Core’s guide to zines in library collections

For Immediate Release
Mon, 12/20/2021


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Their homegrown and esoteric aesthetic make zines important cultural and historical objects. Including them in library collections is a perfect way to amplify underrepresented voices. But the road from acquisition to cataloging these underground, self-published, and often fragile items can be difficult. “Zines in Libraries: Selecting, Purchasing, and Processing,” published by ALA Editions in collaboration with Core Publishing, smooths the path forward, offering top-to-bottom guidance for collection development and acquisitions staff, administrators, catalogers, and access services librarians in understanding and processing zines for library collections. Featuring contributions from leaders in the intersection between zines and libraries, including Katrin Abel, Jeremy Brett, Ann (A'misa) Matsushima Chiu, Marta Chudolinska, Jenna Freedman, Joan Jocson-Singh, Mica Johnson, Lauren Kehoe, Joshua Lupkin, Meg Metcalf, and Ziba Perez, the collection is edited by Lauren DeVoe and Sara Duff. Readers will learn:

  • why these collections are valuable, and how libraries can start a collection of their own;
  • targeted advice on zine collection development and management, including policy, selection, cataloging, and promotion;
  • how to navigate the challenges of obtaining zines from small independent vendors, zinefests, distros, third-party donors, and art collectives;
  • ways to work with zine creators to develop a respectful preservation program; 
  • insights from a case study exploring genre, context, and purpose in contemporary Latin American fanzines;
  • where zines can fit in at school libraries or in one-shot instruction; and
  • a look at the future of zines, from online zines to zine communities that are increasingly accessible, inclusive, and diverse.

DeVoe (she/her) is the Order and Continuing Resources Librarian for the Columbia University Libraries in New York City. In her role as an acquisitions librarian at several institutions, she has handled materials of all sorts and varieties, as well cultivated relationships with a diverse range of vendors. Duff is the Acquisitions & Collection Assessment Librarian at the University of Central Florida. She is the co-author of “Guidance for Librarians Transitioning to a New Environment.”

The former Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) are now Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, a new division of ALA. Its mission is to cultivate and amplify the collective expertise of library workers in core functions through community building, advocacy, and learning.

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