In the midst of finals and with school coming to an end, USF’s Gleeson Library hosted a workshop to dive into the world of zines and give students an opportunity to express themselves through the little books of creativity.
Most people seem to be well aware of what a magazine is, but not many know about their self-publishing, small-circulation relative: zines. A zine is a DIY-oriented version of a magazine that is made by a person or group of people and is not always published in bulk, if published at all. It is a business to some and a hobby to others, but either way, zines serve as an outlet for self-expression.
People also might not know that the Gleeson Library is host to an entire selection of zines in the south wing of the second floor. In order to give students the chance to learn about this craft, this wing hosted a Zine and Simple Binding Workshop on April 26. In this workshop, both faculty and students worked together in groups where they put together their own zines in three hours.
Zines can be made in many different ways, and the workshop showcased a few different methods using resources they provided, like old magazines, paper and scissors.The zine workshop was hosted by Matthew Collins, a Reference and Instruction Librarian and co-founder of the Gleeso Zine Library. “We had a lot of fun at this semester’s Zine Making and Simple Binding workshop,” Collins said. “We made zines by writing, drawing, collaging and using rubber stamps. We also showed folks how to do two different types of binding: pamphlet binding and Japanese stab binding.” Throughout the workshop, attendees not only gained the knowledge on how to make a zine, but also physically made their own.
Junior environmental studies major Abbey Diggs attended the workshop. “The zine workshop taught me that it can truly be whatever you want it to be, as long as the content you’re creating is organic,” she said. “I created a complete 10-page collage zine in the hour that I was present, with ripped passages and photos from a 1976 National Geographic magazine.”
Diggs had heard of zines prior to this event, but was never formally introduced to the technical skills that go into making one. Interested in this event, Diggs went thinking she would just take away a few skills in putting work together and ended up walking away with a whole zine to use as a coffee table decoration. “They give you a communal platform to dive into the childlike and artistic process of collaging, with all of the material and stitching guides needed to do so,” she said.
Zines have been around since the 1930s and are an artform that, although often overlooked, can be done by any individual. The Gleeson Zine Library hosts a workshop on zine-making once a semester, but is open to the public throughout the year. On their subsection of the library’s website, they have information listed about their section of the library, online zine collections and upcoming events.
Featured Photo: Junior Abbey Diggs attended the workshop in Gleeson Library, where Matthew Collins, head of Gleeson’s zine collections, demonstrated how to bind. HURSH KARKHANIS/FOGHORN