Social action

> ZLuC 2019 Salt Lake > Social action

Saturday July 20

Breakout session 2, 11:15-12:00pm

Session name: Social Action

Facilitator: Milo 

Note taker: Juli 

Zines as tools in activist communities

Why? Why Make Zines in Times of Strife (And Calm)


  • Zines as health literacy to combat bad info in other zines
    • How do we deal with changing information (QZAP example about HIV/AIDS zines that are from the 90s)
  • Where do (institutional) libraries fit in radical social action? 
  • Do libraries need to be politically neutral? Presenting information on the sly, which zines to put into the collection. Do other folks feel the need to do zine stuff in a politically neutral space?
    • Social action can be under the radar, it can be secret. 
    • Information professionals have information– you can direct folks to other resources. To the radical info shop, etc. Find those sources– link them to zine makers if you know them
    • When teaching information literacy, give students the tools to vet out bad information
  • Showing students potentially dangerous materials to help them understand why people make decisions they do
  • Curation as social action– $supporting$ people zine makers who are actively practicing social action
  • Cataloging as social action– reframes how knowledge is structured in the future
    • The act of cataloging zines makes one aware of the problematic nature of Library of Congress Subject Headings
    • Spurs you on to think more about social action
  • Starting a zine libraries is a radical act
    • Having insider knowledge from zine makers to help infor cataloging
  • What to do with hate speech zines? Keeping them for historical purposes, but not glorifying them. Maybe/ probably not in the browsing collection– but is there an archives that would be a good home for that in order the keep for research. 
    • This all depends on your collecting policy.
    • Keeping the perspectives of the other side, which helps illustrate why zine makes are fighting against. Zine makers are counter-culture– they can’t be viewed in isolation. 
    • Revisit and revise your collection development policies! This is not static! <3
      • Check out
      • Don’t prioritize shitty zines (including if the zine makers are problematic/ abusers/ etc)
      • Come up with a protocol with how to deal with shit
      • Reach out to communities that are affected, and let them guide you from
    • Buy zines from POC zine makers and amplify their voices