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Zines at SCU Library

A guide for students and faculty wanting to make zines at SCU

Zine Workshops

In academic year 2022-2023, library staff at SCU started experimenting with zine workshops as an information literacy tool.

Kelci Baughman McDowell (the Undergraduate Learning Librarian) has worked with history, CTW, and C&I classes to support a zine assignment.

In these scenarios, the zine was a remediation assignment that followed or went along with the assignment of a research essay. Students identify a set of quotes from their research ahead of time, come to the workshop ready to incorporate those quotes into a booklet format augmented by art, images, and design, and ultimately make copies of the zine for their classmates or other groups on campus.

Creating a zine requires envisioning a different audience than that of a research essay, and opens up to questions about information communities, information creation as a process, and scholarship as conversation.

The workshops in the library provide a venue and materials with which to make zines -- we have a collections of scissors, glue, paper, magazines, stamps, stickers, a zine stapler, and other supplies commonly used for zine creation. After the students complete the zine, the librarian helps them make anywhere from 5-20 copies on the color photocopier for distribution to their classmates.

Currently we can only support a limited number of zine workshops each year. At a minimum, it takes about 2 hours from start to finish with appropriate planning for a student to create a zine. For 65 minute classes, this usually means scheduling two zine workshops in the library. For 1 hr 40 min classes, it may take one or two class periods and/or drop-in time to finish a zine from start to finish, including the photocopying.