A while ago Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz of the Cleveland Public Library wrote on the Zine Librarians Yahoo Group, "Blogs are immediate, zines are deliberate." And here I am blogging an event that happened three weeks ago now. I think I'm missing the point! Therefore, I'm going to wrap up my GLBT ALMS recap now or never! (And theoretically my next zine will be deliberate, rather than hastily thrown together, poorly proofread, and with weak, nonsensical graphics.)
Our (un)intentional communities zines panel was well attended.
- Unfortunately I didn't note which QZAP person said what, so the first few points could have been from Chris Wilde or Laura Wynholds. Sorry about that, you two!
- the idea of zines as a community archive
- apt quotations from Maya Schenwar He's A lady : Zines Explore Transgender Culture Beyond Stereotypes article in Punk Planet
- founders met (or is this when they hatched the idea?) at Queeruption
- they use the Google Transations to translate content on their site (text from site pages, not the zines themselves, which are attached pdfs) into nine languages
- I wonder if I could/should start linking to QZAP pdfs when cataloging zines at Barnard?
- Barnard College Library Zine Collection
- Denver Zine Library, Kelly Shortandqueer
- zine libraries solicit underrepresented works
- will soon have their catalog on LibraryThing
- Their in my opinion genius membership/lending policy is that you get to start borrowing zines after three visits to the library. This ensures a certain level of commitment, at least in the beginning, and also facilitates the volunteers getting to know the borrowers, which in turn facilitates volunteers' ability to recognize borrowers at punk shows and food coops, where they can say, "Hey, don't you have an overdue zine?" to the delinquent user, if necessary.
- They have nonprofit status. Big pain to get.
- As a trans guy, Kelly feels a responsibility to his community to document his life.
- Zines undermine capitalism by removing the questions of wide appeal and salability and by engaging directly with readers
- Zines/zine libraries provide access to different communities. E.g. Trans zines inform non trans people about transgender issues and experiences
Queer Archiving from the Ground Up, which was my favorite program of the conference, and not only because it was the only one without an audience member attempting to hijack the discussion
- Alana Kumbier spoke about her experience and lessons learned from the New Orleans Drag King Collection, which she built with Cristina Hernandez
- Working as a "participant/archivist"
- Responding to resistance from participants/donors, caused her to consider top down vs. ground up archival project design
- One point of resistance was where the collection was held; Tulane University is not part of the Drag King scene physically or in spirit. It is not easily accessible to those expected to contribute to or use the materials.
- Alana and Cristina learned to teach "documentation advocacy," rather than promoting the collection or even the documented groups themselves. By educating people about what archives do, we are better able to achieve meaningful participation/collaboration from the subjects
- They attempted to work with, rather than for the community and to ask, rather than assume.
- Participants engaged in self-documentation, creating a zine and interviewing one another
- Christa Orth, Gay & Lesbian Archives of Pacific Northwest
- Christa teaches at Portland State University, which requires a service project of its students before they graduate. She facilitates work with the archives (which are housed at the Oregon Historical Society), about 10-15 volunteers per quarter
- Oral histories of queer elders are available from KBOO (but I couldn't find them)
- Lets students determine their own subjects, rather than having to choose something from a list. That goes for oral history subjects, e.g. when there were no Latinas among the queer elders identified for the project, Christa helped the student find a willing participant. (I think it was Latina, though it may have been some other group. Bad notes! Too long between conference and report back!)
- Projects other than oral histories, fyi. Also working with physical collections, and I don't know what all else.
- Students create a "love letter" to the next volunteers near the end of their time on the project, in order to ensure continuity.
All in all, I have to say that this was one of my favorite conferences of all time. The conversations in and out of the event itself were really excellent. It was also wonderful to see the QZAPpers (Chris, Laura, and Milo) and Kelly Shortandqueer and also to connect with librarians I'm friendly with but don't interact with all that much (like Emily Drabinski!).
I appreciated learning more, formally and informally, about queer issues and having to examine my own biases and expectations. So I say thanks again to QZAP for organizing our panel! I never would have attended the conference if I weren't participating.