Zines, unattended programs, and marketing

Zine Pavilion

The Zine Pavilion at ALA13

After seeing all the interest in zines at ALA, on tumblr, and the Internet in general, I decided it was time to do a zine program. I thought that teens would be interested in the topic; self publishing is hip and cool and a good way to get your work out into the world. I knew that zines existed when I was in high school, so I thought it would be something that some of the teens in my community might be interested in. It didn’t hurt that one of my close friends makes and sells zines and was willing to come in and talk to the attendees about her process and about attending zine festivals as a seller.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anyone to show up. I was hoping that someone would, of course, but by the time the program rolled around I had a feeling that no one would attend. And I was right.

I think I made a couple of mistakes in planning this program. I over estimated the interest in the topic and I didn’t advertise it. I posted a few things on our different social media sites (including tumblr and Facebook), but I’m not sure how many teens in my community pay attention to those. I need to start gathering a core group of kids to advertise to and push my programs harder. I have been sending lists of programs and digital displays to our local school media specialists, but there’s no (easy) way to know if these are actually being used or if they’re attracting kids. But I can’t stop trying and I won’t stop trying.

I think it is time to start talking with other teen programmers in my system to see how they have built their teen audience. I also have other connections scattered across the nation (thank you Internet!) that I should take advantage of. While it’s good to learn from experience, it’s just as good to learn from others’ experiences. And I should learn from them.

Ultimately, I decided to try the program again as a passive program. Since I had a lot of my zine instructions left over, I left them scattered around the area where teens gather. I’ve left them out for a couple weeks now and all but one of the instructions sheets have disappeared. I haven’t seen them in the trash, so hopefully someone’s using them! I even found one folded up so I hope that means someone was trying it out.

So, anyways, let’s move onto sharing resources! The only book in my system about zines is Whatcha Mean What’s a Zine? by Esther Watson, so that’s what I was going to use as an example during the program. For my display, I grabbed a bunch of books about writing, drawing, how to make comics, and anything else that looked like it could remotely relate. Finally, I created a mini zine that was actually a set of instructions on how to make a mini zine! I am attaching the PDF and I would love to see you use it in your library. I only ask that you share pictures 🙂

Mini Zine instructions


“Why are YOU in charge?”

(posted originally on Tumblr)

The way things work at my library is that there are a couple of library associates. Some of them are a little newer, some of them have been here for years and years. You just need a bachelor’s to do that. Then there’s the Librarian and the main difference is that they have an MLS and supervisory roles. Then there’s the Area Librarians who are basically Librarian+s, and then there are some higher level Librarians (who work either at Headquarters or are Branch Managers).

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A list to aviod waiting in vain; or, job hunt woes

My contract ends next week, which means I am back to the job hunt! And by “back to” I mean my job hunt never stopped.

It’s been rough. You put out an ungodly amount of applications and hope for the best. Then you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Some you know you’ll hear back about quickly, some you know it’s a toss up and cross your fingers that you’ll hear something, and some you know you’ll never hear back from at all. It’s frustrating, time consuming, and mind absorbing. You wake up thinking about how you could have made that cover letter better and go to bed mapping out what sites to check in the morning and thinking about which would have the best chances for a new listing.

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ePortfolio Update: Boy was I wrong about mobile design

responsivedesignA few months ago, I did a short series about creating an ePortfolio. I’d like to think I got a majority of my advice correct, but boy was I off about how to design for mobile. So, I’d like to take some time to give you an update on my ePortfolio and then talk about responsive web design.

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iDiversity and Livestreaming

In my last post, I talked about how iDiversity uses YouTube to provide a public archive of our events. In this post, I’ll talk about how we utilize Google Hangouts On Air to broadcast our events so everyone can watch in!

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iDiversity and the Video Archive

So, iDiversity is all about learning about diversity in the LIS professional. We’re also all about creating a space for discussion about diversity issues. It’s pretty great! Except when iDiversity members and everyone else who is interested isn’t able to attend our events. You might not have checked out our calendar of events, but it is chock full of great programming from great presenters, speakers, and panelists.  Unfortunately, many of our events take place around 4:30, between afternoon and night classes.

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The value of a good shush?

This post is a little late to the game–but that’s okay! I already made some noise on the topic on Twitter when it was actually relevant.

As some of you may know, there was a little bit of drama about whether or not libraries should be quiet a few weeks ago. Sparked by the Pew Research Center’s report on “Libraries in the Digital Age,” Salon writer Laura Miller spoke out against the emerging library atmosphere that is “lively as a cafe, street corner, park bench or the Apple Store” in her article “Bring back shushing librarians“. While Miller makes some great points (especially about the value of a quiet space for those of us who can’t afford the luxury at home or work), she misses some of the most critical arguments for loud spaces.

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5 tips for short-term employment

Here I go again, making excuses for not writing! Lately I’ve been settling into a new job–by which I mean falling asleep on the couch after eating dinner. In case you were wondering, I’m working as a contract librarian at a Federal library–but my contract is only for two months and currently it’s looking like my contract will not be renewed.

As my body settles into the new routine, I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned about working in a new place, especially when it’s under a time limit. For anyone in library school, this advice would probably be useful for internships, too!

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