Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Zines in the library!

What’s self-made, self-published, and shuns the traditional path of publishing? A zebra? Nope. Zines! And the Austin Public Library has begun a collection. Birthed from the punk aesthetic of the late 1970s, the zine quickly became a malleable format allowing individuals to create and spread ideas and art without having to participate in the traditional publishing world. While we librarians are typically fans of the publishing world, some criticism can justifiably be lodged its way, notably that of the publishing world as gatekeeper of what information finds its way into the world. The zine skirts that step. Self-created and self-distributed, the zine migrates through the world, copied and delivered by readers with the occasional help of the postal service. Whether it is a political manifesto or a personal rant, the zine’s author simply needs ideas, some creativity, and a copier.

The Austin Public Library’s zine collection is housed on the second floor of the Faulk Central Library. The zines are non-circulating items and are cataloged under the call number “zine.” Next time you are at the Faulk Central Library take a look. The creativity and diversity between each is incredible.

A quick tip of the hat to the Austin Public Library youth services division which offered a system-wide zine-making program last year.

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