Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Art in the Bibliosphere

This semester 12 students added to our zine collection!

At the end of this semester I lead a project with my dear friend and colleague Lauren Kalman for her class, "Art in the Public Sphere." We decided to do a political/interventionist project in which I presented on the political/historical aspect of zines and artists' publications. We then asked students to create a zine themselves in which they submitted one to printed matter, one to zine world, and dropped off the rest of their batch of 15 all over the city.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nashville Homeless Paper

Nashville has a bonified homeless paper thanks to the hard work of many volunteers! The first volume of this project has just been issued and is available at the Watkins College of Art and Design Library.

The name of the paper:

The Contributor: Diverse perspectives on homelessness. Genuine opportunities for advancement.

Here is their press release...

First Issue of The Contributor Hitting the Streets
Newspaper designed to provide perspectives on homelessness

Nashville, TN – On Wednesday, November 14th, a new and original newspaper arrives on the streets of downtown Nashville. The paper was created to assist the public in understanding the challenges and difficulties associated with homelessness for everyone while providing employment opportunities for homeless individuals.

The Contributor will provide diverse perspectives on the condition of homelessness while also highlighting the contributions of homeless and formerly homeless individuals.

“Homelessness in Nashville is an issue that is looked at in many diverse ways,” said Executive Director Tasha French. “We will be working directly with homeless and formerly homeless people to create a forum for all these perspectives.”

All of the vendors selling The Contributor are either homeless or formerly homeless.

They will start out with a number of free papers, selling each for $1. After generating some income, each vendor can come back and purchase additional issues for just 25¢ per issue. The profits of the sale of the paper will be directly to the vendor.

In addition, one key goal of The Contributor is to have at least 50% of the content in each issue be from homeless and formerly homeless individuals.

“We want to give our vendors an opportunity to earn an income, eliminate stereotypes and share their stories as homeless men and women,” said Director of Vending Steve Samra. “Instead of panhandling, our vendors have a product they can provide, and hopefully this paper can initiate a new and healthy dialogue between people across the socioeconomic spectrum.”

The first batch of papers will be distributed to vendors at 2pm at the Downtown Presbyterian Church at 5th and Church and will be sold at major street corners in the downtown area.

For more information about the publication, or to offer writing submissions, please contact Executive Director Tasha French at (615) 598-0061 or online at

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vamp & Tramp comming to Watkins!

You are invited:

Learn about the growing world of artists' books!
Watkins College of Art & Design
Monday, Nov. 5 at 4pm
Room 502

Vicky and Bill Stewart – as Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers – represent 200+ contemporary fine presses and book artists. They spend much of the year traveling the US taking the works they represent to private and institutional customers.
On November 5, they will be at Watkins talking about the burgeoning world of artists' books and sharing examples from their inventory. Please join us for their presentation followed by a reception.

Overview of Sandra Kroupa’s role in the University of Washington’s Book Arts Collection -

“My job is primarily to be the conduit between the artist and viewer. The artist can’t talk to the person directly, but they can talk to them through me as I provide the book.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Zines" covered in the Nashville Scene

Transcending the Internet
Local zine artists and librarians work to keep underground publishing alive

by Maria Browning

“They’re dickscapes...landscapes made out of dicks.” That’s local artist and zinemaker Kate “Kuss” Csillagi describing one of the recurring motifs in her graphic zine Romance. It’s hard to pin down a definition of “zine,” a catchall word used for any low-budget, self-produced magazine, but the idea of a “dickscape”—whimsical, provocative, completely idiosyncratic—is the perfect embodiment of the zine aesthetic.
The content of a zine can be almost anything—political rants, music and movie reviews, literary navel-gazing, comics, you name it—but it’s generally rooted in a skeptical attitude toward mainstream culture. A zine can’t be a product of the commercial media, no matter how hip or niche. Some “zinesters” like to play with unusual forms, such as imaginary letters folded into envelopes or grab bags of hand-painted postcards, but the final product, according to zine purists, must be on paper.

The zine had its heyday beginning in the late ’70s, emerging from the punk scene and then rippling out into the wider underground culture. Zinemaking thrived for the next 20 years, until the Internet happened. The teenagers and young adults who made most zines got hooked on blogging and MySpace. “Ezines” replaced their hard-copy forebears. Paper became passé. At the same time, market pressures forced many of the independent book and record stores that sold zines to close their doors. Nashville artist and musician Angela Messina, former proprietor of the defunct Halcyon Books and herself a zinemaker and collector of zines, says, “It is definitely a dying thing.”

But Jerianne Thompson, a Murfreesboro librarian and the publisher of Zine World: A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press, disagrees. She feels that the Internet has simply “cut out some of the crappier zines. A lot of the people who are doing zines now are more dedicated to it.” Thompson is among a handful of devoted zine lovers in the Nashville area who are doing their best to nurture the form. At the Linebaugh Public Library, she has established a circulating collection of approximately 125 zine titles from around the country. She taught a workshop on zinemaking for kids in June, and more workshops are planned at the library this fall, including one for “artsy moms.”

Thompson’s Zine World, which is published roughly three times a year, promotes the genre with thumbnail critiques of dozens of titles, along with short news reports and columns about trends in zinemaking and the decline of free speech. Zine World is well written and carefully put together—no surprise, given the profession of its publisher—but it’s got more than a touch of the classic zinester attitude. “If you are not fully satisfied with Zine World, tough shit,” is a typical line on the subscription page. It’s clear that Thompson is a participant in the zine culture as much as a preservationist of the form.

Another local librarian with a passion for zines is Virginia Allison of Watkins College of Art & Design. The library at Watkins is in the process of developing its own zine collection, and Allison has produced a resource guide for libraries and others interested in collecting zines. Along with Thompson, she has guest-lectured on the subject for Watkins courses, and runs workshops on zinemaking for students.

Allison sees a resurgence of interest in zines that is, at least in part, a reaction to the forces that initially siphoned interest away—the consolidation of media and the dominance of digital communication. She considers zine culture an indirect descendant of the Dadaist movement, with its rejection of bourgeois values and conformity. On an aesthetic level, zinemaking appeals to people who want to communicate via a medium that isn’t straitjacketed by a template and screen. “There’s something about putting things on paper that is nostalgic and beautiful,” she says.

There are a number of well-known Tennessee-based zines, including the venerable anarchist publication Fifth Estate, which is co-produced by the Pumpkin Hollow community outside Liberty, and RR, authored by “D. Striker,” the alter ego of musician Jeff Meltesen. RR is published every Friday the 13th in conjunction with a performance/party that has become a local institution. Uprise, a comparatively slick zine with a sizable circulation, is devoted to Christian heavy metal music and skateboarding. Its creator, Belmont student Dave Darr, admits to having some commercial aspirations for his publication that are not entirely in keeping with zine tradition, but like most zinesters he’s primarily interested in expressing his particular view of the world. He gives away 90 percent of the 5,000 copies per issue, saying, “Basically, I just want to serve God. I don’t care about being a millionaire.”

But most local zinesters operate well under the radar, pretty much unknown outside their small cohort of friends and fans. Jerry Smith of Morristown creates two zine comics, Southern Fried and Rattletrap, which chronicle his youth and his small-town Southern life. Kuss Csillagi has been producing Romance since 2003. A onetime tagger who decided she really didn’t approve of marking up other people’s property, Csillagi takes pleasure in comparing early issues of her zine to “a coloring book for a perverted 12-year-old.” She sees her work as a personal expression that she’s more interested in sharing than selling. She is currently experimenting with the use of video, but is committed to continuing the paper zine.

Even as they’ve become scarcer over the past decade, zines have gained a certain artistic legitimacy, and have been swept up on the growing enthusiasm for the book as an abstract form. Cheekwood plans to include zines in a large book-art exhibit scheduled for April 2008. But for the people who make them, and the readers who take the trouble to hunt them down, they remain a way of communicating, as Angela Messina says, “on a human scale. The appeal is the simplicity. You feel a connection with someone somewhere else.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2007



I'm happy to say that the new issue of Zine World is done and will be
sent off to the printer in the morning.

I'm not so happy to say that we're in piss-poor shape financially.

Usually when we get ready to go to press, I have enough built up in
the Zine World kitty to pay for most of the printing and the postage.
Not so this time.

Printing and associated costs will run about $1200 for this issue; we
have to pay at least 50% upfront. I'll need about $250-300 more for
postage. Right now we have $540 in the kitty.

Why? Because for ZW #23, we didn't get $300+ that we should have.
(Tower owed us $270, Clamor owed $50?, and Reading Frenzy owed $23).
That money would have gone toward paying for #24. Instead, I had to
kick in a little myself (some of which I had to pay myself back,
because money was tight), and some of the money that would have been
set aside to pay for #25 had to be used to pay off the rest of #24's
costs. Another reason is because of increased printing and postage
costs over the last couple of issues, and subscriptions haven't caught
up yet.

In short, if you can kick in some money to the cause, now would be a
good time to make a donation. Even $10 or $20 would help. I will be
donating a couple hundred myself -- but I'd prefer to not have to put
all the postage purchasing on a credit card plus donate a few hundred.
I just can't afford to do all that myself.

I hate to ask. But if even a few of you could make small donations
now, we may be able to get back ahead, instead of finding ourselves
back in this same spot a few months from now.

If you wish to donate, please send funds to Jerianne T. at PO
Box 330156, Murfreesboro TN 37133 or paypal to zineworld@gmail. com.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Videoblogging 101

Presented at the Allied Media Conference, 2007
by Ivettza Sanchez and Brittany Shoot

1. GET a BLOG:
Free service run by Google. Does not host video, only photos and basic page HTML.
Costs from 5-15 dollars a month. Hosts video, audio, and photos.

• Most successful video blogging can be done though e-blogger
• Video compression is key for making manageable files for the internet, compression can be done though Quicktime
• To embed or cross post your video online go through Blip TV ( their goal is to change the world by bringing videoblogging to the masses
or Our Media ( Which provides free storage and bandwith for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever, no catches.

Why Utube might not right for you:

o Utube uses flash which prevents sharing, Blip TV allows you to save your video to quicktime which allows others to copy and paste your html code for their own blog or website
o Utube also owns whatever you post and can use it for commercial purposes
o You may choose to put a Creative Commons license ( on your vlog which allows for different forms of redistribution for your work. Visit to learn more about posting video under the CC license.


• Mac
• I-Movie (for editing sound and image)
• Quicktime (for compression and sharing)
• Large memory card
• Digital camera with video component (320x340)
• Handheld tripod (optional)


The definitive “go to” website for “how to” tutorials on videoblogging, site also has a sustainable list of new vloggers, updated daily.

Secrets of Videoblogging by Michael Verdi and Ryan Hodson (Book)



Allows blog owners and podcasters the ability to manage their RSS feeds and track usage of their subscribers.


Is a free RSS video aggregator and media player available for Mac OS X and Windows XP. With FireAnt you can subscribe to any RSS feed, it will playback and import into vlogs into itunes. (much like podcasting, but allows for more complex searching).

Democracy Internet TV

Open source, keeps online video open by letting you connect to all big video hosting sites such as You Tube and Google Video in one place.

Visit to Boxcar Books

Had a chance to visit Boxcar Books on a recent trip to Bloomington, Indiana. It is worth the visit. Check out thier website:

"Boxcar Books and Community Center, Inc. is a volunteer run, non-profit organization that exists to provide new and used books, zines, magazines, and comics on topics of social justice, independent media, and fiction for the community; send literature of all types free of charge to prisoners in the midwest; and to provide a meeting space for community and literary groups."

Boxcar Books Case Statement
We are open:
Monday-Friday 11AM - 9PM
Saturday 10AM-9PM
Sunday 12PM - 5PM

Friday, July 6, 2007

Magazine Art

I have been reading a lot lately on the subject of magazine art, or magazine as gallery more- magazine as alternative space for the artist. This Spring's "Art Documentation" bulletin of the Art Libraries of North America has a really awesome article by Susan E. Thomas titled "Zeroing In on Contemporary, Independant Visual Arts Magazines." The article is thorough and fascinating with paragraph headings such as 'Magazines as Cultural Motors', 'Editorial and Curatorial Obsessions', 'Magazines as Gallery Space', 'Contemporary Magazine Design', and so continues to include more library specific issues in acquiring these gems. What is really fantastic about this article is that the author has included a selected list of independent, visual arts magazines not widely held by libraries. Acquiring such magazines would be a fantastic asset for our collection.

I am always searching for ways to mashup and combine my political interests in alternative media with the somewhat lofty politics of art. I began reading about Dada zines in grad school and am pretty excited to have found the above mentioned article on contemporary, independent artists zines. Still what to do with these burning interests of mine. My desire is to consume but also to disperse, guess this librarian will be writing yet another project proposal.

I should also mention that there is a very short article titled "Alternative Art Publishing: Artists' Magazines (1960-1980) by Stephen Perkins on Chip Rowe's website zine book. The bibliography here is short but really awesome as it provides some interesting sub-themes to pursue when researching magazine art. Here is a great quote or two from Perkins' article...

"...where previously art work, texts and documentation were illustrated in magazines, this new 'space' the magazine became the primary site for the works themselves. The magazine becomes an exhibition space, a critical space, a documentary space and an archival space."

In hist article, Perkins defines four distinct (with flexible boundaries) types of artists magazines:
1. Regional eclectic mixes of alternative cultural activities (many funded by non-profits)
2. Magazines allied with a movment: Fluxus, Surrealism, Neo-Dada
3. Collaborative Magazines
4. Activist artists magazines

So many zines, so little time. If anyone has a good bibliography of contemporary artists publications that are only available online, please send my way.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

post mortem

The end of my day at AMC and I am seriously exhillahrated, the zine caucus is over and I believe it went well. Todays events have renewed my hopes, vision, and feeling that I cand have an impact. In workshops I learned about videoblogging, video montage, and ways that organizaitons are using new media technologies in education. At the zine caucus, we actually had a pretty good turn out and a great if not all over the place discussion about the place of zines in the alternative media world, the place of zines in libraries, the place of infoshops and zinesters in the alternative media movement and all random rambling that fall in was a pie in the sky hour really...topped by the fact that I got to meet and chat it up with Julie Herada, curator of the Labadie collection at The University of Michigan. A group of really great young twenty somethings attended that are starting their own local politics zine and I met a librarian from Detroit who was part of an info shop here that crumbled due to some interesting powerstruggles...I spend most of my time isolated from peers that share any of my interests and find myself locked to the internet for support and information concerning the zine community, alternative media librarianship, and people who understand how important libraries can be in our society. My experience at the AMC has been...moving, challanging, and so deeply satifying.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Allied Media Conference

Zine Librarians Caucus
Facilitated and Presented by Virginia Allison and Julie Herrada
This caucus for zine librarians (in the broadest sense of the term) is a place to meet up and share resources, best practices, and zines!
This caucus meeting will take place on Friday, June 22, 8PM, off-campus at Beans & Bytes cafe, 4200 Woodward Ave. at Willis.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

( about 4 mins, 1.3 mi) From Wayne State University:

1. Head South on Exit 215A toward John C Lodgy Fwy/M 10 S 0.2 mi
2. Merge onto John C Lodge Fwy/M-10 S 0.2 mi
3. Take exit 3 toward Warren Ave/Forest Ave 0.1 mi
4. Merge onto John C Lodge Fwy 171 ft
5. Turn left at Forest Ave W 0.5 mi
6. Turn rith at M-1/Woodward Ave 0.2 mi

Monday, June 18, 2007


Reposted from Librarian Activist Website:

These links lead to journals or magazines that offer alternative views of librarianship. There is a strong emphasis on independent thought and critical perspectives.

Counterpoise:"A quarterly review journal that makes independent points of view widely accessible to librarians, scholars and activists." They publish articles, reviews, bibliographic tools for the alternative press, and indexes.

Progressive Librarian:"A forum for critical perspectives in Librarianship, featuring articles, book reviews, bibliographies, reports and documents that explore progressive perspectives on librarianship and information issues." Many full text articles available online.

Library Juice:"A biweekly online magazine for librarians, library and information science students, and other interested people. It includes discussions, commentary, announcements, humor, web links and news affecting the library world."

Information for Social Change:An activist organisation "that examines issues of censorship, freedom and ethics amongst library and information workers." It publishes its journal twice a year and all of it is online.

Hermès:A bilingual e-journal (french and english), with the objective to publish a series of critical texts on the information society, media and society as a whole.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ode to Microcosm

Just wanted to re-state that Microcosm is a fantastic venue in terms of working with libraries. For those libraries who are just starting, they offer a very nice donation package of zines with your first order. Also, they sent me two coveted (no one who has them here will give them up!) zines created by former Watkins College of Art&and Design student Shaun Silfter and former Austin Peay State student Ally Syan:

Ross Winn: Digging Up A Tennessee Anarchist by Shaun Slifer
An unearthing of Ross Winn, an anarchist from Texas and Tennessee in the late 19th century who printed a series of newspapers, most notably Ross Winn's Firebrand and corresponded with Emma Goldman. Shaun and company seek out his history and find a good deal of it in the process. We get to learn about their trip to Ross' grave, his upbringing, and friction from his partner's family, his conservative environment, and his own family (thanks to McKinley's assassination, supposedly inspired by anarchists.) As anyone who knows me can testify this is exactly the kind of zine I eat up, and this one is no exception. I respect the dedication with which the information was persued and the result is impressive. Additional artwork by Erik Ruin.
(review from micrcosm website)


Another Chance: A Zine About Bioremediation by Ally Reeves
Bioremediation? No, it's not just another "Antidisestablishmentarianism." It's actually the process of using plants to detoxify soil. This zine provides an intro to the history and the concepts involved, plus has an interview with an urban farm in Pittsburgh, relevant book reviews, and neat prints of helpful plants. Most DIY environmental focus today is on the prevention of further waste, not on cleaning up the mess we already have. And the solutions we're given are frustrating with few tangible results. That's what's so neat about bioremediation -- It's something small and proactive with a big impact! Plus, this cover of this zine is gorgeous!
(review from Micrososm website)

I am so glad to have these in our collection. Thank you Microcosm!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A-Z Guide to Self-Published Media

The following is a conglomeration of research, edited and published as an A-Z Guide to Alternative Publishing (zine format). This zine will serve as an instructional resource for our zine collection. I first presented this information as a guest speaker for Robin Paris's Book Arts class. The class was enthusiastic about zines and learning about the history of alternative media. The next day Jerianne from Zine World brought in some interestingly designed zines and answered questions- and continued the conversation about zine culture. After her lecture the class memebers each created a zine for our collection...good times!

A: Alternative Media
Today’s alternative media include newspapers and magazines, zines, e-zines, small press publications, chapbooks, pamphlets, independent film and video, community access cable, web logs, web sites, and comics. Regardless of the medium employed, alternative media share several characteristics (Armstrong, 6).

A publisher is thought to be alternative if it meets at least one of the following:

1. The publisher has to be non-commercial, demonstrating that a basic concern for ideas, not the concern for profit, is the motivation for publication.
2. The subject matter of their publications should focus on social responsibility or creative expression, or a combination of both
3. Finally, it is enough for publishers to define themselves as alternative publishers (Alternatives in Print, 1989: vii)

• “Printing of publications outside of official commercial channels has been a phenomenon virtually since the advent of the printing press (Herrada, 79).”

• “Alternative literature has the capacity to inform, educate and set the record straight on all manner of topics, and frequently does. (1.Atton, 23).”

B: Binding Options
• Self-published printed works encompass a variety of materials and are bound in several different manners.
• Projects can be low production quality to high production quality, works might be printed on a Xerox machine and stapled, printed on a letter-press printer and hand stitched, sent off to a commercial printer and bound professionally, or produced and distributed though any number of technologies and networks.
• Self-published materials follow no set of standards, there are no rules, and therefore the quality and variety of self-published materials which circulate throughout alternative media networks are vast.

C: Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”
• Thomas Paine was a journalist in the new American colonies; in 1776 he independently published a pamphlet, “Common Sense”.
• Paine’s pamphlet had tremendous social impact and helped ignite the American Revolution. His work is a symbol of what self-produced print media can do to spark social change; he is therefore known in the alternative press as the “Father of Alternative Media (Armstrong, 5).”

D: Dada Journals 1915-1921
• The Dadaist formed around a group of intellectuals in war neutral Zurich, 1915
• They opposed established bourgeois art and culture, which they regarded as symptomatic of a culture about to crumble with the First World War (Ball, 18).
• The group independently published journals to spread their anti-art program internationally.
• Dada journals conveyed Dadaist principles and activities through experimental language, text, performance and images.
• Consequently, the Dada movement is credited with creating several innovations in typography, language, film, and collage.
• Dadaism exploited the journal medium as a transportable, mass media site to form an alternative type of community. The Dada community was connected by their publications, which circulated internationally. (Hage, 2).

E: E-Zine
• An e-zine is simply an electronically published zine, usually ezines take the form of a serial newsletter.
• An e-zine could be distributed via e-mail as a word document attachment, as a PDF document, or as a Webpage.
• E-zine communities with common interests and affiliations network online, rather than through the postal service.
• For a comprehensive look at e-zines check out John Labowitz’s archive of web-based e-zines at

F: Fanzine
• The science fiction magazine subculture of the 1930’s and 1940’s coined the term “fanzine” from which the more contemporary label of “zine” evolved.
• Science fiction fans circulated independently published magazines via snail mail around the globe.
• Fan fiction generally includes characteristics of original science fiction works written by fans, rather than the original work’s creators.
• Matt Gunderloy created a fanzine directory tilted “Factsheet5” which listed and reviewed fanzines. This directory created a centralized fanzine publishing community which spawned zine writings on topics beyond fan fiction, thus giving birth to the all encompassing “zine” culture.

G: Gallery-Like
• “Editors of zines act like curators, compiling the works and writings of people whose output excites them, and showcasing them within the pages of their publications (Gonulu, 1).”
• “Because the contributors of these zines have, in most cases, full control of the presentation of their works on the page, the context of the zine offers a more immediate and unmediated presentation of their thoughts and intentions than may be found in more mass marketed media formats (Golonu, 1).”

H: How-To Self-Publish
• DIY (do it yourself)
• Get informed: read up on what others have done, consult zine and book-making websites and books
• Wanna make a zine?

Read Matt Stovall’s “A Student’s Guide on What a Zine is and tips on how to make on Version 2.0” available at

• Wanna make a comic? Start here:

and here:

• Wanna start a zine collection in your library? Check out the article “How to Start a Zine Library in Ten Easy Steps” by Miriam DesHarnais at

I: Information Dissemination
• “The present number of corporations controlling America’s media has dropped from fifty in 1993 to just five in 2004. The Supreme Court considers first amendment rights to belong solely to those American citizens who own the Media (Johnson, 15).”
• Alternative literature provides alternate paths for media and information to circulate, in spite of media conglomeration.

J: Journalism
• “In the case of ephemeral artistic practices such as performance or more idea-based projects, printed publications can also act as documentation of fleeting events and specific cultural moments witnessed by only a small group of people at a given moment (Golonu, 2).”

K: Kinetics
• “Zine making has provided an effective way of sharing ideas with networks of friends, colleagues, and collaborators (Golonu, 1).”
• “With the help of the postal service, artists and writers have overcome geographic breaches and disseminate their ideas, artworks and collaged graphics to expanding networks of attentive individuals and communities (Golonu, 2).”

L: Library
• “As popular library materials and library media becomes more homogenous, librarians are looking to zines as a powerful printed medium that could help balance the skewed ‘spectrum of thought’ that has threatened the democratic nature of materials collected in libraries (Zobel,1).”
• Three functions of an alternative media library collection:
1. To serve as local history, community news, and networking
2. To supplement subject collections
3. To serve as a primary source for popular culture research (Zobel, 3).

M: Mail and Correspondence Art 1970-1980
• Mail art came into vogue in the early seventies. Mail artists used the postal system as a forum for spreading art and developing communities of ideas without exchanging money.
• “An important goal in mail art was to participate in art commerce-free; mail art attempted to bypass galleries and elitism. They exchanged ephemera in the form of illustrated letters, newsletters, zines, decorated envelopes, postcards, and mail interviews (Perkins,”

N: Networks
• Alternative Media in the United States has and will survive through communication networks. Alternative media networking has typically occurred through the post office, and now, the internet. These systems keep sub culture social/ political groups in contact. Small networks which disseminate alternative media influence our culture at large.
• “The use of the World Wide Web has created farther stretching networks of people working within the same medium as well as providing publishers a virtual retail area, increasing reader access to remote locations and allowing more people to see content than the self publisher could afford to non-virtually print (Stoval, 2).”

O: Oddities
• Self-published items fall under a very large scope of media from simple pamphlets to elaborate works of art. Because alternative publications are not mass produced for a profit, they take creative advantage to include oddities within their format as well as their content. Alternative publications range in size and shape and might be printed on recycled or non-traditional materials rather than paper. Oddities included within these publications might be stickers, photographs, gum, book marks, press on tattoos…you name it.

P: Punk
• The punk subculture of the 1980’s created a thriving underground press; spawning journalists and critics within the Punk scene itself. Punk zines were compiled with collage and Xeroxes, the zine culture surpassed the punk scene and entered into high visibility in the 1990’s (Wright, 30).

Q: Quick, Speedy, Presto!
• One of the foremost products of alternative literature are zines, this is because the zine format provides endless room for creativity and is relatively easy to make and circulate on a small budget.
• “Anyone with access to a photo copier can be a writer, publisher, and printer. The quickest method for getting an idea printed is to self-publish, (Stovall, 1).”
• Zines are typically photocopied; however, some choose to utilize other technologies such as offset printing methods, digital photography, silkscreen, and lithography. The content of zines could generally fit into the following categories: creative writing, comics, personal writings, fan based writings, science fiction, literature, art, music, reviews (Stoval, 4).

R: Responsibility
• Alternative literature is part of an open publishing system that allows for a freedom not permitted in mainstream media, as commercial success is not the primary goal of most alternative media output.
• There are times when inaccurate or slanderous materials are circulated, thus independent media has credibility problems. Therefore, publish responsibly.

S: Small Press
• Small Press publications are those that are published independently of large multinational corporations.
• Many small presses focus on a specific genre such as fiction, poetry, limited edition journals and books, chapbooks, or art books.
• Small presses tend to fill the niches that larger publishers neglect; their profit margins are significantly lower than large publishers.
• Small presses tend to have motives beyond profit such as disseminating literature with appeal to a small market, often their goal is to break even (Herman, 131).
• Small Press Resources:

o Small Press Distribution Website
o The Small Press Exchange
o Small Press News Room

T: Traditional Comics vs Underground Comix
• During the Cold War era and post war climate, a scapegoat mentality gained prevalence in the US, comics were increasingly blamed for the increase in juvenile delinquency.
• This anti-comic sentiment manifested itself in the form of inflammatory articles in magazines and newspapers, community meetings, and even occasional book burnings (Hatfield, 11).
• In order to save them selves, the comic book industry formed the Comics Code Authority in 1954 to review the editorial content of comic books.
• The comics industry wanted to ensure consumers that their comics abide by the provisions of the Comics Code, and were thereby safe to purchase. The Comics Code authority self-proclaimed themselves as the “most stringent code in existence for any communications media (Hatfield,11)”
• The final effect of the Comics code was to force comic books to “depict a world that was a denatured view of American social reality. (Witek, 51).”
• The sixties movement saw the rise of independent comic presses and publishing houses that delved into issues of sex, drugs, and rocking roll disregarding the comics code, they were labeled comix (Hatfield, 13).
• These alternative comics became the voice of popular culture identity in post war America.
• “Comix writers created works in the sequential art medium of unparalleled vigor, virtuosity, and spontaneity-after the underground comics, the Comics Code would never be the same (Witek, 51).”

U: Underground Media in the 1960’s
• The New American Poetry, 1945-1960 Anthology was published in 1960 by Donald M. Allen and Grove press. This historical publication was prophetic in its inclusion of young marginalized writers. For the first time, popular culture literature pushed forward through
(what appeared to be) a stale state of literature for the times.
• Until Allen’s publication, mainstream presses were largely ignoring talented discursive young writers in the United States. However, young writers had managed to create a thriving world of avant-garde literature through navigating publications on the small press circuit.
• “Of necessity, these writers invented their own communities and audiences with a small press or little magazine often serving as the nucleus of both (Clay, 13).” These writers created a fringe community sharing their writings on mailing lists “produced for a community of kindred spirits as a literary newsletter-a quick way to get work out.” The 1960’s underground publications were also venues whereby artists could explore and experiment with language much like the Dadaist in their small press publications.

V: Visionary
• Because of their grass roots organization, underground publications are often the first format to circulate new ideas and news into the public forum (Armstrong, 2).

W: Where can you find Self-Published Media?
• Most self published materials are not found through, so where do you find them? The following publications are a good start, these zine review zines review zines and alternative media:
Zine World

Best Zine Ever

Broken Pencil

Xerography Debt

• Self-published media can also be found in non-traditional bookstores, and “distros” or distribution centers. Here are a few places to start:

Parcel Press

Fall of Autumn


Atomic Books:


Printed Matter

X: Xeinal guidence
• is an open-source encyclopedia devoted to zines and independent media. It covers the history, production, distribution and culture of the small press.
• Add your project, contribute additional information to already existing pages, or to edit what’s already published. Subjects should be explained in terms of their relevance to zines and independent media. ZineWiki was created by Alan Lastufka and Kate Sandler in June 2006.

Y: Yahoo Groups
• Zine Geeks:

• Zinesters:

Z: Zines and Zinesters
Zines are:
• Small handmade publication done purely out of passion, rarely making a profit or breaking even. Self-edited, self-financed, self-published serials.
• Topics, positions, and expressions are usually outside the “mainstream”.
• Usually edited and published by one or two persons independently and are usually produced using desktop publishing and photocopiers.
• Those who create zines are referred to as “zinesters”

A-Z Bibliography

Alternatives in Print: an International Catalog of Books, Pamphlets, Periodicals, and Audiovisual Materials. Compiled by the Task Force on Alternatives in Print, Social Responsibilities round Table, American Library Assosiation, 6th edn, NewYork, NY: Neal-Shuman and London: Mansell 1980.

Armstrong, David. A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America Boston: South End Pressk, 1881

Atton, Chris. Alternative Media. Sage Publications, 2001.

Ball, Hugo. Flight Out of Time. The Viking Press: New York, 1974.

Foster, Stephen C. Dada/Dimensions. UMI Research Press: Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1985.

Chepesiuk, Ron. “Libraries Preserve the Latest Trends in Publishing.” American Libraries. February 1997.

Clay, Steve and Rodney Phillips. A Secret Location on the Lower East Side. NY: Granary Books, 1998.

Golonu, Berlin. “They Look Good on Paper” Printed Matter, Inc, 2007.

Hatfield, Charles. Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature. University Press of Mississippi: Jackson, 2005.

Herman, Jeff. Jeff Herman’s Guide To Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents. Stockbridge, MA: Three Dog Press, 2006

Herrada, Julie and Billie Aul. Zines in Libraries: A Culture Preserved. Serials Review; Summer 95, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p. 79

Hage, Emily. New York and European Dada Art Journals, 1916-1926: International Venus of Exchange. Dissertation under Christine Poggi, Associate Professor, University of Iowa.
Hsu, Hua. “File Under Other…” The Boston Globe. May 6, 2007.

Johnson, Nicholas and Nancy Kranich. “Take this Media…Please!” The Nation, January
7, 2002.

John Labowitz’s archive of web-based e-zines:

Perkins. Stephen “Mail Art and Networking Magazines, 1970-1980” The Zine and
E-Zine Resource Guide

Stovall, Matt. “A Students Guide on What a Zine is and Tips on How to make One Version 2.0”

The University of Iowa’s International Dada Digital Library:

Witek, Joseph. Comic Books as History. University Press of Missippi: Jackson, 1989.

Wright, Fred. From Zines to Ezines: Electronic Publishing and the Literary Underground. Dissertation. Kent State, 2001.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


How it got started:
December, 2007 was a busy month for me. I graduated, packed up my life and moved to Nashville to start my new job at the Watkins College of Art and Design as their Assistant Librarian.

After just four months on the job, budget time rolled around. I knew this was my only chance for the fiscal year to get an alternative media budget together. So,I wrote a letter to my Dean and Library Director introducing the idea of a zine collection, citing other academic libraries with zine collections, particularly noting that Pratt, a reputable art and design college, has such a collection. I also gave a small intro into zines, their history, and benefits for libraries.

I was told that my zine idea was "interesting" and given the green light to make a proposal. I had a weekend to pull it together.

I found the most helpful resources in drafting said document on the Barnard Library Zine Collection pages developed by Zine Librarian Jenna Freedman. I was most grateful to have access to these online resources available under the creative commons: attribution share alike 2.5 license.

Zinebrarianship: d.i.y. library zine collections
Hand out by Jenna Freedman which includes "Elements to include in a proposal for a zine (or other special/alternative materials) collection at your library" Boston Zine Fair, March 2006.

How to Start A Zine Library in Ten Easy Steps
I also found the Baltimore Public Librarian Miriam DesHarnais's guide, to be of great help in formulating a plan and vision for starting a zine library collection.

Sample Zine Collection Proposal
Written by Jenna Freedman, Coordinator of Reference Services, Barnard College, 2003

The following is a tweaked introductory proposal that I submitted to our Library Director and Dean March, 2007.

Watkins College of Art & Design Library (WCAD)

Zine Collection Proposal:
March, 2007

What are Zines?
Zines pronounced like “magazines” are self published magazines or journals, created by someone with something to say and distributed for non-profit. Many Zine authors are artists who express themselves through Zines of various formats and content. Some Zines display high production values such as color plates or glossy pages, others are simply black and white pages stapled together.

A zine acquisitions project could help The Watkins Library towards achieving our 2007/2008 institutional objectives of:

Expanding our resources for the Watkins community :
The asking price for a Zine is usually one to three dollars to cover costs for printing and mailing. Subscriptions are generally around $10.00. The only other added costs here would be shipping and storing supplies. A zine collection can be built and maintained withing a reasonable cost and time frame.

Creating a more vibrant library atmosphere:
A zine collection will be an outreach tool to our student body which. Not only will it provide our community with unique reading materials, but will also serve as a repository for created works of students who create in this format.

Stimulating a student body interest in reading:
Zines appeal to a wide range of populations outside of the normal realm of general library users. A Zine collection is a great way to reach out to reluctant readers. Zines may provide a gateway to get Watkins students more interested in making reading a part of their creative habits.

Additional Benefits
  • Unique nature of collection may attract potential students to Watkins
  • Unique nature of collection may attract community interest in Watkins
Zines, like regular magazines and periodicals cover a variety of topics, our Zine collection would relate to the Watkins community interest of art and creativity. Zines will be selected for their variety and creative content.

Many members of the Watkins community create Zines. Watkins faculty and students as well as outside artists may donate their zines for our collection.

Zines may be ordered through the following distributors:
1. Fall of Autumn
2. Microcosm Publishing
3. Parcell Press

Art-Zine Book Vendors:
4. Printed Matter
5. Oooga Booga
6. Art Metropole

Technical Aspects
Cataloging and processing: Zines will be processed in a manner similar to our periodicals.
  • Upon receipt, zines will be entered into MS Access database indicating order process completed.
  • Basic descriptive information will be entered into cataloging fields on MS Access database using Sears subject headings
  • Zines will be displayed on periodical shelf which as of now holds a rarely circulating cartoon book display.
  • Zines will be given an accession number in MS Access which will be repeated on zine backing for inventory and tracking purposes
  • Zines will be displayed with cardboard stiffeners and plastic sleeves used for comic books
  • A list from MS Access will be exported into a report with title descriptions. Patrons may search for items in our zine collection from updated report.
  • Zine collection information will be migrated from MS Access to our new online catalog set to be in place for the next fiscal year, 2008.
Should zine collection grow beyond control of assigned shelving, backup will be stored/archived for a period in the nearby file cabinets which hold exhibition catalogs and pamphlets.

A portion of our collection will be housed in our library permanently, pending on storage space and validity to the Watkins mission.

Zines may be checked out and enjoy similar circulation privileges to books. Zines must be checked out though sign out sheet at the circulation desk until we get our collection entered on the new OPAC in 2008.

Budget & Funding
An alloted amount of zine funding could come from our periodicals budget. We may also have a zine open house event in our library in which we ask for donations to help fund the Watkins Zine project.

Action Plan
· Clearance plan with necessary authorities
· Determine acquisitions work flow
· Plan for open house in the fall/fund raising
· Create MS Access database and workflow manual for processing zines

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

ART+BOOK+NOISE: going hybrid

I had the pleasure of attending last month's ARLIS (Art Libraries Society of North America) conference in Atlanta- my first large conference as a...gulp, professional.

I am still working on catching-up and implementing all I have learned...ahem-that's my lame excuse for not posting lately. I learned lots during the workshops, panels, meetings and so forth- however, the most exciting and moving moments came though chance meetings with old and new friends. One such chance meeting occured at the new members pub crawl.

I happened upon dining with CeCi Moss an art librarian, DJ, and author of the art+music blog A Million Keys and Suz Massen, an art librarian, art history grad student, comic book lover, and founder of The Desk Set. From said illustrious friends I gained some info to pass along here, hopefully they will illuminate choice words for post title, anyhow...enjoy and thank you, here's to chance meetings.

Ooga Booga Bookstore
"a mixed-up artsy hub where musicians can act like designers, artists can act like musicians, and designers can act like writers."- L.A. Edition

This site is worth checking out- find zines and various hard to find printed books, broadsides, music and other neat stuffs.
Rhizome is an interesting animal for those who gravitate to alternative media. Rhizome is a non-profit which serves as a global community and forum for new media arts. This website has shown pioneering leadership in using new 2.0 tools to create a dynamic website. Artists who post on this site have been given the honors of tagging their work. This has helped created a unique, creative, innovative web arts community.

Printed Matter
I had the pleasure of stumbling upon the Printed Matter booth at the ARLIS exhibition hall. I wanted to lick each and every book they had- they were just amazing. Printed matter carries a variety of periodicals (both contemporary and historical) relating to alternative media and arts. Printed Matter started as a non-profit alternative arts space in 1976, through the years it has morphed into one of the largest non-profits dedicated to publications created by artists.
Here is a blurb from their site...

"Recognized for years as an essential voice in the increasingly diversified art world conversations and debates, Printed Matter is dedicated to the examination and interrogation of the changing role of artists’ publications in the landscape of contemporary art."

Art Metropole
I also stumbled upon an exhibit from Art Metropole at the ARLIS conference having near exstatico fetish-like biblio meltdown as I pawned over their stacks. Founded in 1974 by a Canadian artists group "General Idea," Art Metropole is a non-profit that exhibits, publishes, and promotes contemporary artists' created media in book, music, and mixed media format.

Monday, May 21, 2007

zine librarians meet up at the AMC!

For all AMC conference goers who happen to be zine librarians (in the broadest sense of the term) we are going to meet up and share resources, best practices, and zines!

Please join our open discussion on the pleasures and hurdles involved in creating alternative media collections. Zinesters, Distros, and Info-Shop affiliates interested in building relationships with libraries are also invited to come. Resources for starting a zine collection in a public or academic library will be available in addition to guides for getting your zines into library collections. Such collections operate through collaborative efforts with the zine and library community. Come together and strengthen our mission to bring alternative media to the public forum.

If you are attending please drop me a line, I am looking for a co-facilitator!

Allied Media Conference, 2007

"It's getting louder and louder out there. Though much of humanity is still silenced, more people than ever are speaking out. Whether it be with high-tech tools like blogs, video cameras, and MPCs, or lo-fi tools like spray paint or the spoken word, people are voicing their truths and forging new connections. For eight years, the Allied Media Conference has contributed to that by providing hands-on trainings, accessible discussions, and a supportive community.

Now in its ninth year, the AMC will continue to provide a critical space for us to strategize on the role of media in our communities and movements. In a time of escalating war, and the daily violence of neoliberal policies, we need media that amplifies the voices of those most affected by these crises. We need media that not only breaks silence, but mobilizes people to envision alternatives and to take action.

This year the AMC moves to Detroit. This international city of communities, neighborhoods, and grassroots organizations looks forward to welcoming conference attendees as visitors and allies.

Together we will explore how participatory media can be a source of transformation for ourselves, for our communities and, on a larger scale, the world. We will investigate ways of making and using media that empower both the producer and the receiver, that create new relationships and realities. Against the silence that surrounds, we will find new ways of being heard, and of hearing one another."

Learn more about the AMC.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


As a new resident to Nashville, TN, I overlooked the fact that there is a local bookstore that carries alternative materials right here in Nashville. According to the BPL Zine, "it's best to buy zines in person." I am hoping to find some treasures at The Great Escape, a local venue I just discovered on the great WWW...... although they seem to be lacking in zines, looks like they might have some awesome comix and graphic novels, the real kicker here is that they also have a half-priced store in town. I know what I'm do'in dork-out!

The Great Escape
1925 Broadway
nashville, TN 37203
(615) 327-0646

The Great Escape Half-Price or Less Store
1907 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 321-5424

Additionally, I was reminded by the BPL zine not to overlook other venues for buying in person such as zine fests. The Zine World Website has a great section for zine related events which will provide opps to buy zines and meet their creators, and learn stuff too.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


"Literary finds for mutated minds" Located in Baltimore; ordering and shipping info. from their website:

"ALL SALES ARE FINAL!You don't think we'd let you buy smut, use it and then return it, do ya? ORDERS SHIP SOONER IF ALL ITEMS ARE IN STOCK!!!In the world of the alternative/underground small press it's almost impossible to keep all items in stock at all times, due to the hard-to-find and hard-to-obtain nature of these products. We honestly do our best and try to give you as varied a selection as possible, even though it means dealing with hundreds of distributors, zine producers, etc. Most orders ship out the week it's placed, but some do take longer. You will be notified if something is out of stock or has recently gone out of print. So please check you email! We try to fill all backorders within 4-8 weeks.

HOW CAN I CHECK TO SEE IF AN ITEM IS IN STOCK?Give us a call! Our phone number is +1.410.662.4444, and if you call during business hours (Mon-Tue 11am-6pm, Wed-Sat 11-8PM, EST) we can check the shelves while we have you on the line."

Located in Illinoise. This website is well organized and extreamly helpful for the novice zine enthusiast; ordering and shipping info:

"All orders will be mailed out on Tuesday and Saturday of each week. Orders mailed on Tuesday will be packed Monday evening. If you place your order after 6pm on Monday night, it won't go out until Saturday morning. Ditto for Friday night by 6pm."

Located in Bloomington, IN. They have a very thourough FAQ section on thier website about ordering, here is an exert:

"How do I order something?
Fill out the print order form, write everything down on a piece of paper, or hit the buttons next to the items.
The online ordering system can calculate your total with shipping costs for all orders. You can print your order form at checkout and mail it with a check (or cash or money order) if you don't want to use a credit card.
We now offer integrated paypal ordering on checkout.
If you prefer to do the math manually, you can add up the cost of your items and the shipping weights. Enclose well hidden US cash (wrapped in two sheets of paper), check, or money order to MICROCOSM PUBLISHING!
Credit card orders are best placed on our website. We no longer have a physical terminal.
Postal address is Microcosm / 222 S Rogers St. / Bloomington, IN 47404"

Zine Distro out of Richmond, VA; info. from thier website about working with libraries:

"OVERVIEW OF LIBRARY POLICIES:a) I can easily work with purchase orders and, in fact, I even prefer them for larger orders such as the ones usually placed by libraries.
b) I'm happy to adhere to whatever billing policy your library has in place. Certainly I prefer to be paid before shipping your order, however, I'll also send an invoice and be as patient as necessary.
c) I can offer bulk discounts upon request, however, the amount varies depending on the size of your order.
d) I charge a flat shipping fee of $10 for all library orders.
e) I accept payment in the form of a check or PayPal payment.
f) I'm only an e-mail away at all times."

A great indie bookstore in Chicago; info. from thier website:

"All orders are shipped out via the US POST OFFICE. Please allow 4-10 business days for delivery within the contiguous USA. Quimby's shipping charges are as follows:
$4.00 for orders $30.00 and under,
$6.00 for orders between $30.01 and $79.99,
$9.00 for orders $80.00 and above. We can also ship your package via UPS or FedEx, please contact us for details.

All sales are final. Finito. Cha-ching! However, we understand the difficulties in ordering an item without seeing it first. If you would like more information about an item prior to ordering, please call us during business hours at 773/342-0910, and we will gladly describe it in greater detail."

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Alternative Literature: a Practical Guide for Librarians
By Chris Atton, published by Gower Publishing Company; 1996.
ISBN: 0566066597
This book provides solid argument for maintaining a balanced collection of alternative materials and serves as an aide in selecting and acquiring quality alternative press materials, it also includes a detailed bibliography which will serve as a fantastic reference for zine librarians.

Alternative Materials in Libraries
By James P. Danky ed, published by Scare Crow Press; 1982.
ISBN: 0810815087
Examines the relationship between librarians and the producers of materials for libraries such as book and periodical publishers. A moving political read which holds to the belief that librarians have the power to affect their communities by using alternative materials in their collections. A most cherished book for any librarian with a bent toward making a difference.

From A to Zine: Building a Winning Zine Collection in Your Library
By Julie Bartel, Published by the American Library Association; August, 2004.
ISBN: 0-838908861
A guide specifically for zine collection development in the library. Thorough in dealing with zine purchasing, zine history, zine cataloging, and promoting. The author shares her experiences with beginning a zine collection at the Salt Lake City Public Library. A must have resource for librarians who are interested in beginning a zine or alternative press collection.

Thinking Outside the Book : Alternatives for Today's Teen Library Collections
By C. Allen Nichols, published by Libraries Unlimited; Feburuary 28, 2004.
ISBN: 1-59158059-5
Written with young adult services in mind, particularly collection development. This book provides new ways to promote library services to this age group. A particularly helpful resource for the young adult’s librarian interested in beginning a zine or small magazine collection. Includes a bibliography of collection development resources.

Notes from the Underground: Zines & the Politics of Alternative Culture
By Stephen Duncombe, published by Verso; October, 1997.
ISBN: 1-85984-158-9
A thorough academic but enjoyable examination of zines and their impact on pop-culture as a political/social instrument for change. Looks at the pros and cons of the impact zines have had on society. Provides thorough examination of zine history and their relevance in contemporary society.

Zines! :Incendiary Interviews with Independent Publishers, Vol. 1&2
By Vivian Vale, published by V/Search Publications; June, 1996.
ISBN: 0-9650469-0-7
Includes reviews of independent publications which build on the topic and subtopics of self-publishing. This volume is authoritative and used as a textbook in many Universities as an aide in illuminating underground publishing culture. The second volume is a comprehensive guidebook to the Zine Movement, and includes zine history and a how to guide for self-publishing.

Friday, March 9, 2007


A Hundred Dollars and a T-Shirt: A Documentary About Zines in the Northwest US.
A film showcasing zine publishers, readers, and an overall introduction to the zine itself. This is a great tool for public libraries that have a zine interest.


The Book of Zines: Readings from the Fringe
By Chip Rowe. Published by Henry Holt & Company; June, 1997.
ISBN: 978-0805050837
A collection of zines from a wide variety of underground publishers, this book contains excellent writings on pop culture and is very inexpensive.

Factsheet 5 Zine Reader
By Seth Friedman. Published by Three Rivers Press; 1st ed. June 24, 1997.
ISBN: 0-60980-001-9
An anthology of zine articles selected by Seth Friedman, then –editor of well-known “zine bible”. Contains a brief but informative history of zines and is a good introductory reader for any librarian wanting to get a handle on the world of zines.

From Girls to Grrlz: A History of Women’s Comics from Teens to Zines
By Trina Robins. Published by DIANE; October, 2004.
ISBN: 0811821994
A compilation of 20th century women’s comics chronicling women’s comic artists, authors, and their charactacters from the bombshells of the 40s to the punk rock grrlz of the present.

Out Your Backdoor: A Zine Anthology

By Jeff Potter. Published by Out Your Backdoor Press, March 15, 2001.
ISBN: 1892590360
A compilation of issues 1-8of the zine “Out your back door” includes a variety of authors who write of personal tales, involving travel, and adventure. An excellent resource which conveys the DIY culture of zinester mentality.

The World of Zines: A Guide to the Independent Magazine Revolution
By Mike Gunderloy. Published by Penguin; October, 1992.
ISBN: 014016720X
An anthology of some of the best zines to have appeared in Factsheet Five.

The Zine yearbook vol. 8
By Jen Angel, ed. Published by Penguin; August, 2004.
ISBN: 1-932360-36-0
An annually published anthology of zines, includes the best of underground publishing; includes stories, art, and articles.

By Liz Farrelly. Published by Booth-Clibborn Editions; October, 2001.
ISBN: 1-86154-224-0
Compiled by team of “Pop theorists”, this book includes a national and international range of current zines put into historical context of the zine movement. Heavy with zine illustrations as well as writings, a bit more pricey than the others but worth it.


*article is hyperlinked

Access to Zines
By C.Goldberg. Whole Earth Review; Summer 91, Issue 71, p. 104.
Offers sound advice on how to gain access to zines. Written by Mike Gunderloy, authoritative author of review zine- Factsheet Five.

*Countering Marginalization: Incorporating Zines into the Library
By Jason Kucsma. Counterpoise, Vol. 5, No. 2
Argues for the inclusion of zines and underground press materials in libraries. Focuses on importance of libraries forming strong relationships with independent publishers.

Pushing the Boundaries: Zines and Libraries
By Chris Dodge. Wilson Library Bulletin; May 1995, Vol. 69, Issue 9, p. 26-30.
By Annie Knight. San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science, USA, May 2004.
Examines library collection development policies in regards to the treatment of zines and looks at the various ways in which libraries have attemped to solve the zine related problems of: cataloguing, acquisitions, and patron access. Knight also examines the impacts of zine collections on their communities.

*Street Libraries: Infoshops & Alternative Reading Rooms
By Chris Dodge. American Libraries v. 29, no.5, May, 1998.p.62-63.
This article broadly defines and summarizes the purpose and history behind info shops. Dodge presents the benefits and problems of alternative information centers and explains how librarians might apply some of their practices. Also provides a link to more information on homemade libraries
By Kate Paris. Dissertation for the MA in Information Services Management at London Metropolitan University, August 2004.
Looks at zine library collections across the United States and their staff. She compares and contrasts the initiation and development of such collections and touches on the various themes and sub themes behind these collections. Examines how libraries have tackled the challenge of organizing zine collections.

*Your Zine Toolkit: A DIY Collection:
You will want to check out this article by Jenna Freedman, packed with everything you would want to know as a novice zine librarian with links to boot!

*ZAPPed; A Seattle Literary Center is Going Underground, Collecting ‘Zines’ as a Sign of our Times
By Brangien Davis. Seattle Times, Washington: April 28, 2003.
Highlights the challanges of housing more than 7,000 zines: zine cataloging, collecting, storing for public retrieval. ZAPP house also teaches workshops on zine making and creating and small press publising.

*Zines in Public Libraries: Considerations and Suggestions
By Cheryl Zobel. Counterpoise, April 1999, 5-10.
Zobel lists the benefits of having a zine collection in the public library and contrasts these benefits with problems that might arise from having a zine collection in your library. She offers suggestions as to how to implement a zine collection whilst making sure the library who takes this step is fully informed.

Zines in Libraries: A Culture Preserved
By Julie Herrada and Billie Aul. Serials Review, Summer 1995, Vol. 10, p. 79-88.
Discusses the difficulties when attempting to organize zines into a classification scheme, gives realistic advise and reasons to face this challenge and develop a zine collection.
Pushing the Boundaries: Zines and Libraries. Librarian, Chris Dodge makes arguments for libraries to collect zines based on the facts that they cover topics relevant to young adults that are not covered by any other media.

Zines and the Library
By Richard A. Stoddart and Teresa Kiser. ALA/LRTS vol. 48, No. 3, July 2004, p. 191-198.
Article highlights the collecting, cataloging, and archiving challenges that libraries face in approaching zine collections. Looks to the few libraries who have met these challenges to inspire other librarians to solve the problem creatively.

*The Zine Scene: Libraries Preserve the Latest Trend in Publishing
By Ron Chepesiuk. American Libraries, February 1997, p.68-70.
Overview focusing on several libraries which collect zines, including special collections at San Francisco Public Library, Washington State University, DePaul University, Michigan State University, and the New York State Library.


Chris Dodge: Street Librarian
Chris Dodge’s street librarian page provides links to a comprehensive zine directory, an annotated list of articles and books about zines, links to zine blogs and chat groups, collectives, distros, and info shops. Any one interested in underground publishing, alternative librarians, and alternative libraries will find the articles on this site up to date and excellent.

Grrrl Zine Network
This website provides links to guides, papers, thesis’s, dissertations, and journal and newspapers articles on zines; including a link to articles concerning zines in libraries. Also included are links to zine resources, and interviews of zine publishers.

How Does one use the Dublin Core Metadada Format to Encode a Collection of Zines
An inquiry page project that thouroughly investigates and seeks to answer the question, how to catalog zines? Includes several links to zines.

How to Start a Zine Library in Ten Easy Steps: A Mini-guide for Public Librarians
by Miriam DesHarnais, this article outlines essential important steps for any librarian to consider when starting a zine collection. Short, consise, and helpful.

Library Card: The Baltimore County Public LIbrary Zine Collection
A zine which chronicals BCPL's collection from the beginning, with information on cataloging zines, collection development, etc.

Owen Thomas’s Bibliography: More Matter with Less Art
Own Thomas’s webpage is deceivingly simple. He has created an A-Z directory of zine publishers, as well as a directory with links to zine reviews and zine review zines. Other zine related articles can be found under the heading “zine pages” this also includes related articles and links. There is also a link to posts in att.zines.

Zine Librarians
This list is welcome to all who are interested and active zine archivists. It is a think tank for zine librarianship on relevant important topics such as collection, preservation, cataloging, classification, programming, etc.

Salt Lake City Library
Salt Lake City Public Library is an excellent web resource. Their zine library has become a beacon for many zine collectors affiliated with public libraries under the guidance of librarian Julie Bartel, author of From A-Zine, Building a Winning Zine Collection. This Site includes links to review zines, zine libraries, and Distros world wide, as well as helpful general zine information.

Zine World: A Readers guide to the Underground Press
Zine World is completely run by a volunteer staff which impressively reviews all forms of media (excluding music) that is not produced corporately. Their in-depth website provides helpful links to distros, infoshops, zine libraries, zine-related events and other review zines.

Zine Book

Chip Rowe’s self described resource guide to zines, e-zines, and zine culture. This site provides an annotated directory to zine libraries, archives, galleries, distros, info shops, publishers, reviews, books and articles about zines, legal issues, internet zine discussion groups, online catalogs, and more!

WHAT, HOW, WHY- an explanation

This resouce was first compiled by Virginia Allison October 26, 2005 for Dr. Jeff Weddle’s Collection Development Class at The University of Alabama


As a fledgling library student I became interested in the validity of zines as quality material worthy of attention and collection in a library setting.

Zines are self published magazines created out of a desire to share information rather than make a profit. They capture the best of contemporary American popular culture; they are artifacts of undocumented America. Zines providing a unique method for resistance, self expression and creative innovation.

The purpose of this bibliography is to provide a concise resource that will equip the novice zine collector with the most direct and helpful zine websites and resources available.

This bibliography is limited in scope and designed to aid in zine acquisition. There are some sources that include information on e-zines by default; the focus of this bibliography is designed to be informant of print zines only. There are dozens of zine websites, and articles varying in quality available in many formats; the sources chosen will aide in the building and defending of a zine collection for your library.

The sources included are on the subject of zine collecting, zine creators, and zine content. Printed and bound zine anthologies are also included as they are a great introduction to the broad span and personality of the zine“scene.” The Websites cited offer particularly helpful information as to the process of zine acquisition and provide links to thousands of reviews and zine distributors. These core authoritative resources are well organized, and will aide in building a solid zine collection whether it be for a public or private collection. All websites are active as of 3/9/07.

Methodology & Maintenance
My initial search for zine collection resources began online using Academic databases such as Academic Search Premier, and Proquest; I used a variety of search terms: zines and libraries, zines and underground publishing, zines and small press. I spent a considerable amount of time chasing down retrieved citations, examining them for their validity pertaining to the topic of this bibliography. I found several fantastic declarations in support of zine collections as well as articles that point to the most authoritative manner by which to collect and organize zines. I also found reviews of libraries and institutions that have begun the challenging work of zine collecting.

I expanded my search to include resources not indexed in Academic databases. I selected articles from bibliographies that specifically involved zine collections in libraries or articles that supported zine collections, these sources are included in the bibliography.

The bibliography also provides access to “distros” (zine distributors), info shops, and onsite opportunities to purchase zines. These links also include zine reviews and zine review zines that are helpful aids in building a zine collection. I chose these websites because they provide the most useful information and links concerning the aspects of zine acquisition. Paring these sites down was a daunting task as the internet is full of zine websites. Although some of the links overlap from site to site, I found that these websites covered the most ground concerning collection development of quality zines and zine related content. It should be noted that these websites will prove to be invaluable resources not only for their site content but for the hyperlinks included within the sites. I found this to be the most economical way to build my bibliography.

The Books I’ve included deal with the impact zines have in our society, specifically how they may do so in a library collection, as well as books that deal with library collection issues pertinent to zine acquisition. They are listed chronologically. The anthologies I’ve included are based on published online reviews. I chose those that cover the broad and best interests of the zine world, including compiled interviews, stories, and illustrations, thus assuring quality, interesting reading that showcases a quality sample of selections from excellent zines. Additional resources found in this bibliography include a film and mailing list are included as they are relevant and helpful tools keeping in line with the purpose of this bibliography.

This bibliography is a work in progress and is certainly not comprehensive. If you have any suggestions or additions to include, please contact me at:

Zines are valid and unique artifacts of culture. Zines perpetuate social, political, and economic awareness in that they provide multiple viewpoints that exist in the world that are overlooked by traditional commercially produced media.

This collection development project was born out of my personal intrigue concerning the existence of zines in librares. My bibliography while innocent in its humble beginnings soon capsized into a monolithic two month project… As the zine world is covered by academia, media, and the prolific youth; finding and narrowing down my sources proved to be an arduous task. I found my self returning to my sources with an iron will, a heavy finger on the delete button, feverishly chanting the purpose of this document as I selected, deselected, and selected some more.

The resulting list is a product of hours of searching; discerning and narrowing of citations based on my criteria. It is not an exhaustive tool but is intended to serve as a primary source for the novice zine collector, or librarian interested in knowing how to go about creating a zine collection, how others have approached this task and exactly what zines and the zine culture is made of. May all who use this tool find it a helpful aide for the greater purpose, and forgive me for any blunders and/or excluded sources… I have already added many very important suggestions and am open to yours!

With gratitude,

Virginia Allison, October 26, 2005.