Barefoot in Iowa


Photo by Marya Errin Jones

In July we attended the Zine Librarian’s (un) Conference in Iowa City, IA! It was our first gathering with other zine librarians and truly, the conference was an eye-opening experience. For two days we participated in break-out sessions, explored vintage print techiques, took a tour of the secret passages and back stacks of the University of Iowa Main Library, lots of informal gatherings that sparked conversations about why we’re all doing this in the first place. Many discoveries in a compressed amount of time.

Who knew that librarians with independent collections (i.e. volunteer-run) are called . . . BAREFOOT LIBRARIANS. Interesting! It didn’t seem to matter if we maintained scrappy libraries in basements, and garages, or well-dressed archives at Ivy League institutions. The joys, concerns, and frustrations of maintaining a zine library seemed pretty universal.

It was great to be reminded that, although the Albuquerque Zine Library is a burgeoning archive, as wee as they come, in the middle of the desert– an outpost– we’re part of a network of archivists all thriving to build zine libraries that inspire and activate our communities.