it might. Wiki – need to separate organization from the interface.

Jenna: We would have done better with shorter sessions and more choices. So thrilled to meet everyone face to face. Appreciated that we could schedule it around an official library conference so we (academic librarians) could come.

Jerianne: Maybe next time schedule around ALA or PLA?

Alycia: So many people were involved in planning, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

Mare’: It feels historic and important.

Chance: Invite indy bookstores to participate at next conference?

Alycia: If we piggyback events, we could try to work with a zine fest in the future. Jenna has had a caucus at Allied Media Conference before.

Maybe plan for a conference every other year?