Digitization and Ethics

> ZLuC 2019 Salt Lake > Digitization and Ethics

Friday July 19

Breakout session 1, 10:15- 11:30am

Session name: Digitization and Ethics

Facilitator: Milo Miller

Note taker: Honor Moody 

Twitter threads: https://twitter.com/SpookyColbert/status/1152254325965479936?s=20 


  • Framing: ongoing topic of interest in zine library community
  • Original edition of code of ethics (ages ago); we’ve been trying to revisit this living doc at zine librarians unconference
  • Last year decided to do a special appendix re digitization; Kelly Wooten/Milo Miller on it, but life happens, passed on torch recently to Kathryn La Barre (UIUC); Jeremy Brett : [get the link to the draft they’ve developed] Here it is ! >> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1c5YtSToyntGXDslG8euQLE9v27aH4J19HUkx_-LA5QI/edit?usp=sharing 

Call to reserve 15-30 minutes to discuss take down requests

QZAP’s primary focus/mission is digitization, so likely has different concerns/approach than others

Two main reasons for dig: 1. Preservation 2. Wider access

Cons: [more complicated, see draft] privacy; unanticipated use for material created in pre-internet  world; alters experience of resource designed for analog use; respecting rights/desires of zine creators

Sales of zine when digitization makes access?

Currently onus on creator to set limits for reuse, not really possible for older zines;

QZAP tries to ask permission at point of permission

Do we have an obligation/desire as zine librarians to do community education on rights statements/specific framings for digitization

Best practices? Alex Wrekk’s Stolen Sharpie Revolution has good stuff (but not online!)

Suggest instead zineibrarians.info or appendix to code of ethics

Why are we treating zines differently than other published work?

Many zines are orphan works, QZAP does research to find creators, but also broadly interprets fair use, has very clear take down policies, 

For orphan works, some decisions based genre (no for perzines, yes for cookzines)

Code of ethics evolved to protect the creator as much or more than an institutional needs

Ethics for digitization can be contextual: community embedded zine libraries have different responsibilities/expectations than big institutions 

Slight shift: 

An individual is contacting libraries requesting that their zine (from the 90s) requesting that they be shredded or returned (zinester provides postage)

Also, what about folks who zines are donated by a person other than the creator

MM: Strong feeling that once you release a creative work out into the world, you lose control; lacking a statement this zine is for jane schmo, if not held by her destroy or return:

Archives have tradition and best practice for sensitive material/take down

Does the cultural memory of zinekind live and die on any single zine? Probably not

Attitude of person sometimes affects response (if feeling like one is bullied less responsive than if apologetic)

Can policies be analogous to public library book challenges policies

May also depend on relative openness of collection

Q: do the same concerns apply if the zine is created not for sale, but academic event?

Ingest forms are a real thing that we should use:

Action: develop appendixes to appendix: sample forms: ingest for zine created at zine making event; at time of purchase; for donors (are you the creator? Do you have contact for the creator, etc.)

Moratoriums: Need date attached to rights and restrictions for 

Distinction between moratorium on access to material vs. moratorium on access to metadata

Personally identifying information: current issue with atomization of data description

Some of this is tied to ethics of data/technology 

 Ethics in linked data as part of Linked Data for Libraries community: https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/LD4P2/Ethics+in+Linked+Data+Affinity+Group (minimal info)

June meeting notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IYRnBxMOuyfsMK6hP38FwMtT4_IUAQFVZU12IAYYKgg/edit#heading=h.nzjy1x2ztkpx

Email Itza Carbajal to request slack (confirming with Itza that this is ok)

Complete vs partial/cover: anyone have thoughts on this

Teal Triggs we make zines cover image usage controversy, see 


Digitization doesn’t mean providing access to digital copies