Just Add ZineCats

This weekend our focus was the public interface, which was pretty much nonexistent on our development platform. Also, as it turns out, the live zinecat is a little dead. 

A screenshot of an internet browser reads, "This page isn't working / is currently unable to handle this request. / HTTP ERROR 500"

I’m excited to push the dev site to live because it’s got 30K+ records and you can search it for all sorts of terms and get results. Since I’m doing laundry today, I tried a search for < laundry > and got 6 results. 

screenshot of Search Results for Laundry. Six records appear.

4 of the results could be for the same zine, or at least related to the same creator entity, who I know to be A.j. Michel. Her last name is misspelled in the ABC No Rio record and missing from Denver Zine Library’s. Zines with < laundry > in their records, created by Michel that are held at Barnard aren’t showing up at all. 

Potluck isn’t in the Barnard records spreadsheet, but Practice Apartment is. Maybe because the word “laundry” got smushed together with the word before it, “Featuring selections from the zinesLaundry basket,” which it doesn’t in the native record. 

And while we’re talking about native records, we forgot to map them in this iteration. I think that shouldn’t be hard to do when we re-import everything, but I DON’T KNOW. 

Here are notes from before our user interface work, with Eric’s responses bracketed. 

Public interface day!

Fields to show:

  • Title
  • Creator
  • Contributors 
  • Publisher
  • Subjects 
  • Physical description
  • Date
  • Location 
  • Collection
  • Link to home collection record
  • Related zines (?)
  • Email this record 
  • Share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter [not sure if this works right


  • Since there are no images at this point, can we do something different with that field? [maybe a placeholder image by default? Random cat photo?]
  • Possibly the collection logo? 
  • Everything linkable linky
  • Don’t show empty fields

Add to home page

  • Bingham Center logo
  • Takedown process

When do we move the gluestick DNS?

[ After we do a final re-import, next week? ]

How will that affect the blog and text pages? What happens when we’re off reclaim? Do we need to reinstall WP? 

[I think the best idea is to setup a free account at, wp takes a lot of attention/upkeep for security issues ]

Basically the most important thing that happened was responding to the question about adding random cat photos in the catalog for zines that don’t have an associated image. 

photo of cat on zine pages with a long-armed stapler and a human's foot. Catalog record for How to be a Good Library Patron: How to be a Bad Library Patron zine by Jerianne Thompson.

An astute catalog user might notice that the subjects are printing to the screen as their ID numbers, rather than their text strings. That’s a thing we need to fix! I don’t know what’s up with the date showing up as “present,” either. 

I’m thinking we’ve come a long way from our May 2017 proof of concept. Now we’re on “proof of life,” but there’s still so much to fixxxxx!

Our plan for the next two weeks (aack!)

  • Complete white paper zine text by Friday 12/13
  • 12/14 & 15
    • edit zine text
    • move dev to live
    • Figure out WP and whatever other stuff beyond CA has to be figured out
    • Re-import all the records, nbd
  • 12/18 assemble zine
  • 12/19 more zine assembly if necessary
  • 12/21 turn zine into Lisa and Maura
  • January: all the fiddly bits with the GC for depositing our capstone
  • February: receive degree and exercise, socialize, engage in activist projects, and…more ZineCat work!

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