Arts & Culture / Mosaic / April 24, 2008

Building a zine library

Soon it will be possible to reference zines in Seymour Library, thanks to the ZineClub!. The group formed last term with the goal of cataloguing and making zines available to Knox students and the Galesburg community.

“We decided to form a club to help us catalogue and maintain the zines,” said junior Klayr Valentine-Fossum, a co-president of ZineClub!. “It’s a resource for self-publication.”

The club exists in order to support groups and individuals on campus who want to self-publish. On Saturday, April 19, the ZineClub! held an opening and sponsored the Cowboy Killers press publication. The club also plans on holding zine workshops to teach people about them and support them through the publication process.

“If you’re working on a zine and need help you can ask us,” said Valentine-Fossum. “We are a resource, not a publication.”

The zine library was started a few years ago and was housed in the Eco House and Human Rights Center basement. The zines were gathered from Knox students as well as people from all over the country.

“The library has lots of zines,” said Valentine-Fossum. “There’s a lot of political zines, personal zines, and Knox zines.”

The zines from Knox include publications from Students Against Sexism in Society and the Pocket Thesaurus. Other zines tackle prison studies, food issues and anarchism. There are also personal zines with creative work and several political zines.

“It’s another medium people can look at when they are writing papers,” said Valentine-Fossum. “I wish it had been available before I had done some of my political science papers.”

Valentine-Fossum said zines historically started with fan zines, which were created along with punk rock music as a way to mass produce a publication and distribute it. They are usually handmade and photocopied, but there is not many strict rules in creating them.

“Generally it is a self-publication that’s very direct in how it’s treated,” said Valentine-Fossum. “They don’t have the problem of censorship. It’s not a mainstream thing.”

The zines are officially called the Galesburg Zine Library, though they are located in Seymour Library near the back issues of Catch. It is on a national list of zine libraries.

“This way it’s available for the whole Galesburg community,” said Valentine-Fossum. “The library staff has been really awesome in creating resources for us. It’s only going to enhance the library.”

The zines cannot be checked out. They must stay in the library like periodicals. They do not show up on the computer search, but they do have a color-coded catalogue.

“We encourage people to submit zines they made or have,” said Valentine-Fossum. “It can be a part of Knox’s history.”

Zines can be submitted to Valentine-Fossum’s K-Box 1511 or emailed to The club meets every Thursday in Old Main room 211 from 6 to 7 p.m. The ZineClub! is currently working on producing a Knox zine that was created at the last Artsplosion event and it will be in color.

“Our next project is to get that zine out before the end of the term,” said Valentine-Fossum. “It’s really beautiful.”

Along with Valentine-Fossum, junior Kaley Morlock is also a president and freshman Annie Zak is the vice president. They are always looking for zine submissions and art supply donations.

“I really want to make sure the zine club keeps going,” said Valentine-Fossum. “I hope more people become interested in zines.”

Laura Miller

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