miscellaneous zine librarians

Last Day of #IZM – HalloZine!

To wrap up International Zine Month, we are remembering zinesters that are no longer with us. This HalloZine, we are we thinking of Jude Vachon. Vachon was a librarian who started the zine library at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in 2008. One of her most widely known projects was a resource she created called Be Well! Pittsburgh. It began as a zine and later became a website, offering detailed lists of Pittsburgh-area healthcare practitioners and clinics available to the poor, the uninsured, and the underinsured. Jude Vachon also co-organized the Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburg with Jayla Patton and Anne Schwann. The reverberations of her work continue to impact the greater zine community.

Photograph of Jayla Patton, Anne Schwann and Jude Vachon
Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh organizers Jayla Patton, Anne Schwann and Jude Vachon
Image Credit: Pittsburgh City Paper

Take this HalloZine to revisit Jude’s contribution to Learning to Love You More:

Assignment #40
Heal yourself.

“Cure for Depression”
Jude Vachon
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA

Go and watch some birds. But allow yourself to be intimate about it, and to participate in it yourself. Do not to be an observer with a field guide.
Crows are very, very smart. So smart they’ll make you laugh out loud. Feed them several round cookies and watch how they stack them before they make off with them. If you invest yourself they will usually be up for a personal relationship with you, over time.
If you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region, watch the huge throngs of starlings gathering and playing all over the skies together and having conferences in trees before they head south for the winter. They are really very good at being loud together.
Blue Jays are huge bitches. They are mean and nasty and scream. Enjoy that.
There’s much more.
Do whatever is necessary to make room for this. I do mean whatever is necessary. It’s serious.

About Learning to Love You More

Learning to Love You More is both a web site and series of non-web presentations comprised of work made by the general public in response to assignments given by artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher. Yuri Ono designed and managed the web site.

miscellaneous zine librarians

#IZM – Post online about your favorite zines!

For July 28th, we are talking about our favorite zines.

Queering Friendships Zine by Mixed Rice Zines

This zine is a charming riso-printed booklet dedicated to exploring love and intimacy between queer friends and platonic lovers. It features submissions from queer, trans, and non-binary artists of colors. Broken Pencil also selected this zine for Group Zine of the Year in 2021.

Image of a green zine, with hand-drawn images of letters and photographs with the text "Queering Friendships Zine"
Image Credit: Mixed Rice Zines

About Mixed Rice Zines

Mixed Rice Zine is a small DIY press run by artist J Wu, featuring a mixture of voices that celebrate QTBIPOC resilience. Their zines invite queer and trans artists of color to send in writing, photography, comics, poetry, interviews, illustration and more.

Riot Grrrl Zines

Every discussion of zines will inevitably intersect with Riot Grrrl, a punk feminist movement that emerged in the late 1980s and early ’90s in reaction to pervasive sexism, racism, and homophobia in the punk music scene and in the culture at large. Emphasizing female and youth empowerment, collaborative organization, creative resistance, and DIY ethics, the Riot Grrrl movement generated hundreds of self-published zines. A sampling of zines, posters, and printed matter from the 1980s and ’90s can be found in this fabulous book, edited by Lisa Darms and published in 2013.

A flyer by Kathleen Hanna of the band Bikini Kill sets out her manifesto for change; and the first issue of the zine Riot Grrrl, by Molly Neuman and Allison Wolfe, July 1991. Image Credit: The Feminist Press

About the Editor

Lisa Darms is Senior Archivist at the Fales Library & Special Collections at NYU, and founder of the Fales Riot Grrrl Collection. She holds an MA in History and Archival Management from NYU, an MFA in Photography from the University of Washington, and a BA from the Evergreen State College. Her writing has been published in The BelieverWomen & Performance Journal, and Archivaria. Before coming to archives she taught photography, worked as a custom photo printer, and was a member of the collaborative art group Thin Ice. Darms grew up in British Columbia, Canada.

miscellaneous zine librarians

Highlighting Queer Zine Library for Zine Library Day

July 21st is Zine Library Day! To celebrate, we wanted to highlight the Queer Zine Library. The Queer Zine Library is a UK-based DIY mobile library with an emphasis on radical LGBTQIA+ self-publishing.

Inspired by the Hong Kong-based Queer Reads Library, Queer Zine Library collection was officially formed in June 2019 with the first iteration of the Queer Zine Library taking place at Gunnersbury LGBT Late event in 2019. Since then, it has travelled across the UK in pop-ups and residencies.

Queer Zine Library is led by a collective of volunteers who catalogue, fundraise, host workshops, and develop the collections. The library includes 800+ zines and self-published material. The majority of these zines are published in the UK, Europe, and USA  from 1980s to present day. These zines include perzines, fanzines, chapbooks, community newsletters and small press comics. They span themes of activism, queer punk, fandom, sex, relationships, mental health, LGBT spaces and nightlife.

Follow them on Instagram and be sure to check out their incredible digital catalogue. Currently, about a 1/4th of their collection is catalogued.

An image of a couple dozen colorful zines laid out on a yellow cloth. Some titles include "Queer Arab Women" and "Poor Little Dyke Girl."
A sampling of some of the zines in the Queer Zine Library. Image Credit: Queer Zine Library

P.S. This is still a relatively new development, but ZineCat and the Queer Zine Library have been in conversation to add their collection into our database in the near future once we streamline our ingest process. We are very excited!


Zine Distro Appreciation Day

July 19th is Zine Distro Appreciation Day according to this awesome poster Alex Wrekk of the Stolen Sharpie Revolution made. [For more details, see post from a couple weeks ago!]

For the occasion, we are highlighting a few zine distros. Zine Distros distribute zines! They are usually small operations that will sell zines either in person or online. Here are a few zine distros to follow and support:

Brown Recluse Zine Distro – Oakland, CA

Brown Recluse is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit zine distro for and by queer and trans, black, indigenous and people of color. They were established in 2013 as a direct response to the lack of support in the zine community for non-white creators. Brown Recluse exists to strengthen our ties and highlight our intersectional, relatable experiences.

Portland Button Works – Portland, OR

Portland Button Works is a distro and shop that is deeply rooted in a DIY and punk ethos. They focus on zines that reveal how the personal is political. The shop also carries buttons and books on witchcraft, paganism, and the occult.

Bluestockings Cooperative – New York, NY

Bluestockings Cooperative is a worker-owned community space and bookstore guided by the principles of abolition, feminism, solidarity, and transformative justice practices. They carry zines from new and established authors, and those on abolition and political education, disability justice, DIY and how-to, perzines (memoir), and other educational and creative non-fiction titles.

You might also discover new zines and support zine distros by checking out your local zine fests. I was astonished to find a quick online search “zine fest” yielded a ton of upcoming zine festivals from Bonita, CA to ones in Cambodia and New Zealand. Chances are there will be zine fests around you too!

Screen capture of a Google search for "zine fest."
A quick Google search of “zine fest” pulled up a ton of results!

What are some of your favorite zine distros? We would love to hear about them in the comments.

conference presentations zine librarians

Highlights from the Zines & Libraries Conference

Last Friday July 8th, our project co-manager Jenna Freedman spoke about issues in zine cataloging. Informed by her experience as the zine librarian at Barnard College, Freedman talked about how to use resources like subject headings, genre and format terms, summaries, and MARC to make rich records. The discussion was also informed by critical thinking about racial, ethnic, gender, and other creator identities. Though metadata may seem sometimes innocuous, Jenna importantly stressed that cataloging is political.

Check out the Issues in Zine Cataloging guide Jenna created for the discussion. Many thanks to Jenna for facilitating this thoughtful conversation and producing this informative guide!

A cartoon drawing of a zine librarian looking at a text bubble with the words: "Shared Zine Metadata," which has twinkles and and a heart next to it. Above the drawing is the subject heading:" xZINECOREX: an Introduction."
Freedman also touched upon xZINECOREx and MARC and their semi-equivalencies.

About Jenna

Jenna Freedman (she/her) is the Curator of the Barnard Zine Library at Barnard College in New York City. She makes an annual zine called Lower East Side Librarian and one-off zines on topics including jury duty, menstruation and menopause, and niche cataloging discussions on the library email list AUTOCAT.

miscellaneous zine librarians

Celebrating International Zine Month

A black and white poster with a pair of red scissors printed on the top right hand corner. The poster suggests 31 prompts for each day of International Zine Month.
Image Credit: Alex Wrekk

July is International Zine Month! Alex Wrekk of the Stolen Sharpie Revolution put together this awesome poster with prompts for each day of the month. The text from the poster is shared below:

31 Days of International Zine Month 2022 #IZM2022

1 – What is a zine? Make a definition in your own words and share it.

2 – Zine Rewind! Re-read your favorite zines and remind yourself why you love them.

3 – Look into upcoming zine events to attend in real life or virtual events that you can attend! When else are you going to be able to attend a zine event in a different city or even country for free?

4 – AmeriZine Day! Explore marginalized voices in the Americas. Buy, share, and read zines about racial justice and zines written by BIPOC (Black Indigenous and People of Color) from the Americas. Need a place to start? Check out Brown Recluse Zine Distro

5 – Review a zine: post it online or write a review to print in your next zine.

6 – Zine Pride Day! Explore LGBTQIA+ zines! Buy, share, and read zines by people of marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities. Check out the Queer Zine Archive Project

7 – What’s a zine distro? Educate yourself of what zine distros are, how they operate, and how they pick zines to carry. Support a distro near you!

8 – Cook with a recipe you found in a zine!

9  – Buy direct! Do you sell your zines online? Update your shop and post a link to it online so people can get your zines directly from you. Or buy directly from someone who posts a link to their shop.

10 – Write a letter or send a message to a zine maker, just a wuick note to let them know you appreciate what they do.

11 – International Zine Day! Buy, share, or read zines from a country different than your own.

12 – ZineWiki Day! It’s a wiki just for zines! Add to or update listings to the new and improved

13 – Make up a zine superstition and share it (skip the 13th issue? Spin 3 times to prevent copier jams or avoid paper cuts? Your best friend has to read your zine before anyone else?)

14 – ValenZines Day! Give yourself some zine love in whatever way it means to you! read zines in a bubble bath? Buy some new scissors? Let your zine friends know you care about them.

15 – Free Zine Day! Offer your zine for free online or – if it’s safe to do so where you are – leave zines in public places for strangers to find and enjoy.

16 – Make a list of reasons you love zines and share your list with others!

17 – Make a flyer for your zine to trade with others, post online, or send out with zine orders and trades.

18 – Zine Trade Day! Ask someone to trade or swap zines with you.

19 – Zine Distro Appreciation Day! Tell people about your favorite zine distros! Order zines from a distro.

20 – Talk about something you learned in a zine. Start with “I once read in a zine that…”

21 – Zine Library Day! Search for a zine library in your area and make plans to go someday or contact them about how to include your zine in their collection.

22 – Check out YouTube channels about zines. Here are some to visit:

23 – Check out a zine distro you have never ordered from before.

24 – Teach yourself a new zine skill (like a new binding technique or how to make a 1 page zine).

25 –  Send your zine out for review to a website or magazine that does reviews.

26 – Organize your zine collection. Post a “shelfie” online.

27 – Ask a zine friend if they would like to do a split zine or collaboration with you.

28 – Post online about your favorite zines!

29 – Take a photo of you with your zine or zine collection and post it online.

30 – Write a review of a zine to put in your zine or post online.

31 – HallowZine! Remember zines and zinesters that are no longer with us.

Throughout the month bonuses :

  • Do the 24 Hour Zine Thing (make a zine to your skill level in 24 hours)
  • Read a zine a day.
  • Write or draw a page a day to make a zine or comic at the end of the month.
  • Write a letter or online post about your #IZM2022 experience.
conference presentations updates zine librarians

Summer Updates

It’s been a busy few weeks with the ALA (American Library Association) Conference and Zine Pavilion last month. At the conference, Lauren gave a presentation on the Zine Union Catalog and garnered a lot of interest in the project as well as questions around metadata. For this occasion, we also produced new issue of Shared Authority. Volume 2.5 (along with all our previous issues) can be found on our public Google Drive.

This summer, we are also prioritizing accessibility. ZineCat is currently doing a web audit with HaiDev (with many thanks to Eric, who is project managing this) with the goal of making improvements to our site. We have also been producing other formats for our zines (audible and plain text), which can also be accessed on the public Google Drive. All three issues of Shared Authority are available as scanned pdfs, as well as in audible and plain text files.

If you have any other suggestions on improvements we can implement to make ZineCat more accessible to all, please let us know. Feel free to send us an email at zinecatproject AT We always appreciate your feedback.

The back and cover of Shared Authority v. 2.5, which features the ZineCat paw logo on the cover and an photo of an orange cat lounging next to a previous issue of Shared Authority on the back. Inscribed are also the names of the ZineCat Team: Lauren Kehoe, Jenna Freedman, Eric Goldhagen Freedman, Vita Kurland, and Jennifer Chen-su Huang.
Back/Cover of the lasted issue, Shared Authority v. 2.5

conference presentations miscellaneous updates zine librarians

Zines & Libraries Conference 2022

Playful drawing by Lawrence Lindell of a person in orange holding up zines with details concerning the conference written in the space between the person’s raised arms.

Happy International Zine Month! Join us for the 2022 Zines & Libraries Conference that starts tomorrow. Our very own Jenna Freedman will be speaking on Friday at 11am PST.

What: The Zines & Libraries Conference is a two-day virtual conference that will gather together librarians, zine artists and educators to learn about all things zines! Presenters will go over zine history, cataloging, starting a collection as well as provide tools, resources and tips on how to successfully integrate zines into libraries and instruction.

Who: Anyone interested in zines, libraries, zine librarianship and organizing zine events!

Where: This is a virtual conference, with nine separate virtual sessions, each 50 minutes long. All sessions will be hosted virtually through Zoom. Closed captioning will be provided. Please register down below.

When: July 7th-8th, 2022 (Thursday and Friday), 11am-3pm PST

How to register for the conference:

Here is the link to register for sessions: 2022 Zines & Libraries Registration

Many Thanks!

This conference is made possible through the John F. Helmer Professional Development Grant through the Orbis Cascade Alliance consortium and organized by librarians Maria Cunningham (Oregon Health and Science University) and Ann “A’misa” Matsushima Chiu (Reed College).

Please email questions about registration or accommodations to Elizabeth Duell