OPL Zine Collection Q&A

Zine Q&A with OPL Readers & Writers Librarian Erin Duerr

Q: What are zines?

A: Zines are niche, handmade, hyper-local booklets created by community members for community members. Anyone with access to a copy machine or printer can create a zine, making this format more accessible than traditional publishing channels for quickly spreading ideas.

Q: Who are zines for?

A: Zines are for everyone. If there's a topic you want to read about, it's likely that someone has made a zine about it. Zines may be highly informative, filled with writing or art, or written in a comic format. Zines often represent marginalized and alternative viewpoints not found in mainstream publishing, so they may appeal to those interested in new and different ideas. Because of their handmade construction, they often crossover into works of art. 

Q: Why did OPL decide to launch a zine collection?

A: Zines provide a way for anyone to express themselves and to share ideas. They demonstrate self-publishing at the most accessible level, introducing voices that may not have access to traditional publishing channels. OPL’s zine collection connects its community with more materials written by, about and for them. The Omaha zine community has grown exponentially in the last few years with the launch of Omaha Zine Fest. A zine collection is a great way to support local zine makers and to introduce new users to everything that zines have to offer. 

Q: What is different about the collection?

A: This collection will be hyper-local and contain materials created and donated by community members. It looks and functions differently than other library materials. Zines are available at Benson Branch. Patrons are encouraged to read zines at the library, take them home to enjoy, share with others, and return them to the library, though they do not check out like typical library items. Zines will not appear on a patron's library account or acquire fines. 

Q: Where does OPL get its zines?

A: OPL's zine collection is comprised of donated and purchased zines. The bulk of the original collection was donated to OPL by the Zine Pavilion at the 2017 American Libraries Conference. OPL has also received donated zines from local and visiting zine creators at Omaha Zine Fest. The collection will be sustained by a combination of donated and purchased zines. 

Q: How can people learn more about how to make zines?

A: There are many basic zine tutorials online. OPL also carries several books about zines that cover the history of zines and how to make them. During the OPL Zine Library Launch Party, attendees can make their own zines with help from the local zine makers and community organizers, Rowdy Boys Collective

Q: I'm a zine maker, can my zine be in the OPL collection?

A: Zine donations may be dropped off at any OPL location and will be considered for inclusion into the OPL collection. If you have a zine you’d like the library to consider purchasing, please fill out this form.

For more information, contact OPL's Readers & Writers Librarian Erin Duerr at 402-444-4846 or eduerr@omahalibrary.org