Zines by Kutztown students will form the beginning of a new Zine Collection at Kutztown University’s Rohrbach Library. Other academic institutions have famous Zine Libraries including Barnard College and Hampshire College. Kutztown is starting small.
A zine, rhymes with seen, is a small book or pamphlet. Merriam Webster defines a zine as “often homemade or online publication usually devoted to specialized and often unconventional subject matter, such as a feminist zine.” The works above by Kate Chambers and Deanna Black offer insights on body image and are great examples.
Jesse Warner, student and co-founder of Brain Bug, proposed the idea to librarian Bruce Jensen. Bruce responded with enthusiasm telling Jesse,” Your idea of a zine library in Rohrbach is brilliant! KU’s a perfect place for one, with so many knowledgeable zine-loving faculty and supertalented zinemakers hereabouts.”
Zines are harder to catalog than the typical book. Some have odd dimensions and many have no pages numbers. The Rohrbach librarians will have there work cut out for them. Hopefully by the fall, KU zinesters will find their work in the library.
If you are a student or faculty and have an idea for a zine, you need not be in a special class. Just do it! The library’s new ‘maker space’, now called STEAMworks has printers and the rare extra-long staplers needed for binding a simple zine. STEAMworks is located in room RL 18. Maybe we can have a zine workshop in the fall.
Zines do not have to be serious. Spoiler Alert: Next image is the final death scene from a very funny zine, SnailMan by Kate Desiderio!
As my zinester son, Daniel McCloskey always says, ” Zines are a great calling card for an artist. Zines have a life of their own.” Very often the original reader will think of a friend who likes a particular sort of story and pass it on. And so on.
At least one former KU student has become something of a zine star. Alisa Harris studied here before transferring to SVA in NYC to major in traditional animation. Her Urban Nomad is a step up from a zine, but we will have issue #1 from 2008 at Rohrbach. It tells of her journey from Pennsylvania to New York. Urban Nomad is a simple autobiographical tale that might inspire other young artists to head to the big city. It is available at select bookstores like Bluestocking in NYC. Alisa’s website has more info about the project.
Are you a Kutztown grad who made a zine? If you would like to donate a copy to be lovingly housed in the new zine library, get in touch with Bruce Jensen at Rohrbach Library.