From A to Zine: Building a Winning Zine Collection in Your Library

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Libraries eager to serve the underserved teen-to-twenty-year-old market can make the library a cool place to hang out. All it takes are zines, according to the author, young adult librarian Julie Bartel. Zines and alternative press materials provide a unique bridge to appeal to disenfranchised youth, alienated by current collections.

For librarians unfamiliar with the territory, or anxious to broaden their collection, veteran zinester Bartel establishes the context, history, and philosophy of zines, then ushers readers through an easy, do-it-yourself guide to creating a zine collection, including both print and electronic zines. While zines have their unique culture, they are also important within broader discussions of intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.

Teen and young adult librarians, high school media specialists, and academic, reference, and adult services librarians will uncover answers to questions aboutthis new and growing literary genre:

  • What is a zine and how does a library zine collection work?
  • What are the pros and cons of having a zine collection in the library?
  • When promoting zines, what appeals to patrons and non-library users alike?
  • What is the best way to catalog and display?
  • Where can libraries get zines and how much do they cost?

Bartel shares these lessons and more from a major urban library zine collection, as well as a comprehensive directory of zine resources in this one-stop, one-of-a-kind guide.

Part I: Philosophy, Arguments, and Background
1. Welcome to the World of Zines
2. Zine Culture 101
3. Intellectual Freedom, the Library Bill of Rights, and Zines
4. To Collect or Not to Collect: The Whys and Wherefores
5. The Salt Lake City Public Library Zine Collection
Part II: Zine Collections: A Do-It-Yourself Guide
6. Getting Started
7. What Do You Do with Them Once You've Got Them?
8. Living Arrangements
9. Spreading the Word
10. Programming and Outreach
Part III: Beyond the Printed Word
11. Electronic Zine Culture: E-Zines, Blogs, and More
Part IV: Appendixes
A. Further Information
B. How to Start Your Own Zine
C. Review Zines
D. Distros
E. Zine Fairs and Conferences
F. Zine Libraries
G. Stores That Carry Zines
H. Recommended Reading

Julie Bartel

Julie Bartel is teen librarian and system-wide selector of teen materials and graphic novels at the Salt Lake City Public Library. A zinester herself, Bartel is founder and coordinator of the City Library Zine Collection, the oldest and largest in a public library. Her article, "The Salt Lake City Public Library Zine Collection," published in Public Libraries, was awarded the Beginning Professional Award for Teen Services by the Mountain Plains Library Association. She holds her MLS from Syracuse University.