Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Duke: Why We're Not Digitizing Zines

Is there a proper way to format posts that you write as a comment on another blog? Here are some thoughts on Beth Wooten's post on the Duke University Digital Collection's blog about Why We're Not Digitizing Zines:

Thanks Beth. I’d like to add that there are zine sites that scan and archive zines without permission, although there are none I would endorse, and that I think it’s fine for a library to choose not to do so.

I do want to challenge the idea that digitized zines would have to be available online to everyone. I think that it would be great if a library could scan zines for on site research, including indexing and abstracting them. From my understanding of copyright law this would not be a legal problem. I also understand this would be a tremendous effort that is devalued because it would not be put on the web for free, and libraries simply don’t have the money to do that.

To personalize this, I founded a zine library in Olympia WA in 1997 and am now a young adult librarian. I have published over 50 zines and despite buying at least three scanners over the years, I have never gotten around to digitizing my own zines or even making copies for the library I started. I lean towards the idea of selling a cheap cd of all my content, indexed and annotated by me at 30, rather than making it available online for free. While this is probably a horrible idea, I’m more comfortable with the idea of people making copies than posting stuff online. It will probably always be that way.