Get Creative Through the DIY Method of Zine Making!

By Michelle Z. RSS Mon, May 20, 2019

A zine (pronounced zeen) is a small-circulation, self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images. Usually hand-made using found materials and simple supplies, zines can be about any topic and take various shapes and sizes. They can include comics, visual art, poetry, short stories, memoirs, fandoms, and nonfiction guides. This open-endedness can make them hard to describe, but allows for endless possibilities in the true spirit of DIY ("Do It Yourself"). Your zine can be whatever you want it to be!

Because zine making empowers the creator, they are an accessible and powerful means of distributing experiences, ideas, and identities that are a gap in mainstream publishing, especially those of marginalized communities. They share narratives that may be more difficult to find on your neighborhood library shelves and build communities out of makers and appreciators who swap and distribute their creations. If you’re curious to see what resources related to Zines and Zine Culture we have here at the Free Library, check out some of the materials we have available in our online catalog.

On the last Thursday of every month, the South Philadelphia Library and Whitman Library will alternate in hosting a DIY Zine Workshop where patrons can explore zines and have the space and materials to create their own. The libraries have been working with Philly Typewriter’s Public Program and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Library, who have both provided inspiring and unique collaging materials and tools. Our continuing intention is to create a community space where teens and adults will feel inspired by the works of others and are encouraged to create zines of their own.

The first workshop began with quick introductions and a brief overview on some basic folding techniques. From there, we were grateful that two participants offered their finished works to be made available in our digital library. We we look forward to watching this collection grow as the workshop continues.

Be sure to check out upcoming Zine programming going on throughout the Free Library system:

May 30 | DIY Zine Workshop at Whitman Library | 4:00 p.m.

June 1 | Playable Zines: Workshop & Game Jam at Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library | 1:00 p.m.

June 3 | Teen Summer Reading Kick-Off: Mini-Zines at Kingsessing Library | 4:00 p.m.

June 8 | Zines for Teens in our new Teen Center at Parkway Central Library | 1:00 p.m.

June 27 | DIY Zine Workshop at South Philadelphia Library | 4:00 p.m.

Teen Tuesdays beginning June 4 at the Fumo Family Library | 2:00 p.m.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Do you need to be a writer yourself in order to have your own zine? Can I just be a publisher of a zeen?
Friday, May 24, 2019

Hi Viola, you don't have to be a writer to create your own zine! Personally, I am not a writer, nor were a few of the people in our first Zine workshop, but we still created our own zines that did not focus on the writing but more-so on visuals. For my next zine, I just intend on incorporating quotes from other sources over collages I've created. You can also essentially be an editor in which content you'd curate from other writers (with their permission) and publish it as a single zine (example here:
Michelle Z - Philadelphia
Saturday, May 25, 2019