SRRT Newsletter - Issue 201, January-February 2018



Letter from the Co-Editor

by Julie Winkelstein

Julie Winkelstein

Hello everyone!

Welcome to our February 2018 SRRT newsletter. (It was supposed to be the December 2017 issue. ~Melissa)

In this issue, as usual, we've included a report from the SRRT Coordinator, as well as the SRRT Midwinter Meeting and schedule, including the always inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. Observation and Sunrise Celebration. We welcome your attendance at any or all of these.

We also have reports from GLBTRT and EMIERT, as well as SRRT's Feminist Task Force, the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force and the Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force.

In addition, we have a piece by Patricia Glass Schuman and Diedre Conkling about the search for a new ALA Executive Director and a guest piece by Madeline Veitch about zines.

I also am pleased to introduce two new features: "Letters to the Editors" and "Voices from the Past."

Editorial Board member Michael Gorman is coordinating the Letters to the Editors. This new regular feature of our Newsletter is an opportunity to share your views, pose questions, offer suggestions and more. We encourage you to write to us and let us know what you think!

Voices from the Past includes excerpts from material published in past SRRT Newsletter issues, starting in 1969. We think you will find these excerpts as relevant now as they were when they were first published.

On occasion, this newsletter will have a theme. The theme for the March 2018 issue is "Library Neutrality." We invite you to send us your thoughts about this topic, either as a letter to the editors or an article submission.

In this time of particularly heated political discord, more than ever I appreciate libraries and what they offer in terms of access to accurate information and their commitment to making sure we can continue to function as a democracy. I'm proud to call this my profession.


Julie Winkelstein
SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor


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SRRT Coordinator's Column

by Kenny Garcia, SRRT Coordinator, Research & Instruction Librarian, Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library, CSU Monterey Bay, Marina, California

Kenny Garcia

Midwinter is coming!
If you are attending Midwinter 2018 in Denver, please attend all of the SRRT meetings and events. All of the meetings are open. If you would like to learn more about or become more involved with any of the task forces, please attend the SRRT All Task Force meeting on Friday, February 9th, from 7:30-9:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Colorado Convention Center in room 110. The Action Council meetings are where elected Action Council members vote on endorsements, resolutions, and actions related to SRRT. Anyone in attendance can provide input, ask questions, make comments, and participate in these meetings. It would be great if more SRRT members attended these meetings, especially if you are interested in running for an Action Council seat.

SRRT is growing
SRRT membership has grown tremendously this year! We would love to see you all become more involved. You can join a task force, run for an Action Council position, share information on the SRRT listserv, or write something for the Newsletter.

Month SRRT Membership Numbers Percentage of Growth from Last Year
October 2017 1531 +44.30%
September 2017 1489 +38.90%
August 2017 1445 +34.04%
July 2017 1412 +29.78%
June 2017 1406 +28.28%
May 2017 1370 +25.23%
April 2017 1342 +21.01%
March 2017 1341 +19.20%
February 2017 1272 +15.74%
January 2017 1189 +10.19%


If you have any questions, comments, or ideas on how to improve SRRT, please let us know. Feel free to contact me, or any of the Action Council members listed on our website. We hope to hear from you!


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ALA Midwinter Meeting 2018 Schedule

ALA Midwinter 2018 in Denver

Friday, February 9, 2018

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting I (SRRT-FTF)
2/9/18, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Grand Hyatt -- Mt. Wilson

All Task Force Meeting
2/9/18, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 110

Feminist Task Force Meeting I (SRRT)
2/9/18, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 110

Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
2/9/18, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 110

International Responsibilities Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
2/9/18, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 110

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
2/9/18, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 110


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Action Council I Meeting (SRRT)
2/10/18, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Mile High 4C

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting II (SRRT-FTF)
1/21/17, 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Grand Hyatt -- Mt. Wilson


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting III (SRRT-FTF)
2/11/18, 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Grand Hyatt -- Mt. Wilson

Action Council II Meeting (SRRT)
2/11/18, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 507

Progressive Librarians Guild Meeting
2/11/18, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Room 212

Progressive Librarians Guild Dinner
2/11/18, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
La Loma A Mexican Kitchen, 1801 Broadway (Mexican restaurant with veggie options, 15 minute walk from the Convention Center)


Monday, February 12, 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observation and Sunrise Celebration
2/12/18, 6:30 - 7:30 a.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Rooms 203/205/207

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting IV (SRRT-FTF)
2/12/18, 9:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Grand Hyatt -- Mt.Wilson


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Feminist Task Force News

by Sherre Harrington, Director and Liaison to Mathematics & Natural Science - Berry College Memorial Library, Mount Berry, Georgia

FTF at Midwinter 2018
Attending ALA Midwinter 2018? Want to get involved in professional activities? Don't forget to add FTF to your schedule! Stay connected via Facebook ( or our email distribution list Feminist (

Women of Library History
FTF's Women's History Month project Women of Library History will return in 2018 for a 6th year. Start working now on stories of women who have been significant to the libraries, services, and systems you know and love. This is the way to remember the contributions of these important women in librarianship—perhaps a founder, a mentor, or an activist in your community.

Planning for ALA Annual 2018
FTF plans to organize a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at ALA Annual 2018, using the FTF Women of Library History project content to expand the representation of women librarians/library folk on Wikipedia. This will have the direct impact of expanding coverage of women in library science and the indirect impact of bringing in more women as editors, which will help chip away at the systemic bias of a project that's mainly written by relatively affluent white men. Of course, men will also be welcome at the event because feminist/allied men who are attracted to the project through FTF will go in with an understanding of the systemic bias of Wikipedia and will be more likely to take that into account in their editing.


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Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force (HHPTF) News

by Julie Ann Winkelstein, HHPTF Co-Coordinator

The Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force is dedicated to helping libraries address poverty and homelessness in their communities. Our goal is to provide support and information about what is being done and what can be done by libraries across the country. More information about us can be found here:, with links to recent postings by HHPTF Co-Coordinator Lisa Gieskes.

Hunger, poverty and homelessness are complex challenges that can seem overwhelming to libraries, especially those in large urban areas. However, if we find ways to work together and keep each other informed about what we're doing and how things are working, we can help each other find success in myriad ways.

One of our current projects is updating our toolkit, Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness through Library Engagement ( If you are interested in being part of this update or if you have suggestions for changes or additions to the Toolkit, please contact Julie Winkelstein at and/or Lisa Gieskes at We'd love to hear from you.

And if you attend ALA Midwinter, please join us at the SRRT All Task Force meeting Friday, February 9, 2018, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., in Room 110 at the Colorado Convention Center. We hope to see you there!


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Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force News

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager — Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Anthony Graves

The 18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration will take place on Monday, February 12, 6:30 a.m., at the Colorado Convention Center, Rm 203/205/207. The event is a staple of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. This year's theme will be Where Do We Go from Here, with excerpts taken from Dr. King's seminal and final book.

The keynote speaker for the celebration will be Anthony Graves, author of the upcoming Beacon Press memoir, Infinite Hope. Graves spent over 18 years in prison — including 12 years on death row — after being wrongfully convicted of multiple homicides. Upon his exoneration in 2010, he founded the Anthony Graves Foundation, a non-profit organization that works towards furthering criminal justice reform with a special emphasis on the Texas criminal justice system. He has become a full-time advocate, testifying to the US Senate about the harms of solitary confinement, serving on the board of directors for the Houston Forensic Science Center, and working with the ACLU's Campaign for Smart Justice. We are pleased that Mr. Graves will be joining us for this year's ceremony.

The Call to Action will be delivered by Alexandra (Alex) Rivera, Student Enrichment and Community Outreach Librarian at University of Michigan. Alex is a 2001 Spectrum Scholar. She has served in leadership roles in ACRL, REFORMA, and JCLC. We are looking forward to a warm and thought provoking celebration.

Please join us during the SRRT All Task Force meeting at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The meeting will take place Friday, February 9, 7:30 p.m., at the Colorado Convention Center, Rm 110. The Task Force will focus on plans for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multicultural Exchange program that is to take place during the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans.

LaJuan Pringle
Chair, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library


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Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) News

Submitted by Mimi Lee, EMIERT Chair 2017-2018

Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) provides a forum for the exchange of information on library materials and resources in English and other languages, and promotes service for all ethnolinguistic and multicultural communities in general. Founded in 1982 as the Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Task Force (EMIETF) of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), EMIERT has been an active force in the American Library Association for more than 30 years.

The Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards
Administered by EMIERT's Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards Subcommittee, the awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. Held during ALA Annual Conference, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast features CSK winners and honor authors and illustrators, as well as the recipient of the Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

EMIERT Multicultural Awards
EMIERT offers two awards to encourage and recognize multiculturalism in libraries and the library profession.

The Distinguished Librarian Award recognizes significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope and that include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural services in libraries. Nominees must have a Master's of Library Science degree from an ALA accredited institution.

The David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award recognizes recent articles that include significant new research related to the understanding and promotion of multiculturalism in libraries in North America. Works published within the last two years preceding the award application deadline are eligible to receive the award.

Please join us to network and learn more about EMIERT during 2018 Midwinter in Denver, CO:

EMIERT All Committee/Membership Meeting
February 10, 2018
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Hilton Denver City Center (Formerly Marriott Denver City Center) - Pomeroy

EMIERT Executive Board Meeting
February 10, 2018
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hilton Denver City Center (Formerly Marriott Denver City Center) - Pomeroy


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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) News

Submitted by Jen Maguire-Wright, GLBTRT Chair 2017-2018

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table will be turning 50 in 2020 and plans are forming now for a wonderful program that year. In preparation for this anniversary, the Fundraising Committee will be accepting t-shirt design submissions from GLBTRT members and supporters before putting the designs up to a vote to choose the shirt that best represents the Round Table's past, present and future at the 50th Anniversary Celebration!

Stay tuned and watch our news page for updates and details!


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Essay: Should the Executive Director of the American Library Association Be a Librarian?

Submitted by Diedre Conkling, SRRT Member and Patricia Glass Schuman, former American Library Association President

This November 2017, the ALA Council reversed this long-standing policy and said: "Maybe not." Now we have a chance to stop this profoundly mistaken policy change on the Spring 2018 ballot.

Many of us strongly disagreed with this drastic change in policy and were shocked by this first ever and sudden email vote of Council reversing a policy they had recently reaffirmed. We began a Membership petition to put this issue to the entire ALA Membership and successfully garnered enough signatures.

Here is the question that will be proposed to all ALA Members on the ALA Spring 2018 ballot:

Should the following policy be restored?

...the ALA Executive Director should hold "an ALA-accredited Master's Degree or a CAEP-accredited Master's Degree with a specialty in school library media." (ALA Policy A.4.1.1)

It will take a majority vote of 25 percent of the membership to reverse the Council vote. In other words, between 11-12000 people will have to vote, and fifty percent of those voting will have to vote to reverse Council's decision.

PLEASE VOTE!! We need the quorum and we need your vote!

This question is critical to the image and substance of our profession.

The ALA Executive Director (ED) is the continuing face of the Association, regarded by many as one of the most visible librarians in the world. While the President of ALA is a crucial spokesperson, the ED provides the continuity of image. We have fought to have a librarian lead the Library of Congress. We fought to install a librarian as the Public Printer. We are dismayed when Directors of major libraries are appointed without library degrees. ALA must set the standard.

ALA is the largest conference sponsor, publisher, lobbyist, think tank, standard setter, and membership organization for librarians.

We have a librarian as the Librarian of Congress who demonstrates on a daily basis the importance not only of the Library of Congress but the importance of libraries and librarians everywhere. The other strong national voice must be that of the librarian who is the Executive Director of the American Library Association.

The Search Committee — after a short few months — declared the search "failed" and asked Council to reverse itself. But a search for an Executive of the caliber we need often takes a long time. Surely there are excellent candidates from among the more than 100,000 librarians in the United States!

The latest ALA Council email vote eliminating the degree requirement is technically legal, but highly unusual. Council voted in January 2017 to retain the requirement after extensive discussion. Keith Fiels, outgoing ALA Executive Director, stated that he felt the degree was essential to the job.

After the first search for a new Executive Director did not produce someone the Search Committee wanted to recommend for the Executive Director position, ALA Council held its first-ever online vote on any subject. They overturned this library degree requirement policy on November 20, 2017 and changed the library educational requirements to preferred instead of required.

Our December 2017 petition to reverse this vote was signed by many ALA past officers: Presidents, Treasurers, Executive Board Members, and even several Honorary Members.

Now it is up to YOU. Stop the devaluation of the library degree, our image, and our reality. VOTE to restore the library degree and ask all of your ALA colleagues to vote too. We must have a quorum.

Below are selected comments from leaders of our profession, including a former Executive Director. The resolution may be found here: The discussion may be viewed here, Again, the discussion is worth reading.

Robert Wedgeworth, Ph.D., ALA Executive Director, 1972-85:
"I have watched with interest the debate over whether the next ED for ALA should have an MLS degree. While I have always believed that talent and experience are more important than credentials, there must be a reason that the CEOs of the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Nursing Association all are managed by professionals in those fields.

The ALA ED manages a sizable publishing house, maintains an influential office in DC, and manages a sizeable staff and financial assets, but there are specialists to Head each of those areas. While it is not required for the ED to have an MLS to be successful, the members expect that person to understand the issues, values, and concerns that affect their lives. Without that credential there is just a higher hill to climb to be successful.

Perhaps we are focusing on the wrong question. There are many reasons why Executive searches fail. But we should be concerned with whether we searched far and wide for viable candidates. It is hard to believe that with all the talent in our field we cannot find an outstanding candidate to be ALA CEO."

The late U.S. Representative Major Owens (D-NY), our first librarian in Congress, said:
"On more than one occasion I have dreamed that a spaceship from some advanced civilization on another planet has landed and that the ship's captain has disembarked uttering the words: 'Take me to your librarian.' "In future civilizations," observes Owens, "the word 'librarian' just might become synonymous with the word 'leader.' The assumption in Owens' dream is that our visitors from outer space have already evolved to this point "and have for a long time been guided by beings who know how to create, maintain, and utilize a vast array of databases to solve problems of all kinds; generalists who have mastered the encyclopedic approach to problem-solving consistently have been the leaders of modern societies."" (What Else You Can Do With A Library Degree, Neal-Schuman)

Madeleine Charney said:
"How can we lose such faith in ourselves as a profession? Keeping the requirement is imperative for maintaining integrity, holding to our deepest values, and showing the next generation of librarians that there are high places for them to strive toward."

Bernadine Abbott Hoduski:
"ALA accredits library schools and should honor those graduates by hiring an accredited librarian for ED. Librarians have many skills and many have managed large complicated organizations and are capable of managing ALA. We will also not have to waste valuable time in educating a non librarian about our issues. The next 4 years will be difficult and we need someone who knows our issues and has worked on the front line in libraries."

Carolyn Caywood:
"One point I have not seen is the trust that ALA staff and members must have in the Executive Director in order for that person to be effective. Having a MLS will not guarantee that trust, but not having the degree will open every controversial decision to questions about shared values and principles. I have certainly seen that happen in the 46 years I've been a member of ALA and I don't want to see an Executive Director hampered by constant questions because he or she is not really one of us. Therefore I urge that the MLS remain required."

Michael Gorman, Past ALA President:
"I am strongly in favor of requiring an MLS (and actual library experience) of an Executive Director. Making a requirement optional is, in effect, abolishing the requirement.

The relationship between the ED and the Presidents, Executive Board, and Council can be hard enough without having to deal with someone with a completely different set of experiences, value system, and outlook. I shudder to think of some non-profit corporate fundraiser, lobbyist, or, even worse, IT person as ED."


Submitted by:
Patricia Glass Schuman,
Diedre Conkling,


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ALA Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Implementation Working Group (EDI-IWG) News

Submitted by Melissa Cardenas-Dow, ALA EDI-IWG Co-Chair, SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor

Stuck in Neutral at ALAMW18

Stuck in Neutral: Library Values & Daily Practice
The ALA EDI-IWG, along with ODLOS, will be hosting a town-hall style discussion event on Sunday, February 11, 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Hilton Denver, Matchless. This event is intended for ALA members to discuss our professional concerns about library neutrality and how it should (or should not) play a role in our daily work in the 21st century.


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Essay: Zines at Your Library

By Madeline Veitch, guest writer

Don't have a zine collection yet? I'm here to make a pitch for adding zines to your library's holdings! Zines can expand the range of views and topical areas represented among our materials, engaging library users in new ways--both as readers and knowledge creators.

A variety of zines

Zines created by our Library users and other community members, available for checkout.

What are zines?
Broadly speaking, zines are print-based works that situate information-sharing as a central value of textual production. Zine makers use scissors, glue, typewriters, and copy machines (or desktop publishing programs) to tell stories, make arguments, or share creative work directly with readers. While traditional publishing requires that writers reshape their original work to align with projected market-forces, zine-making allows for a level of author agency and creative control rarely found in print.

Sci-fi fan fiction of the 1930s is often cited as an important jumping off point for zines. While that may be the moment when the term "zine" gained traction, it's certainly not the origin of the form. Zines draw on rich histories of social justice publishing, including 19th and 20th century texts like the anti-lynching pamphlets of Ida B. Wells, and Margaret Sanger's informational pamphlets on contraception. Literary zines can find historical models in chapbooks like Fire!! Devoted to Younger Negro Artists, which presented work by Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and other writers working outside of the Harlem literary establishment of the time.

A variety of zines

(Left) What Every Girl Should Know, 1922; (Center) La Raza, 1975; (Right) Gunk, 1990, by Ramdasha Bikceem

In the 1960s and 70s, communities and college campuses across the country produced political zines and underground newspapers addressing American militarism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and economic inequality - as well as rock music and drug culture. In the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, zinesters affiliated with the Punk and Riot Grrl scenes produced a large number of political zines and music fanzines (here are some examples of punk and riot grrl zines).

Zines have continued to flourish in the 21st century as authors write in both personal and analytical modes on a wide array of topics. In recent years, self-care zines, and DIY (do it yourself) instructionals have become increasingly popular genres. (Want to learn how to make jam? Make a cart to haul stuff with your bike? There's a zine for that.)

A variety of zines

(Left) Won't You Share This Jam with Me by Elliott Junkyard; (Right) Black Women and Self Care by Naomi Moyer

Zines at the Library
I work with the zine collection at SUNY New Paltz's Sojourner Truth Library where we have close to 600 zines in circulation. In developing the collection, we've focused heavily on zines that address intersections of identity, making efforts to center the narratives of queer and trans people, people of color, women, people with disabilities, and other writers who are underrepresented in traditionally published materials. Many of the authors whose work we collect are in their late teens and twenties, a cohort more often seen as subjects across the disciplines than as primary authors or investigators. By increasing the number of young writers and artists represented in our holdings, we hope to challenge academic cultures that posit advanced degrees or specific professional qualifications as entry points to discourse.

Collecting locally produced zines (which represent about 15% of our holdings) has allowed us to bring community dialogues and concerns into our collection where users can readily engage with them. After the 2016 election, several students and librarians invited library users to make pages about the experience which were then compiled into the zine New Paltz Reacts: Presidential Election 2016. Students have made zines that synthesize what they're learning in classes (A Feminist Guide to Film), zines that provide guidance (How to Be a Friend to Someone Who's Depressed), and a few that raise ruckus about mundane but significant campus problems (How to Park at SUNY New Paltz).

A variety of zines

(Upper Left) A Feminist Guide to Film; (Upper Center) New Paltz Reacts; (Lower) How to Be a Friend

Zines can be produced quickly, so user knowledge can be integrated into the collection right away--in fact, we run a 24-hour zine program where ideas are transformed into printed zines in just a day's time! Inviting our users to think of themselves both as researchers and as knowledge creators allows us to teach information literacy from the inside out. It also makes the library a more responsive and participatory space, where local ideas are collected, circulated, and amplified through displays and exhibitions.

Where can I find zines for my library? How much will they cost?
The number of online zine "distros" or distributors has exploded in recent years, so there are no shortage of places to purchase zines. Zine fests and fairs (here's an international running list) are another great place to buy or trade zines, in person and directly from / with their authors. Zines tend to range in price from free on up to seven or eight dollars.

If you're buying zines online, here are a few zine distros not to miss:

  • Brown Recluse Zine Distro: "Created to support and center zines written by people of color" they carry some great zines including several by writer and podcaster Nia King, the Philosophactivism series by Toi, and Native American feminist zine Nizhoni Beat.
  • Stranger Danger Distro: Based out of chicago, they carry "feminist zines, queer zines, trans zines, POC zines, & more -- zines about identity, home, disabilities, friendship, survival, etc etc."
  • Doris Distro: run by Cindy Crabb, creator of the zine Doris, they carry over a hundred zines ranging from personal narratives to political essays, how-tos, and literature.


If you're looking for free zines to download and print, check out:


More questions about zines and libraries?
Connect with a friendly group of zine librarians here, or through the Zine Librarians Facebook Page. Wondering about zine libraries in your area? Barnard College Zine Library maintains a helpful state by state list.


Further reading:
Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, by Alison Piepmeier (2009) NYU Press.

Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture, by Duncombe, Stephen (1997, 2008) Microcosm Publishing.

"Why the Internet Didn't Kill Zines," by Jenna Wortham, in the New York Times Magazine (2017)

"Your Zine Tool Kit, a DIY Collection," by Jenna Freedman, in Library Journal (2006)

Zines in third space : radical cooperation and borderlands rhetoric by Adela Licona (2012) SUNY Press.

"Zines in the Classroom: Critical Librarianship and Participatory Collections." by Robin Potter and Alycia Sellie, in Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook: Lesson Plans. Ed. Nicole Pagowsky and Kelly McElroy. Vol. 2 (2016) Association of College and Research Libraries.

Read Zines Online:
POC Zine Project on Issuu
Queer Zine Archive Project
Zines on the Internet Archive


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Media Review: Union Time: Fighting for Workers' Rights

Review by Julie Ann Winkelstein, SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor


Union Time: Fighting for Workers' Rights

2016, 86 minutes, produced and directed by Matthew Barr, narrated by Danny Glover

Union Time documents the story of the 16 years it took to unionize the workers at the Smithfield Pork Processing Plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina. This documentary comes from the "Unheard Voices Project: Documentaries That Make A Difference" (

The description on their website offers insight into this narrative. As they say:

"Union Time: Fighting for Workers' Rights follows the story of workers at the Smithfield Pork Processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, who fought for safe, fair working conditions -- and won. It goes beyond hype about unions (from both sides) to show how people standing together can break the cycle of poverty and injustice...

In Union Time, filmmaker Matthew Barr weaves together labor rights and civil rights to show how unions are, despite efforts to dismantle them, a potent force for economic justice. Above all, it celebrates the courage of meatpacking workers who refused to give up through a 16-year-long struggle.'

The power of this documentary is in the day-to-day struggles, the poignant interviews, and the ways in which workers gradually realized the power of working together to greatly improve their working conditions, despite what seemed at times like overwhelming odds.

To me, this story is one we need to hear right now. As a social justice advocate, it's easy to become disheartened by the current political climate. Yet there are reports everywhere about people stepping up to take a stand, speak out, advocate, demonstrate and fight alongside others to make sure all voices are heard and all lives are considered. I found this film inspiring and a much-needed antidote to the daily, sometimes heartbreaking news reports. It would make a great film to show at a library.

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Voices From the Past

Each issue, the SRRT Newsletter will feature relevant article excerpts from past issues, chosen by the Editors. This issue offers the following excerpt from the September 1, 1969 issue of the SRRT Newsletter: Issue #2, Under "Related Groups Activities" (p.7). The full text of Issue #2 is available here:

"The NATIONAL CALL FOR LIBRARY REFORM has addressed a statement, reproduced in part below, to library workers, library school students, and faculty. The statement urges us

To accept our moral responsibility.
To commit ourselves to social and political issues such as war, poverty, and racism.
To commit ourselves to the restructuring of the American Library Association into a democratic and vital organization.
To commit ourselves to reform the structure and content of library education.
To commit ourselves to take action in support of librarians in cases where job security and integrity are threatened.
To commit ourselves to the communities' participation in determining the services which are relevant to it.
To insure that library workers have a voice in decisions that affect them:
To commit ourselves to the formation of a national association of library workers.
Finally to reaffirm our total commitment to library service and to every individuals right to free access to information..."

Past copies of the SRRT newsletter are available at


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Letters to the SRRT Newsletter Editors

The SRRT Newsletter is eager to publish views and opinions of SRRT members in the form of letters to the editors. Feel free to submit such letters. Interested? Here are the guidelines.

Letters to the Editors Guidelines

  • The Newsletter invites readers to submit letters to the editors relating to social responsibilities and libraries. The letters should be respectful and thoughtful, either respond to specific content in the newsletter or include suggestions for topics of interest to SRRT members to be addressed in future issues. We will only publish letters of more than 200 words in exceptional circumstances.
  • Letters may be edited for length, grammar and accuracy. You will be notified if your letter will to be published.
  • Submit your letters to Michael Gorman (member of the Newsletter Editorial Board) at You may submit your letter as an attachment in one of these formats: .doc, docx; or in the body of your email message.
  • Letters must include your full name, address, a telephone number and email address if you have one. This is for us only - we don't share this information.


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Call for Reviews Editor & More Editorial Board Members

Are you looking for a way to be more involved in the Social Responsibilities Round Table? Are you passionate about books, media and their role in social responsibility? Do you have excellent writing and editing skills? Are you good at meeting deadlines and encouraging others to meet them as well? If so, membership to the SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board might be just the volunteer position you're looking for!

We are in need of two members who can serve on the Editorial Board as soon as possible.

Editorial Board memberships positions are determined by the SRRT Action Council.

The SRRT Reviews Editor must be a member of SRRT and will serve as a member of the SRRT Editorial Board. The duties of the SRRT reviews editor are to solicit, receive and edit reviews of materials, which will be submitted for publication on the SRRT Newsletter. Occasionally, the Reviews Editor may need to write reviews as well.

If you are interested in becoming members of the SRRT Editorial Board, please send a copy of your resume/CV, a brief letter of inquiry outlining your qualifications and interest in the position, and a writing sample and/or examples of previous work to Melissa Cardenas-Dow, SRRT editorial board member, at micd.srrt.newsletter [at]


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Call for Submissions

The SRRT Newsletter is always looking for good articles, essays and letters to the editor. The next submission deadline is March 2, 2018.

Submissions to the SRRT Newsletter may be made by any current SRRT Member or SRRT affiliate. Please send your submissions electronically in one of the following formats: MS Word, RTF, PDF, or plain text pasted into the body of an email. Submissions should be 500 to 1,000 words. Graphics are encouraged. If using images that are already on the Internet, the URL of the image and a caption or description may be added to the text of the submission.

Please send original submissions and inquiries to SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor Julie Ann Winkelstein at, indicating "SRRT Newsletter" within the subject line of your email. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner.

Submissions for book or media reviews should be sent to Julie Ann Winkelstein at, indicating "Reviews" in the subject line of your email.

Submissions should be sent electronically in MS-Word format or a Word compatible format. Reviewers should keep their reviews to 300-500 words; any length much shorter or longer should be discussed with the reviews editor prior to submission. Reviewers should avoid conflicts of interest. Full disclosure should be made to the reviews editor when appropriate.


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Publication Information

SRRT Newsletter is published quarterly by the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. ISSN: 0749-1670. Copyright © 2018 by the Social Responsibilities Round Table. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without permission.

Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow, micd.srrt.newsletter [at]
Julie Ann Winkelstein,

Editorial Board Members: Michael Gorman, Laura Koltutsky, and Rebecca Martin.

Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of ALA/SRRT. The editors reserve the right to edit submitted material as necessary or as whimsy strikes.


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