Oregon City library plans Zine Fest, first curated collection
What do you call something that is smaller than a book, not quite a magazine, but has more to offer than a pamphlet?
Emilly Prado calls it a zine, which she describes as "a self-made publication; a way for people to create a voice for themselves [to present] their own ideas and valuable stories."
Prado, a library assistant at Oregon City Public Library, has put together the library's first Zine Fest from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 29.
On that day, 20 zinesters will come to the library to showcase and sell their work. Some will read from their zines, and all will be available to answer questions afterward.
"We'll have a wide range of zinesters. The beauty of zines is that people from all walks of life share their stories," Prado said.
The OC library is the first one in the county to acquire a collection of zines, and anyone with a Clackamas County library card will be able to check out the publications.
"We have a collection of 100 to 200 zines to start with, and I'm excited to see [it] grow," Prado said, adding that she and adult services librarian Gina Bacon curated the collection.
An avid zinester, Prado received a scholarship from the American Library Association, a program designed to "increase the percentage of librarians of color," she said. She earned an undergraduate degree in 2012 and is working on her master's degree in library and information science through an online program at San Jose State University.
A Chicana native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has written for a number of local publications and has produced a three-part zine in English and Spanish that details her own family's heritage.
"I love that zines amplify the voices of people who may not have had another way to tell their stories," she said.
"When you are holding a zine, you realize a lot of labor went into it. It is captivating; everyone's story is valuable," Prado added.
The authors who will attend Zine Fest come from all over the metro area; some will be people of color and others will represent marginalized communities, she said.
All will be relating stories that people in Oregon City may not have heard before, and this will be a way for the audience to connect with the zinesters.
Panel discussion, workshops
Zine Fest is the first of four upcoming events organized by Prado and Bacon.
Prado will lead a teen zine workshop at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, at the library.
Participants should "come with an idea of what they want to make, and by the end of the workshop they will know how to make their own zines," she said.
That same day, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Prado will moderate a panel on zines; speakers will discuss the "importance of zines, what their origins are and why they are still relevant today," she said.
Featured panelists include Cameron Whitten, a longtime activist and executive director of Know Your City; Sarah Mirk, former online editor of Bitch Media and host of the podcast, "Popaganda"; and A'misa Chiu, a librarian, activist and organizer of the Portland Zine Symposium.
The hourlong panel presentation will conclude with a 30-minute open Q&A session.
The final event of the series will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with a make-your-own zine workshop for adults.
Zines may be a new concept to some people, but the publications have been around since the 1930s, Prado said.
At that time, zines had a science fiction slant, she noted, but in the 1970s there was a resurgence of interest in zines that focused on "a punk rock aesthetic."
Now, zines honor and expand the reach of marginalized and unpublished voices, Prado said.
Something for everybody will be on tap at the library's upcoming Zine Fest, she said, adding, "Even if they are not super aware of the subculture, there will be such a diverse range of stories; the readings will be very special."
What: The Oregon City Public Library presents Zine Fest
When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 29
Where: The library is located at 606 John Adams St., Oregon City
Details: Twenty zinesters will showcase their work and answer questions
More: A panel discussion about the relevance of zines will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, at the library. A teen zine workshop is set for 3 p.m. Aug. 11, and an adult workshop is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.