One of the unique things about zines is the variety of construction techniques used to create them. This can range from simple staples or yellow electrical tape used as binding to hand sewn zines or methods of folding and cutting paper to produce a booklet. This style of booklet can also be opened out into a large flat sheet which can be used to hide additional information inside the zine. Sometimes the paper used to make the zine is symbolic such as the paper from different religious texts that was used to construct the butterfly that accompanies Joy Serwlyo’s Books of the Bible
Apart from the challenge of cataloguing such unusual items there are also the problems of fitting the normal library identifications such as call numbers, stamps and barcodes on small items. Barcodes weren’t designed with butterflies in mind!
One of the delights of cataloguing zines is that you never know what will turn up on your desk. For interesting construction and a catchy title, one of my favourite zines has to be Light zine: dumb clouds and blowy guys which opens up to form a lantern.
The”blowy guys” in the title refers to some guys in the zine blowing clouds but I like to think the zine was made by someone getting over an unreliable guy that was blowing in and out of their life. Or maybe, those blowy guys that hit you like a whirlwind and shake things up are good for chasing the blues “clouds” away? In any case, zines and their unusual construction certainly spice up the life of a cataloguer.