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SLIS Library Workers Zine Collection Collection Policies and Guide, Spring 2006

Submitted by alycia on Fri, 07/09/2010 - 10:20

School of Library and Information Studies Library
Library Workers Zine Collection
Collection Policies and Guide
Spring 2006

1) Introduction: What is this guide, and what is its purpose?
This booklet is a guide to the procedures, policies and other information relating to the SLIS Library Workers Zine Collection, as created by Alycia Sellie as part of a practicum in the Spring semester of 2006. This guide is meant to communicate what the collection is but by no means does it mean to limit what it could be. What lies herein is meant to be updated and shared with SLIS students to come, and is meant as a general guideline to inform the students and employees of the SLIS library about the decisions that went into creating this collection. The Library Workers Zine Collection is meant to embody the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) spirit that zines employ, and it is hoped that this collection can be used, appreciated and updated by other interested SLIS students in the years to come.

2) Introduction: What is a Zine?
Simply put, zines are self-published serials that their producer commonly publishes via a photocopier and distributes in a somewhat unconventional manner (by mail, at coffee shops or through distros, etc.). There are many variations on this practice, but in summary zines are a quick, cheap and intensive way to express thoughts and feelings that the creator expects would otherwise not be published or shared through more mainstream
media(for more information on the definition of zines, see Appendix I).

3) Why Do We Have Zines in the SLIS Library?

  • Vision statement:
    To provide the students of the School of Library and Information Studies with a collection of alternative print publications that can reflect and share the experiences of librarians and library workers in their daily lives and also in interests outside of librarianship. We strive to make our collection show the broad range and diversity in the lives of librarians and their experiences as real people both within and outside of the library. Through the SLIS Library Workers Zine Collection, we strive to show a perspective of library workers that is not presented in mainstream library literature. We hope that through this collection we can inspire future librarians to express themselves through zines or to consider having collections of zines or other alternative, independent or underground literature in their future libraries. We aim to share this collection with the students of the School of Library and Information Studies program through the SLIS Library, with the broader UW-Madison campus through MadCat, and to libraries throughout the world by sharing our cataloging records with OCLC. We hope that with this collection SLIS students can enjoy the work of their peers and that through zines they will be able to have another outlet for professional discussion and personal connections with librarians and library workers in the field. We aim to show librarians in their own words, in their own lives and in their own way. We hope that the SLIS Library Workers Zine Collection is one more way that SLIS can prove that librarians are intelligent, creative, and awesome people.

  • Mission statement:
    We collect print zines made by, for and about libraries and library workers. For the purposes of our collection, zines are defined as self-published materials that their creator refers to and classifies as a zine. The zines we collect can be made by those with or without an MLS, but they must in some way reference libraries or librarianship. We fully catalog the items in our collection to make them available to SLIS students, the UW at large and the network of libraries connected through OCLC. We collect these works to share the experiences of many types of library workers with the students of the School of Library and Information Studies.

4) Collection Development
We collect print zines that have relevance for libraries or librarians. Using tools such as distros, websites, review zines and email lists, we seek zines created by library workers and zines that are about libraries or are related to libraries in their content.

  • What should be collected and why?
    The works in our collection are either about working in or examining the library world or are made by a professional librarian or someone who works in a library and talks in some way about either of these experiences within the content of their zine. Zines often have subversive or unusual content, and we do not attempt to restrict materials that will be collected based on their content if they meet the other requirements for the collection. We strive to present unpopular or minority viewpoints of librarians via this collection.
    To be added to the collection, materials must be:
    1. A print zine. This is a print zine collection, and thus no e-zines or online materials are accepted as part of the collection at this time.
    2. Deal with library topics. The title must make mention of libraries, librarians, library schools, library education or issues that are pertinent to the students of the School of Library and Information Studies. This may include personal zines describing the lives of library students, working librarians, etc. and the entire content of the zine does not need to be devoted to library issues, but there must be some mention of libraries somewhere inside the work for it to be considered as a part of the collection. Items that are made by librarians but are unrelated to or do not mention the life of the author will not be added (for example, Sugar Needle is made by “Corinna Fastwolf,” who is a librarian, but we could not distinguish that the author was a librarian from the item alone, and the content of the work is devoted to candy, without any mention of libraries or librarianship).
    3. The exception to the above two rules: any zine made by a current SLIS student or SLIS alumni will be accepted into the collection.

  • Donation Policy
    We accept zines that fit the above collection development policy, and when we have zines that do not fit the requirements of the collection, we try to donate these materials to other libraries with zine collections (for example, the Wisconsin Historical Society if the item is made in Wisconsin or is politically themed, or the Madison Public Library if appropriate). The SLIS library does reserve the right to discard, sell or otherwise dispose of materials in whatever way the staff finds the most appropriate if the materials do not meet our collection scope or purpose.

  • Ongoing Collection Development: Where do you find zines, and how can the collection be kept up?
    Zines are alternative or underground materials and in this way, they are much different than other library materials in the way that they are located, purchased and distributed. For a list of resources on where to find zines and to advertise the collection, please see Appendix II.


  1. First: Thank-you Cards. Please use the created zine thank-you cards whenever a zine is added or donated to the collection. It is our policy to at least attempt to cover the cost of postage from the petty cash account for the donor, even if they have not asked for any payment. Zinesters enjoy receiving mail, and so hopefully they will remember our collection in the future through this thank-you.

  2. Next: Recording Data in the Database. An Access database is maintained to provide documentation of the contact information and notes about how zines in the collection were found and added and to keep track of correspondence and address changes. This database is maintained in addition to cataloging information and is meant to include the most up-to-date contact information for each zine creator to insure that we can claim back issues or subsequent issues directly from the publisher whenever possible.
    • The database contains the following information: All of these fields are also explained in the data dictionary of the database (to see this, look at the “design view” of each individual table in Access):
      • Zine Table: Title of Zine, Name of Creator, Address, Email and all other contact info, How we found their zine, and general notes. This is also an area to make a note if we received a donation of issues or a title from someone other than the zine creator.
      • Correspondence Table (this table documents what interactions we have had regarding a title): What manner we corresponded (email, mail, etc.), the date, and their replies, and notes.
      • Issue Table: What issues we have, What issues are not available, How many issues have been published to date, Whether are complete (have all of the issues to date), and whether the title is still being produced.
      • Order Table: Cost of issues ordered, how we paid (check, cash, etc.), date payment was sent, the cost of each issue, what we paid in total for the transaction, and any other notes.

  3. Then: Cataloging Procedures
    Many librarians see cataloging as a large obstacle that will not allow them to have a zine collection in their library. Much of the work of adding titles in this collection is original cataloging, but it is our hope that through providing and sharing these records through OCLC that more library systems will be able to use these records in copy cataloging and as examples of full-level cataloging of zines and not see these materials as quite so daunting. Thus it is very important for us to create the most appropriate and detailed records to share and to present these works.
    The following is not meant to be a guide on how to catalog zines, but it is meant to be a guide to aspects of cataloging unique to zines. (refer to MARC and AACR2 for more general information on cataloging).

  4. Almost There: Physical Processing
    After a label with the cutter number is applied to the lower front cover of the zine, the only physical processing is the application of a piece of clear tape along the spine for reinforcement, and a SLIS Library Stamp (no barcode is needed since the items do not circulate). We chose these preservation procedures to retain some of the physical qualities and attractiveness of the zines (instead of placing them in large plastic binders or other apparatuses that other current serials sometimes have). Zines also come in a wide variety of formats, and we felt that this processing would be simple to apply to all sizes and varieties.

  5. Finally: Placement in the Library
    A new title will need a spot made for it on the current zine shelves. If it is a one-shot you may consider not placing it on the current shelves and directly into the pamphlet boxes (see “What do they go when we run out of room?” below for more info), but it will depend on the size and space available to the collection what you decide. Making a spot for a title will involve shifting the other titles so that this title may fit alphabetically (by the Cutter Number) on the shelves.
    • Each title needs a shelf marker to be made. Our current system is to photocopy one cover of an issue of the title and then to type the title and Cutter number of the item on a piece of colored paper and to laminate the two together (follow the formula for the shelf label from the other titles already in the collection).

6) Long-Term: Where do Titles Go When We Run out of Room?
When there is no longer any room for all of the titles in the collection, or when there are too many issues of a title to be displayed on the current shelves, all issues should be placed in folders and treated as a pamphlet collection in pamphlet boxes.

  • These holders will find a permanent place but for now they will stay on top of the current shelves.
  • Each folder will hold only one title, and like the zine collection, will follow the cutter system (for example, the folder for “Clutch” would be labeled: “Clutch Zine C629”).
  • The outside of the holders will have a general label, such as “Zines A-M” and “Zines M-Z” and will be set up so that each title’s folder can easily be added to each box and so that more boxes can be added to the whole.
  • If a title is being moved from the current shelves to the pamphlet boxes, the shelf label (Xeroxed cover with the title and the cutter number) can be placed into the folder with the title in case it would be needed in the future for any reason.
  • When we run out of room, which titles should be the first to be moved to the pamphlet holders? (these are not listed in order of priority, but are suggestions of what to consider once space becomes an issue):
    • One-Shots: titles that we know will only ever have one issue.
    • Dead titles.
    • Back issues of a current title that has too many issues to fit on the current shelves. In general, one title should have only one facing (not two stacks of issues side by side). *(This may not be the case to begin with when we do not have a scarcity of room, but if the number of titles becomes an issue, these back issues should move to allow space for more titles instead of many issues of one title)*

7) Other Policies:

  • Circulation Policy
    • The SLIS Library Workers Zine Collection does not circulate. The reason is that we would like to physically preserve these materials for future research while still making them available to students. Another reason that the collection does not circulate is because it is meant to give SLIS students who may not be familiar with zines a chance to see a wide variety of works, which wouldn’t be possible if all of the titles are checked out of the library. Finally, like other serials, most titles are short enough to be read in the library, and patrons may also photocopy issues if they would like.

  • Inter Library Loan Policy
    • The zines in the collection are not meant to ever leave the library, and so in this case, our individual titles should not go out via Inter Library Loan. In the case of an ILL request, the item requested should be photocopied and sent to the requestor. This way, the zine remains in the library and it is not of any consequence if the photocopy is lost.
      • For photocopying, copy the item in total in the best settings necessary to see all of the information, and stamp the final photocopy with the SLIS stamp.

  • Budget and Purchasing Materials
    The budget as a whole is not very set at this time, and the collection as a whole may never require a great deal of funding. Thus, these policies are not extremely set and may require a detailed revision as the collection grows.
    • Since the most common manner to pay a zinester for a zine is to send small amounts of cash through the mail, and since the zine collection does not amount for a large amount of money as a whole, the manner to pay for a zine is to use SLIS Library petty cash. Please see Michele for more information on how to access petty cash and how to keep records on this money, and remember to always send a thank-you card covering postage when there is a donation to the collection, or whenever someone sends any zines (for more information, see the “Thank-You Cards” section above).
      • It is also possible to purchase zines via a distro or other sources. As of Spring 2006, we have not utilized these services but there are a number of distributors which may have works that we would want (see Appendix II for more info). There is no set policy for payment for distros, but it could be that someone could use their own credit card via paypal or another online credit card ordering system if that is necessary and be reimbursed via petty cash. Talk to Michele for approval and more information/current policies.


APPENDIX I: More Information Related to the Definition of Zines
Do It Yourself Zine Definition

APPENDIX II: Finding Aids and Other Information about Finding and Requesting Zines

There are many places to look for information about zines. For librarian zines in particular, one good place to start is to see if the zines already in the collection have reviewed other librarian zines. For example, Transom #5 and Zine Librarian Zine #2 both have articles on librarian zines.
Below are a few electronic and print resources that help define, locate and distribute zines.

Websites of Librarian Zinesters:

Some Guides to Finding Zines and Information about Zines on the web:

Email lists:

  • Zine Librarians email list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/zinelibrarians/
    • There are also a large number of other yahoo email lists that are zine-related. Try doing a search in Yahoo, and you’ll find zinesters, zinegeeks, vegan zinesters, etc. Zine librarians is probably the most pertinent to the collection, but you can discuss, promote or ask questions on the other lists as well.

Books for Reference and Print Guides to Zine Resources:

  • Angel, Jen and Jason Kucsma, editors. “Introduction.” The Zine Yearbook: Volume 8. Toledo: Become the Media/Clamor Magazine, 2004.
  • Bartel, Julie. From A to Zine: Building a Winning Zine Collection in Your Library. Chicago: American Library Association, 2004.
  • Duncombe, Stephen. Notes From the Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture. New York: Verso, 1997.
  • Rowe, Chip, editor. The Book of Zines: Readings from the Fringe. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1997.
  • Wrekk, Alex. Stolen Sharpie Revolution c/o Microcosm Publishing 5307 N. Minnesota Ave. Portland, OR 97217-4551 www.microcosmpublishing.com

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