Zine Reviews: other thoughts

Sorry for the vague title, but that’s how I phrased it in my original email. This question followed the one about bad reviews if that helps.

What are your other thoughts on this?

  • Mostly I’d use zine reviews to find out the general topic of the zine, if it’s YA or Adult (and any specific things that make it such), and if it’s not something I can Google, how to get it.
  • Here’s a few thoughts & questions about the review column: What is the goal of this column? Is it to introduce zines as a material worth purchasing to all librarians? Or to help libraries with active zine collections further develop and refine their collections? Could make a difference in whether we do multiple reviewers with no specific topic or if we do a themed column each time. …
  • Are we going to categorize zines and have a lexicon of what the terms mean? I wrote “personal zine” but I know some people use “perzine” and I don’t know that LJ reader will know what any of that means.
  • Also, I think in addition to reviews it would be very helpful to eventually include some background and history on zines, how libraries can work with distros, successful zine programs etc.
  • Also, if the zinester has a website or has produced other zines under a different name or title, that information could be linked with the review somehow.
  • Do we want to include information that isn’t on the zine itself, like people’s last names (if available) or the page count?
  • About word count – I review for Library Journal already and I have to say I often have an extreme struggle trying to write a meaningful review in only 175 words. If there is a need to make zine reviews shorter, I really think it would be better to set a word count of 100-150 words. My concern is that it is quite difficult to succinctly describe contents and provide an evaluation in less than about 100 words.


In thinking about what zine reviews in a major library publication would look like, I posed several questions to a group of potential zine reviewers. This is #6 of 7.
(people who contributed, let me know if you want me to remove your comment–or to cite it with your name)

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