Zine Librarians unConference 2016: this weekend in Boston!

The Zine Librarians unConference is this weekend!! On July 29-30th, there’ll be a bevy of zine librarians at Simmons College in Boston discussing teaching with zines, disaster prep, zine cataloging, the Code of Ethics, and much more. There will also be readings by zine librarians on Saturday evening at the Papercut Zine Library in Somerville! If you’re in the area, check out the details at http://zinelibraries.info/wiki/zluc-2016-bos/. Hope to see you there!


Appropriately for International Zine Libraries Day, I’m gonna share my thoughts on the 6th Zine Librarian (un)Conference, which wrapped up on Saturday. 

This weekend, I thought a lot about the cheeseball networking advice about finding your “tribe.” I’ve said before, zines aren’t a huge part of my job, and probably never will be, but zine librarians have helped me with all areas of my professional work. Just a sampling, off the top of my head: zine librarians have helped me prep for job interviews, grow through issues of pedagogy, talk out workplace conflicts, and think about whether I’d ever want to get into management. Forming these connections – over collections that we are all passionate about – has given me a network of colleagues at really different places in their careers, who do really different types of things. Like the GLBTRT, zine librarians are a cross-sampling of academic, public and barefoot librarians (folks at grassroots libraries, often without an MLIS), folks who do really different work. I’ll be honest – it is often easy for me to zone out when cataloging comes up, but I get so excited hearing my wise colleagues share their knowledge and move us closer towards building a union catalogue that will help researchers locate a zine across all kinds of institutions. Linked data isn’t really in my wheelhouse, but man, this will be amaaaaazing! It is an honor to get to work on projects with these folks whose expertise is So Different from mine. 

Also, we get things done without getting too serious – our metadata standard is xZINECOREx for a reason. This weekend, when someone suggested creating a taskforce to work on our burgeoning code of ethics, I objected to the language…so it is a Fast Horse instead. (You can see the Zotero group for the lit review here.) Someone was dressed as the Goblin King all weekend, as part of the rewards for the Kickstarter campaign she used to fund her trip out to Durham. 

Specifically, some of my favorite parts of this weekend were:

  • Finally meeting my doppleganger – and amazing ZL(u)C organizer – Kelly Wooten, and getting to see zines from the Sallie Bingham Center.
  • Hearing about the amaaaaaazing programming and outreach that my colleagues do. Lots of ideas to steal from papercutzinelibrary, like a One Pager Rager, an event where everyone brings one-page zines to trade. The opportunity to share programming and teaching ideas from archives to community organizations to public and academic libraries is priceless. I wish it happened more throughout libraryland. 
  • Starting to work on this code of ethics, and talking about the reasons why zines and zine libraries are weird and emotional and a place for us to declare our non-neutrality.
  • Brainstorming lots of exciting things, including a review zine/zineography of sexual health zines (in part as a tool for working with sexual health educators, like I’ve done with folks in our student health unit). 
  • Reading my dorky zine out loud at the reading, and getting everyone in the bar to say “lististics” with me. 
  • Getting to hang out with old friends, and meet lots of new friends, too. 

The ZL(u)C is always a lovefest – it’s hard to leave, like heading home from camp, but also just exciting to know that we’re building new things, too. If you have any interest in zines and libraries, please join us!

P.S. Don’t forget to treat your local zine librarian to a donut today, or at least stop in and read a zine or two at your local zine library. Shoutout to Monuts in Durham for the awesome treats we had on Saturday morning!


From http://zinelibraries.info/2015/04/27/zluc-2015-travel-grant/

Application due May 11, 2015!!

For the fourth consecutive year, zine librarians & their friends are subsidizing a librarian of color’s participation in the Zine Librarians Unconference. Here is the application form.

We recognize an underrepresentation of people of color (POC) in previous (un)Conferences, and it is because we value the contributions, leadership and presence of POCs at the conference that we offer this travel grant. Grant winners may spend the money however they see fit, e.g., airfare, childcare, food, etc. We have about $300 total to award.

Your answers to these questions will help volunteers from library and zine communities award scholarships to zine librarians & archivists (including aspiring ones) to attend the Zine Librarians (un)Conference 2015 in Austin, Texas on June 5th & 6th at the Perry-Casteñeda Library at 21st & Speedway on the University of Texas‘s main campus. It is free to attend.


I’m off to Durham for the Zine Librarian (un)Conference, which is only my most favorite professional development activity all year. I may never managed to make zines take up a full line in my job description, but zine librarianship has taught me some of the most salient lessons about outreach, community building, ethics, and the importance of access. Also, it has helped me make friends with badass librarian heroes like jennafreedman and clpzines

Okay, I know this is my second lovefest post about zine libraries this week, so I’ll stop kvelling, but seriously. Look at those jazzhands! Can’t wait to see what awaits us at the Sallie Bingham Center