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Jacksonville Public Library Zine Collection

Jacksonville Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Scott Adams, Librarian Senior, sadams@coj.net

Problem Statement

The Jacksonville Public Library started a zine collection to showcase a collection of small-print, independent and self-published magazines. The collection shows a variety of different views, from politics, art and music to personal diary-type writings. These represent an often-overlooked and unknown media that would increase the diversity of viewpoints available to the public. The collection was also seen as a way to attract young adults to the library.

Innovation

Four members of the Jacksonville Public Library formed a committee, which networked with other zine librarians and creators from around the country to determine which titles to add to the collection. Titles were selected on the basis of literary merit, artistic merit, subject specialty, scarcity of material on the subject, quality, format and local and regional authorship. The committee initially started the collection with donated materials, and then secured a budget of $700 annually to buy zines from distribution and catalog sources. The zine committee was enthusiastic in outreach and programming, setting up tables at local arts markets, concerts and other art events. The committee also made use of a blog (jplzinelibrary.wordpress.com) to spotlight the collection and provide reader’s advisory, and used social media to further spread the word. These actions can be replicated in any city with an arts and music scene.

Progress

The Jacksonville Public Library’s zine collection has become the largest zine collection in a public library in the Southeast, and one of the few circulating collections. The collection now has close to 1000 titles, growing by the month. The zine collection circulated 1176 times in FY10 and has circulated 317 times FY11 YTD. The collection's committee members have presented at FLA (Florida Library Association) and PLAN (Panhandle Library Access Network), and the collection has been featured in a variety of local media, including the Florida Times-Union, Folio Weekly, Jacksonville Magazine and urbanjacksonville.com.