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Two weeks ago I posted about how I was sick of all my zines being in a cardboard box and had started building a system of shelves to house them in the most creative way ever. Well, I got caught up getting my own zine finished and have finally returned to that pile of zines in my card board box.

With the clarity of 2 weeks, I wonder if my “most creative way ever” was really the best way for me to go about building my zine library. I want it to be mobile and functional and organized so I can find what I need. I decided to do what I really do best: research! After all I totally need to use those art history minor skills somehow. I started digging around in zine library websites, googling them, looking for reviews, and in general poking around on flickr for what worked best for what kind of zines. I’m not convinced that my library would best be done with a series of woodworking and cardboard cutting vs. just woodworking.

Zine Libraries I found

“SHOP Vintage Lounge and Arts Venue in Bristol houses its very own Zine Library. We want to create a central reference resource to help preserve and promote the diverse work of the small press world. The library operates by donations from zine makers and collectors, and we are always looking for more contributions.”

I love the reading nook style of this zine library–the big stuffed chairs and cute little table. If I could have shelves like that for all my zines I totally would. But, they don’t quite fit all the littlest of zines I have.

Over on Boing Boing, this sweet zine library, PaperCut Zine Library, was featured. While I totally love the stuff hanging there and really enjoy the visual eye candy, it’s not quite the solution for me because I want to continue to flip through them and see their covers. But wow is that fun. What a great job that would be to have!

The Toronto Zine Library takes the comic book shop style approach with zines in box sort of compartments, almost like a record store would arrange them. I like this idea a whole lot, but the question becomes, how to make it work in a shelf sort of setting? I think I’m starting to puzzle this idea out completely.


The Regional Assembly of Text has that beautiful look of clean, yet vintage, yet slightly cozy and welcoming. Maybe it’s just all the zines. Any place that has that any zines in such a pretty presentation must be a welcoming-my-kind-of-place. They also have a nice stock of little mini zines on the top shelf. They are hard to see, but they are in little boxes. Hmmm, I like this.

I love this, because it makes me think we could eventually have something like this right in our own home town library. If you are able to, encourage your local library to start carrying zines. It’s a great place to start a local zine collection, in a place where people are already coming to read and look and enjoy things in print.

Oh I do love the Roberts Street Library. Someday I’m going to have my office be floor to ceiling shelves of printed deliciousness.

The Little Berlin zine library has a nice little shelf set up to hold their zines. If I had my own shop, I think this is how I would house them.

And this is a really cool looking library at Niagara College, but the image was fully copyright protected, so go look at the neatness by clicking here.

Zine libraries are on the rise around the United States so I was able to get a nice broad perspective on housing and organizing zines. One thing I’ve decided is to start keeping a running catalog of all my zines. I now realize a few are missing and I have no idea who I loaned them out to.

After looking at all these great zine libraries, I’m finally ready to build my own. I’ll be back on Friday (for reals this time) to show you how. Wednesday I’m posting about some of the fun projects I have going on around the house like brewing my own hard apple cider and growing produce in the basement in the middle of winter.

Happy crafting!
Kristin