Had a fun experience last Tuesday afternoon - I met a grad of my program over the weekend at dinner at another friend's apartment, and she invited me to visit a zine library housed at a social center in the city. They have lots of zines (what's a 'zine'? you might ask) and they have set up a cataloguing system, and they need a bit of help finishing up taking stock of the collection.

It was fun to learn about the system that has evolved under the oversight of two recent grads of my library program, and to get started helping out with describing and entering zine details into their database. I was also kind of excited to pull out the DIY box and discover a couple of issues of Knitcircus within; I've had the blog in my RSS reader for a year or two but never encountered a physical issue. And now I see on the website that starting in 2010 they'll go totally digital.

That's one of the really interesting things about zines. They're so ephemeral, they can be made of just a few pages, and there might only be a few copies. Then after you discover one that you like, you might find that the artist or producer has moved online. But one of the coolest things about zines is the tactile nature of them, I think, because they can be composed of moving parts, or layered materials that don't really translate to digital formats.

I kind of can't wait to go back and look at more zines.


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