This upcoming Sunday, April 7th, we’re thrilled to be special guests at the Zine Picnic + Swap put on by Zine Fest Houston, a local group devoted to the creation and promotion of “zines, minicomics, and other forms of small press, alternative, underground, and diy media & art.” Basically, we’ll be mingling with lots of creative people and their very unique creations from 1-5pm at Mandell Park.
In addition to offering some of our regular collection, this event presents a very special opportunity for the BPTL. We’ll be taking zine donations and creating a zine collection for our bookmobile! If you’re a zine creator or just a zine fiend, we welcome any donated materials you would like to share via our community library.
If you’re NOT a zine person, you might be a little confused, so here’s a little zine background and history for you. The zine (the word itself probably abbreviated from “magazine” or “fanzine”) has been an avenue of alternative, countercultural, and just plain unique expression for punk rockers, science fiction writers, riot grrrls, and many other creative folks as early as the 1930s. A nebulous format, zines are free from any imposed standards of formatting, content, or production, other than having a booklet-like format, a small distribution (though that is even ambiguous with online zines), and being independently- or self-produced.
Recently, zines have found welcome homes in many libraries (including the New York Public Library and Barnard College), and there are even zine librarians (zinebrarians?) and libraries devoted entirely to zines (Sherwood Forest Zine Library in Austin and the Denver Zine Library). The BPTL is thrilled to join the zine ranks and hopes ya’ll can help build its zine foundation.
(Disclaimer: We are not ziners. We don’t know the lingo (evidenced by the use of the word ziners.), we don’t know the trends, and we don’t entirely know what we’re getting into, but isn’t plunging into unknown territory fueled by curiosity and creativity at the heart of the zine? That said, please offer corrections/addenda/additional resources in the comments if you’re in the know and help us out!)