Zine Talking Notes

Zine Talking

Topics to possibly discuss: readers advisory for zines, teaching with zines, zine conversations and framing zines in terms of teaching and justification for zines in libraries

Commonly need to explain what zines are to people, what zines are and why they are important

Framing to various populations: funders, etc.

When to be broad and when to be specific

Here’s this cool thing/Why this should be relevant to you–recommending zines

Alana: zine collection started from teaching and the collection was built to support classroom work. From conference a faculty member got interested in Alana’s zine work and then started working in the classroom

Thinking critically about knowledge production in the class already

Feminist collaborative work

Applying feminist theories into zines about their everyday experiences, engaging and understanding the theory and thinking about an audience outside the academy for intellectual activism

Zines work well for intro English classes

Elvis: HS classes, teenagers love making zines

Even in med schools, making comics

Kalmia: sci-fi zines, many genres

Talking about people/faculty and promoting, talking about in intro English classes

Figuring out how to get them to come back in—making their own zines and using the collection outside of the classroom or multiple times

Adding student work to the collection—using as well as contributing to collections

Celina: art school, zines are accessible/easy to make for everyone, become the zine expert, students ask lots of questions about why people make zines, folks are using zines as examples of what they can do and make

Jill: people asking “Aren’t they like blogs?”, she started making zines because blogs were hard to manage

Celina: coworkers think it’s cute, don’t understand the full significance of the zine, think they are just like blogs

Honor: different media can have a different functions, never an either/or, challenges of digital preservation, proprietary software

Zines vs. blogs: Materiality

Zine that has a packet of toenails—Elvis

Cassette tape binding: Crazed Sparrow Rant Collective?

Make Out Session #2: Lassie book with the text block removed, with a mini magnifying glass velcro’ed in (how many editions?) cannibalized project—line with professional artists book but calls itself a zine

Show the spectrum of zines from artists books to xerox

Specific zine talking with students: how do you choose zines for a class? Could you choose any 10 random zines or do you curate?

Zines in archival boxes—how does that affect the experience

Duplicate show and tell collection, and how to curate that collection (and also preservation)

Get a sense of a person or a group and how they want to explore and how you can facilitate that

The introduction to zines is an important piece of teaching (about the collection)

Cart in the reading room that people can browse for zine month

Event in the spring and took riot grrrl zines out of folders and let people in to look at them

ASSESSMENT: how do you tell whether something is successful?


Alycia: don’t like rubrics, different feeling in the room when you teach with zines (vs. databases)

Teaching with zines—intellectual property, authority issues in a very different way than at any other point

Other folks use zines in their teaching as part of a wider special collections instruction, but no teaching for classes, curriculum, etc.

Metrics and assessment, measuring

Are they interested in coming back again? Index cards: general feedback, not going to be used for any institutional purpose, free-form feedback and suggestions

Index cards: free-form, anonymity

Forget to hand out standard forms

Other ways to talk with people—blogs, emails, asking for suggestions, other forms of communicating and building relationships other than standardized forms. Forms seem to shut down the forms of communication.

Alycia: two catalogs, but am I making a bottleneck in which there is more info if you talk to me?

Library thing catalog—so users and librarians can use and update, describe

Blog: highlight specific parts of the collection by theme

Bookmarks that highlight certain collections

Tagging in catalog—a conversation not just by librarians

And it gets written down somewhere if on a blog, tags, etc.

So great to be able to recommend zines to readers—“you would love this!”

Tweeting a zine a day for zine month


SciFi Fanzines just in finding aidsàmake something that can be tagged and updated by community

Open Library?

Plays nicely with linked data

Collaborative zine-making and complaints about content

Approval of content of zines are in collection, on display, etc.

Challenges and discussion—CD policies

“Let’s have alternative forms of publications, but not too alternative!”

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