What is a zine you ask? While the publishing world grew into a hairy beast, catering only to the famous, previously published or uncannily lucky (okay, maybe the talented too), struggling writers needed an outlet to self-express. Before there were self-published kindle editions and e-pub, some authors chose to create zines.
A zine is a self-published, mini-magazine put together by anyone with something to say, a copy machine and a few quarters. Many ziners eschew technology, opting for a pair of scissors, glue stick and a new Sharpie. The freedom that comes with this anti-tech construction allows for amazing and awesome creative expression.
Now you want to read a zine…rrrrright! The University Branch Library has a collection of zines that have been purchased and donated from all over the country. About a quarter of the zines in the collection come from the University District Youth Center (UDYC) Zine Project. The Zine project provides homeless teens with an eight week paid internship, employable skills training and job searching assistance. Teens learn to create their own zine; pouring their life stories, passions and opinions into each mini-mag. The stories are powerful and the teens’ experiences are earth-shattering and inspirational. If you want to read some examples, visit the UDYC zine blog. The blog has weekly posts from zine interns, some writing tips and even local writing events.
Want to see old-school cut and paste action? Come to the University Branch Library to check out the zine collection for yourself. And check out the library’s catalog for assistance and inspiration on how to make your own zine!