Armed with their collection of 2,000 zines and a desire to build a community around these publications, writers Jamez Terry and Kelly Shortandqueer moved to Denver and founded the Zine Library in 2003. Since opening, the collection has grown to include over 15,000 examples of these small-circulating and often self-published magazines.
The library’s first location, a detached shed in the writers’ backyard, was a space where people could look through the stacks and donate their own zines to the library’s growing collection. People interested in learning more about this DIY publishing and all the different places it’s shown up—from the punk scene, to poetry, to comics, to politics—can also take out up to five zines from the library for up to three weeks.
Throughout the years, the library has been housed in several spaces, and most recently, it has found a home in an artists’ space along with several other art-focused organizations and studios. The entirely volunteer-run organization hopes to continue to build the zine community as well as preserve it. In addition to the library, DZL curates programs and holds workshops to create the next generation of zine-makers. It contributes curriculum for classes at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and serves as a sponsor for the Denver Zine Fest.
It still holds strong to its library roots, though. “For me personally as a zine publisher, having access to different zines has sometimes influenced the ways that I write or format things,” co-founder Shortandqueer told Communications Arts. “I think the Denver Zine Library really works as a container of creativity and inspiration.”
Know Before You Go
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