Omaha Public Library to debut new zine collection at Benson Branch

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Grant Rohan
NEWS EDITOR

Photo courtesy of Omaha Public Library.

Omaha Public Library (OPL) has partnered with Rowdy Boys Collective and Benson First Friday (BFF) to showcase a collection of zines at Benson Branch, located at 6015 Binney St., on Friday, Sept. 6, from 6-9 p.m.

Visitors will be able to check out from the collection, make a personal zine and optionally purchase zines marked for sale.

Made by community members for storytelling or idea sharing, zines are booklets that are often published in small numbers for circulation. They have historically represented alternative viewpoints for community members who wish to tell a story or share a powerful message. With their beginnings in the “Sci-Fi” genre, zines are an American DIY staple of artists and progressive thinkers.

They are also often inexpensive or free, with the focus on the content and its message, and less about the publishing aspect.

With the handmade booklets often featuring detailed illustrations, they can also be considered works of art.

“Zines demonstrate self-publishing at the most accessible level, introducing voices that may not have access to traditional publishing channels,” said OPL readers & writers librarian Erin Duerr. “OPL’s zine collection connects its community with more materials written by, for and about them.”

The collection of donated and shared zines can be checked out by visitors to the library, but the policy on them will be different compared to normal library materials, such as books and magazines. The zines will also not aquire library fines, as they are meant to be shared and circulate throughout the community.

Zines taken from the Benson Branch will be able to be returned to any of the 12 OPL locations in the Omaha metro, as part of their goal to share each zine’s message to the whole community.

Those interested in learning more about making or donating zines are encouraged to attend the opening event to learn more, or contact Duerr at erduerr@omahalibrary.org.

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