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ZINES FROM THE STACKS: SELF-PUBLISHED
TRACTS FROM LADY LIBRARY WORKERS

Librarians interested in alternative publications have who works in a library and you write a zine about it, I been getting together in the past few years to help each oth- would love to add your zine to our collection! er create, organize, and manage collections of the ephemer- Similarly, if you are a librarian interested in starting a al and unique materials known as zines. Designed in some zine collection, please join Jenna’s list or get in touch! In ways to completely defy all of the rules imposed by librari- my own experience, I have found members of the zine ans, catalogers, or organizational systems of any kind, zines community to be extremely helpful and supportive, and can be challenging to collect in libraries. However, zine li- zine librarians are no exception! They are almost always brarians are joining together to share their experiences and willing to share their knowledge and provide lots of infor- to provide more resources to those who want to read and mation and support. Enjoy, and be sure to let these lady preserve these self-published materials.
librarians know how much you liked their work when you Julie Bartel recently released an excellent and instruc- are through reading (because the Number One love of a tional book that has been helpful to many a librarian (From zinester is regular, old-fashioned mail!) A to Zine: Building a Winning Zine Collection in Your Li-brary, published by the American Library Association), and E-Zine: Winter Solstice 2005
Jenna Freedman began an email list a few years ago that Zine-Zine: March 2005
only seems to grow with time (zinelibrarians, at http://
Biblio-Zine: no.1 (January 2005), no.2 (January 2006)
groups.yahoo.com/group/zinelibrarians/). A group of
Elaine Harger explores both her personal life and her librarians have been talking about writing a book together life as a high-school librarian in these three titles. E-Zine in on “zinebrarianship,” and members of the zinelibrarians this case does not refer to the common term “electronic email list are putting together a website to collate resources zine,” but one can assume it refers to Elaine, as it is her per- and tips about all the details of getting zines into libraries sonal zine that discusses the past year of her life and is ad- of all varieties (http://zinelibraries.info/).
dressed to family and friends. The Winter Solstice 2005 Besides the apparently increasing interest in zines and edition’s cover announces the coming of Elaine’s fiftieth alternative press among library workers and library stu- birthday (hurray for her!), and inside she highlights cher- dents, the number of women involved with zines both dur- ished happenings from the past year, books she enjoyed, ing the day in their libraries and after work at their own and other anecdotes. This issue also includes a piece called kitchen tables or local copy centers is increasing as well.
“some b.s. that happened at school,” in which Elaine de- Often these are women who are preserving zines as well as scribes a battle with her high school’s principal over wheth- expressing themselves through them. In many of these zines er the book On Bullshit, a bestseller by Harry G. Frankfurt, made by library workers, there is rejection or even ridicule was appropriate for the school’s library. She also gives a of the stuffy female librarian stereotype, and the women brief update on the progressive librarian work she has been showcase themselves as critically thinking creators and con- up to with the American Library Association and other committees. As a whole, E-Zine is honest and peaceful, a Below are a few reviews of current zines made by wom- en who work in libraries (as professional librarians or other- Elaine produced both Zine-Zine and Biblio-Zine for the wise). I discovered these titles through the process of start- high school where she works in Washington State. Zine- ing the Library Workers Zine Collection, a collection of Zine was created for a local series of zine-making work- zines made by, for, and about people who work in libraries, shops that Elaine held at her library on topics including at the School of Library and Information Studies Library at papermaking, zine binding, brainstorming, and the history the University of Wisconsin–Madison. If you are a zinester of the medium. Photos show students from a number ofschools engaging in the various stages of production. Biblio- Feminist Collections (v.27, nos.2–3, Winter–Spring 2006) Zine Review
Zine is dedicated to the the school’s library, and in the first taking clomid to get pregnant and at night attempting to issue, students review their favorite reference books in the skateboard in a supermarket parking lot.” library’s collection, from The New Rolling Stone Encyclope- Celia has been making zines for awhile now (since the dia of Rock and Roll to The Washington Driver Guide. Issue days of Sassy magazine), and I Dreamed I Was Assertive is a 2, also written mostly by students, includes “A Day in the mish-mash of her daily life and travels, hopes for the fu- Life of a . High School Library Aide,” the results of a few ture, and reactions to Chicago and life around her. From student surveys about the library, book reviews written by her personal life and attempts to have a baby (“I wanted to students, and photos of reviewers working in the library.
address this topic in my zine because…I have yet to read Both Biblio-Zine and Zine-Zine are great examples of how anything in a zine about someone who is struggling with infertility. Maybe it’s taboo to write about this topic in the Elaine does not mass-produce or sell her zines. Readers zine world because it isn’t subverting the patriarchy or it’s a in Madison, Wisconsin, may be able to borrow them from sign of how society continues to dictate the women’s roles, (or view them at) the University of Wisconsin’s SLIS or because many people think it’s irresponsible to bring a (School of Library and Information Studies) Library; else- child into an already overcrowded world that is falling to pieces. I don’t know, I’m not viewing this as a social-politi-cal issue, I’m just going with my heart”), to music apprecia- Lower East Side Librarian Winter Solstice Shout Out:
tion via mix tapes, postal love, and interviews with fellow librarians (Jenna Freedman in #7), IDIWA is a sweet and It’s really a pleasure to read Jenna Freedman’s zine. Jen- varied little zine. Celia also includes a reading list filled na seems to be one of the busiest ladies in librarianship, with reviews, and one of the neatest things is that each of with everything from zine activism and her collection at the issues I have (Numbers 6 and 7) have a tiny vellum Barnard College (read all about it at http://
pocket in the back filled with “Haiku Tributes to the www.barnard.columbia.edu/library/zines/) to her work
Things I Loathe and Love.” There’s also a wish list at the with Radical Reference (http://www.radicalreference.info)
back of each issue. Issue 6 longs for “more zines by Latinas and her role as an advocate for higher salaries and the status and Latinos — where are you??” The tricky thing about of women in librarianship. LESLWSSO is an annual zine Celia’s zines is that she makes them in a big run and “when covering the events of the past year of Jenna’s life and her they’re gone, they’re gone.” So you might want to try dis- reactions to them. It also includes a large reading list — tros (distributors) or other sources for back issues of these with reviews — that is a great read in itself. Each zine has zines (and also keep an eye out for Celia’s Skate Tough You some diary-style entries, as well as larger pieces (e.g., “Am I Little Girls, a zine all about ladies’ skateboarding!) Your Jewish Friend?”), thoughts on such topics as anar- Email: perezeeb@yahoo.com. Try these distros: My My
chism and marriage, and random gripes as well as some Distro, http://mymygirlswirl.net; C/S Distro, http://
amusing bits (“tattoos I am considering: one less kid, DNR www.csdistro.com; Sew True Distro, http://sewtrue.org.
and ronod nagro” — “organ donor” backwards). Jenna’s zine is not to be missed if you’d like an honest, friendlyview into the life of an intelligent, involved, and inspira- Ponyboy: no date or numbering information
tional young librarian who is looking for both reality and “What follows is a sincere attempt to make coherent something quite small that felt so big as it was happening.” Jenna Freedman, 521 E. 5th St., Apt.1D, New York, Told here is an “illustrated version” of events that hap- NY 10009; email: leslzine@gmail.com. Price: $2.00–3.00
pened when Torie was 21 (“indulge me. I was so young”), in which the new “sheriff ” in town finds love with a “long-legged, apple-eating pony” that runs from her. It’s about I Dreamed I Was Assertive: no.6 (Summer 2004), no.7
heartbreak and yet it doesn’t take itself too seriously in hindsight. Torie’s drawings are simple and great, and the “Sometimes I think it would be better to just be one of text is short and good (so tempting to quote it all here!).
those adults who looks and acts and most importantly, feels Torie is in library school, and her zine does not have oh-so- the part. But I’m not, and I think it’s safe to say that I never much to do with libraries, but it is a great little read.
will be. This is me, a ball of contradictions — in the day Torie, P.O. Box 110467, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Price:$1.00 per issue.
Feminist Collections (v.27, nos.2–3, Winter–Spring 2006) Zine Review
Durga: Winter 2006
Practicum Issue,” School Librarian talks about her work in Tracy explains here both her personal and political a required practicum program at her library school, which lives, as well as how her past is affecting her future. In “Eu- forces her to step outside of what she is comfortable with gene,” she writes about the activist landscape of Oregon, (high school students) and work in two schools where ad- how she enjoys her home, but how she is frustrated by mittedly “it took a bit of mind-shifting to accept that I some of the more petty confusion within the local anarchist didn’t know it all.” All in all, within this work our School community. Other pieces are about her past, her sister’s Librarian is able to see children as more than “loud, disor- struggle with MS and drug abuse, her relationship with her ganized, illogical germ factories” and to grow more com- father, and her decision to remain “child-free” amid the fortable and appreciative of the librarians around her for the challenges they face in this environment of cutbacks Durga’s latest issue marks changes for Tracy; she has and increased difficulties in public schools. The zine is begun library school, which is a struggle for her after a well-written and enjoyable throughout. School Librarian is “tough time dealing with classism as an undergraduate,” definitely someone to chat with if you are thinking of and her cat (the namesake of her zine) has passed away.
bringing the alternative press into your school.
From a discussion of the Iraq war to mention of her own Email: schoolzinelibrarian@yahoo.com. Price: $1.00
vulnerabilities with depression, Tracy is an open and re- per issue; FREE to school libraries.
freshing writer who leaves you ready for the next issue ofDurga.
Sugar Needle: nos. 25 and 26
Durga, P.O. Box 5841, Eugene, OR 97405; email: Sugar Needle is perhaps one of the most charming and durgazine@hotmail.com. Price: $1.50 per issue or trade.
fun zines put out by librarians. Subtitled “The zine allabout weird candy and sugary products,” Sugar Needle dis- You Must Have Me Confused with Someone Who Cares:
covers and reviews strange candy from throughout the no. 1.38 (May 2005); and “The Practicum Issue,” no. 2.39.1 world, from “gummy teeth” to absinthe-flavored breath mints. Also included are interviews (Jean Thompson, headCEO of Seattle Chocolates, in Issue 26, and Clint Johns, I’m a high school teacher in a relatively large, pro- zine buyer for Tower Records, in Issue 25) and other de- gressive Midwestern city. My school is an alterna- lights. Sugar Needle is sweet; it comes in an unusual tall and tive program in the public school system, and we slim format with great scans of candy packaging and hand- are funded (uuuhhh, fiscally strangled) like all oth- colored graphics; and it will probably give you the urge to er public schools. Our students choose to come to pick up a toothbrush when you’re through reading.
our school because they just can’t make it work in Two addresses: “Up”: P.O. Box 330152, Minneapolis, the factory-like large high schools in the city. They MN 55408. “Down”: 1174-2 Briarcliff Rd., Atlanta, GA need more attention, more direction, stronger cre- 30306. Price: $1.00 + one stamp per issue, or “selective ative curriculum, greater respect from staff and students and usually a more leftist (truthful) polit-ical outlook.
[Alycia Sellie graduated from library school at the University ofWisconsin–Madison in May 2006. For the past two years, she So begins You Must Have Me Confused with Someone has organized the Madison Zine Fest (http://
Who Cares, a zine that takes a brief look into one woman’s www.madisonzinefest.org), a gathering of local and nation-
life as a teacher in an alternative school. In YMHM- al zine creators that takes place in collaboration with the an- CWSWC, “School Librarian” talks a bit about her experi- nual Wisconsin Book Festival. When she is not reading zines, ences teaching students at this high school about zines and watching trashy horror movies, or riding her bike, you may the history of the underground press, but the majority of find her at the Wisconsin Historical Society, where she enjoys the zine is her own reaction to the state of her school and working in the Newspapers and Periodicals Department.] what she wishes for herself and her students. In “The Feminist Collections (v.27, nos.2–3, Winter–Spring 2006)

Source: http://alycia.brokenja.ws/sites/default/files/Sellie.ZinesfromtheStacks.pdf

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