Saturday, 6 July 2019

Queer Zine Library

When I came back from my zine residency with Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, my heart was full to bursting and I was inspired about zines and activism and diy zine spaces. I work with zines as part of my day job - in fact I'm just getting ready to launch the official zine collection at Tate library and you should come! - but I also want a connection to something that is truly diy in a way that institutional libraries can never be.

Meeting with Beatrix from Small Tune Press and Zine Coop, and visiting the current home of Queer Reads Library

While in Hong Kong I had the privilege to engage with Queer Reads Library, a mobile queer library taking up space in museums, studios, book fairs, and other public spaces, to share queer publications. The collection and it's founders transport the roving queer library across locations to promote queer publishing and zines and organise workshops to encourage people to publish their own works and think about the importance of queer publishing.

I am a million percent inspired by the work of Queer Reads Library and made a pact to start something similar when I got back. The way the library moves and travels and takes on new identities is something I was really excited by. I'm lsoa massively inspired by all the incredible zine librarians I am fortunate to know as part of the UK and Ireland Zine Librarians group. I've learned so much about diy zine librarianship from the UIZL network and it can be frustrating at times knowing that some of this librarianship just can't be implemented at the institutional library where I work.

And so I'm taking all this energy and inspiration and beginning the Queer Zine Library project. At the moment this is a small collection of 250+ queer zines operating as a roaming library at pop-up events, exhibitions, and workshops. I'd like to connect with other queer zine librarians to enable to the collection to travel and tour, and I'd like to work collectively with others to build and catalogue the collection.

The Queer Zine Library had it's first outing yesterday to kick off Pride weekend at Gunnersbury pride event, and we have some more pop-up events and workshops coming this Summer. There will be more news to come, lots of ways to get involved, and so much cataloguing to do!

Find out more here: