I am in Poitiers, France for an International Zine Libraries conference. That's Poitiers, not Paris. There are other cities in France, you know! As the founder of the Fanzinothèque here said in our meeting yesterday, the Fanzinothèque perhaps survived because it is here, not Paris, "Fuck Paris."
So far the roster of participants include
- Didier Bourgoin, who founded the Fanzinothèque in 1989 and is moderating the public discussion
- Cécile Guillemet, the current director of Fanzinothèque in Poitiers
The library, which has five paid staff members, is supported by the city, more or less without strings (as long as they keep things legal). They have 50,000 titles, have had a silkscreen shop since 1994 (and a paid staffer to run it—aren't you jealous?), and host exhibits and events. Their next project is to work on digitizing zines and making them publicly accessible.
- Andrew from the Papercut Zine Library in Boston.
Papercut was formed by the three founders' personal collections. It is collectively run, without hierarchy. They have 12,000 zines of all types; they have no collection development policy or focus, other than about 50 zines created by its staff. The library was originally zine culture driven but is now quite influenced by library school student and librarian participation.
- Gianluca from an Italian zine library, Bastian Contrario, that operates out of a private house.
The volunteer run association is four years old and operates without financial support. They have about 4,000 zines and try to collaborate with libraries when possible (for exhibits, I think)
- Alex Wrekk, who volunteers at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, Oregon.
The IPRC, which was founded in 1998, has in addition to a zine library, zine making supplies including a letterpress. They have over 6,000 circulating titles (and thousands more awaiting cataloging) and focus a lot of their (grant funded) energy on outreach, particularly to youth. They have two paid staff members.
- David from Les Musicophages in Toulouse, France.
Right now the media library, founded in 1993 in a small town outside Toulouse, is volunteer run, but they had paid staffers in the past. They moved to Toulouse in 1996. It's a music oriented operation with a corner devoted to zines. They have about 5,000 items; I'm not sure if that is just zines or all materials.
- Isy from the Cowley Club in Brighton, England.
This is a cooperative social center that the group bought seven years ago. They have a vegan café, a bookshop with zines, a bar, shows, and meeting spaces. Schnews is published out of there, as well. Their anarchist library is for lending and reference, but the zines are reference only. Their focus is political zines, though they include personal and music zines with a political bent. The space is volunteer run and based on membership (the latter for bureaucratic reasons).
- Edd, who organizes the London Zine Symposium in England.
This event, mostly organized by Edd and his partner, was inspired by the Portland Zine Symposium and is five years old. The mission is to connect small press publications to the anarchist community. It was originally held in squats and alternative social centers. This year it was at the Rag Factory, which it has already outgrown.
- Robb Roemerhauser from the Aboveground Zine Library in New Orleans.
Robb founded the library seven years ago and named it with the idea of the above ground burials in NOLA cemeteries and also the idea that zines although underground, should see the light of day. The zine library is located in the Iron Rail Infoshop. The zines are categorized, labeled, sleeved, backed with stiffeners when necessary, and they survived Hurricane Katrina.
- Marcus from La Bedeteca in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Bedeteca is a comics library, part of the city library system, founded in 1996 and wholly in possession of their building for the last three years. They select zines, comics, and micro press publications. Because they are a public library, they are very vulnerable to changes in government. Right now the mayor isn't so friendly, but the library was actually founded by a previous mayor. They lend books, but not zines and magazines, with some exceptions ("American trash like Disney and Marvel"). They host festivals, exhibits, and book making workshops.
- Ivan from La Fanzinacoteka M.I.A.O.
Their focus is on cut and paste (not computer mediated) zines, especially those collectively published. The library is volunteer run and funded by participant donation.
- and, of course, moi, from Barnard. The collection started more or less in 2004. We have both archival and circulating zines, maybe 2,000 unique issues. The zines are included in the Columbia Libraries catalog like any other item held at Barnard. We also have events and host researchers.
Tomorrow we have the public discussion.