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Zines continue to benefit from a resurgent interest from their 1990s heyday, including in libraries. A zine can serve as a pedagogical tool and are a low-cost addition to collections and programming in libraries. Over the course of the last three semesters, UNO librarians have collaborated with faculty on zine creation as a creative alternative to a typical research paper project for a course. Creating zines as assignments presents students with the opportunity to demonstrate research skills, exercise creativity, express compassion and empathy, and other outcomes. These outcomes have been illustrated by the classes that have created zines and presented their research on topics such as the environment, self-care, and social justice from the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and others. The zine projects have also provided opportunities to establish and strengthen relationships with undergraduate students and faculty to discuss research topics relating to other classes. Librarians created new collaborations with faculty who had previously not used library instruction in their courses, allowing students to gain familiarity with databases and secondary source research. Outside of the classroom, practicum students, interns, and fellows in UNO Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections department have participated in experiential learning projects that used zines to promote library collections and services. The UNO Libraries also collects and supports the creation of zines, as part of our efforts to democratize the archives as well as support local makers and artists from the community. This presentation will introduce an overview of zines, the pedagogical uses of students authoring zines, avenues for outreach and advocacy, and outcomes.


This paper was presented at 2020 Brick & Click conference.

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