Collection Development Policy
Access is at the core of our mission and guides our approach to developing the Zine Library collection. Creating access to works by authors from populations and communities frequently underrepresented in academic library collections is central to our process of selecting zines.
We use our collection development funds to purchase zines that address intersections of gender, sexuality, race, ability, and identity, particularly in a larger political, social or economic context. Other areas of emphasis include how-to zines, and zines that express strong visual or fine arts elements. We tend to select current zines (produced within the last ten years) although we have some classic zines and anthologies that are older.
The New Paltz Zine Library intends to reflect the creative and scholarly output of our campus community and the Hudson Valley region at large. As such, we make special effort to solicit and incorporate locally produced zines into the library. Because we are not a preservation-centered collection or archive, our goal in collecting local zines from campus and beyond is not to build a historical record of zine-making in the area, but to serve all readers in the region as constituent users of the collection.
Ok, But How Do you Actually Select Zines?
Zines are purchased from several independent zine distributors (distros) in the US, including Doris Press Distro, Brown Recluse Distro, and Pioneers Press. We have also purchased zines from individual authors through their Etsy shops and in person at zine fests and other events. Around 10% of the collection are locally produced zines, many of which have been donated by the authors.
Zines are selected by the Zine Librarians, Zine Library Interns, and other New Paltz students who make or read zines. Maybe you will help us choose zines! If you’d like to recommend a zine for purchase, please fill out this short form.
Donating Your Zine
Have you made a zine you’d like to donate to the collection? We’d love to have it! You can submit your zine by completing this form on our website, and either emailing us a printable PDF of your zine, or dropping off a print copy. The form is essential as it not only provides us with information about your zine, but also signifies your consent for us to include the zines in our collection. Please also review our guidelines below (“What kinds of zines don’t you collect?) to ensure that your zine is a good fit for our collection.
All donated zines are cataloged so other library users can find them using the STL catalog or Discovery tools – when library users search for your name (or nom de plume) in our catalog, they’ll find your zine!
What Kinds of Zines Don’t You Collect?
We don’t purchase zines that fall under the following categories:
- Zines that don’t address any of our areas of topical emphasis (see above)
- Zines that use hate speech (we DO buy zines that analyze hate speech, as well as zines that present controversial positions)
- Zines that are exclusively about music or music scenes
- Zines that cost more than $15 (we will pay more for anthologies and artists’ books)
Our criteria for accepting donated zines by local authors are largely the same with the exception that we will consider including zines outside of our areas of topical emphasis (including music zines) as they reflect our mission to create access to regionally produced zines.
There are a few unique concerns that arise when collecting zines produced for academic purposes (e.g. for credit in a class at New Paltz or elsewhere):
- A major part of a zine’s life is its distribution, therefore we don’t collect zines that have not been copied and shared (for example, you made a copy for every member of your class, gave them to your friends, left a stack in a coffee shop)
- Not everything we turn in for credit sets our heart on fire. We prefer to collect zines that had this effect on their author(s)! Ideally, your zine should be as much a labor of love as it was an assignment you were being graded on.
We’re grateful to many zinesters in the Hudson Valley for sharing their zine collections with us. If you’re interested in donating a bunch of zines that you have collected, we encourage you to be in touch with us to set up an appointment so that we could look over the zines together, or if you’re further afield, to email us a bit about your collection and the specific titles therein.
There may be zines in your collection that aren’t right for ours. If we meet in person, it’s easy for us to sort these out so you can find another home for them. If you’d rather drop zines off or mail them to us, know that we reserve the right to give away any zines that we choose not to add to the collection (we try not to recycle zines unless they include hate speech or have food stains on them).
We reserve the right to recycle zines that are damaged to a degree that they cannot be easily used. Should space constraints become a concern, we may deaccession duplicate copies, or zines with little record of use. In these cases, or the worst case scenario that the collection lost its home at SUNY New Paltz (highly unlikely) we would first seek new homes for the zines in question at other zine libraries. Only if we could not find a new home for deaccessioned zines would we consider recycling them.