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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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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Baby’s first interview

My interview outfit

Me lookin’ awkward after my interview

Last week, I went on my very first interview for a librarian position! It was very exciting and nerve-wracking, but I made it through alive.

The interview went so well that I was offered the job. I’ll be working on the reference desk for a Federal library and also doing work for their digital branch.

I’m really excited to move to a new job, especially since it’s actually in the library field. I’m nervous about working on a reference desk, but totally excited to explore the digital branch.

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iDiversity and Google Analytics

As you may know, I was elected the webmaster of iDiversity in September. This position is awesome! I’ve redesigned a website and the logo, and I get to learn/practice webmaster skills that I will hopefully get to put into use in a professional position. What more can you ask from a student organization??

One of those skills is learning how to use Google Analytics. For those of you who don’t know what Google Analytics is, it’s a free service from Google that lets you collect data about how people access and use your site. This doesn’t mean that Google gives you personal information or anything invasive–it just allows the person using the service lots of information they can use to make their website better.

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Graphic Design and iDiversity, pt. 2: Social Networking Chicklets

This is a continuation of my post about iDiversity graphics from a week ago. In that post, I talked about creating new logos for iDiversity, a club that gave me the responsibility of webmaster.

As the webmaster, I get to decide the direction and aesthetic of the iDiversity website. I’ve chosen to go in a clean, colorful, and accessible direction, which, in my opinion, matches the mission and vision of the group. As such, I’ve had to reflect this aesthetic throughout the site. This brings me to the next item up for my graphic design discussion:

2. Social Networking Chicklets

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