Code of ethics draft preamble

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This document is emerging from years of challenging and joyous conversations about the work we do with zines. As caretakers of these materials, in our roles as independent, public, and academic librarians and archivists, a set of core values has surfaced. We’re writing them down in order to communicate openly and build trust.


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  • …zines are often produced by members of marginalized communities

  • …we want to respectfully engage with and represent those communities

  • …librarians/archivists are often part of the communities that make/read zines

  • …of the material itself, which is often weird, ephemeral, magical, dangerous, and emotional

  • …we don’t uphold the myth of librar*/archiv* neutrality

  • …we want to be accountable to our users, our institutions, our authors, donors, and communities


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This document aims to support you in asking questions, rather than to provide you with answers. Guidelines may not apply uniformly to every situation, but include discussion of disputed points.  This gives zine librarians (and librarians who are new to zines) ideas of what has been challenging in the past and how other zine librarians have dealt with those issues.These points can guide your conversations with your users, institutions, authors, donors, and communities — including other zine librarians and archivists.


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This document includes sections covering four aspects of zine librarianship in greater detail. Within these sections, you’ll find best practices and factors for consideration related to the acquisition, organization, access, and use of zines in libraries and collections.

This draft: Jennifer, Jude, Kelly, Milo — August 2014


3 thoughts on “Code of ethics draft preamble

  1. What a great opener! My only tiny change would be that we not use second person.

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