December 2, 2020

Report: “How Zine Libraries are Highlighting Marginalized Voices”

From BuzzFeed News:

From the wood-printed abolitionist pamphlets created by the American Anti-Slavery Society in the 1830s to La Catrina satirical cavalera cartoons made and distributed by José Guadalupe Posada in the 1900s to the handouts the Black Panther Party disseminated in the ’60s, zine culture as we know it today was created by, and built to fit, the political and social needs of communities of color.

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When Jenna Freedman was studying for her master’s in library science at the University of South Florida, she had little experience with the wide-ranging scope of the art form, having only experimented with zines a bit in the ’90s. That changed after a chance meeting with famed Latinx zinester Celia C. Pérez, whose work primarily explores the punk scene. “I didn’t really find my love for zines until Celia gave me one of hers,” Freedman said. “It was a truly lovely blend of personal and political. It had a little bit of art but it wasn’t artsy.”

That introduction didn’t just spark love; it inspired a career. In 2003, Freedman established the zine library at Manhattan’s Barnard College, where she is still zine librarian. Today, the collection consists of over 10,000 zines and focuses heavily on material created by marginalized communities, with topics as varied as mothers and daughters documenting holidays together to searing political collections about racism in punk rock.

Read the Complete BuzzFeed News Article, View Many Images (approx. 1900 words)

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Direct to the Barnard Zine Library Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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