Published: April 11, 2019

Members of the Student Libraries Advisory Board (SLAB) joined faculty from the CU Boulder Archives to celebrate the inaugural Student Zine collection and the students contributing their works to it earlier this week.

A “zine” is a personalized publication filled with passion that when archived, becomes an expressive and powerful reminder of a moment in history. Junior Jade Zimmerman participated in a zine-making workshop for SLAB students before spring break. At the reception, she noted that facing the blank pages was a challenge.

“But the zine workshop with SLAB was able to help me figure out where to begin, where to end, and how to really put my ideas out there in the best way possible,” said Zimmerman.

Between pressed flowers, an art she has mastered, Zimmerman’s zine detailed what she likes about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Sunrise over the Flatirons from Libby Hall. Photo by Jade Zimmerman.

Sunrise over the Flatirons from Libby Hall. Photo by Jade Zimmerman.

“My first page has views of the Flatirons from Libby Hall,” she said, pointing to the photos she took from her dorm window. “That was my view waking every morning freshman year, which was nice.”

SLAB works with Libraries faculty and staff to offer strategic advice on topics such as programming initiatives, collections, services, resources, spaces, and student success. The mission is to provide students the chance to weigh-in on library decisions, including changes or improvements to services and policies.

The zine-making project with SLAB is a way to include voices and stories in the library that could have otherwise gone unheard, said Sarah Hagerman, co-coordinator of SLAB and one of the zine workshop organizers.

“Stories are powerful and help us not only be seen but also see and understand others,” said Hagerman. “This was a perfect project for SLAB because each of the students on SLAB has an important perspective to offer that we can all learn from as members of the university community.”

Megan Friedel looks through past zines from the Archives' collection.

Megan Friedel, head of archives, looks through past zines from the Archives' collection.

Eden Solberg is a freshman studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She joined the group in August and called it a great way to make noticeable hands-on change happen. Learning how to create a zine further aligned with her values, as Solberg’s zine both praises and critiques campus life.

“It was really cool to learn about the history of zines and how the feminist movement revolved around it,” Solberg said. “It was really cool to see this form of expression that's been going on for 30 or 40 years and to kind of continue that tradition.”

Currently a junior double majoring in Anthropology and Classics, this is Zimmerman’s first year in SLAB and second year working for the Libraries. She said the experience has been helping her determine if the environment is a good fit for her career path.

“SLAB has been a really good way to further introduce me to what it takes to work in a library and what those steps require,” said Zimmerman.

Eden Solberg's zine offers an honest depiction of campus life.

Eden Solberg's zine offers an honest depiction of campus life.

Emily Dommermuth is a co-coordinator for SLAB. She praised the group’s feedback on the Libraries and for sharing their perspectives of how student interact with the libraries.

“The zines that the students created have been both fun and a really important way for student voices and experiences to be included in our Archival collections,” said Dommermuth.

The student-created zines will now live in the Archives so that future visitors can get a glimpse of what life on campus at CU Boulder was like in 2019. SLAB and Archives faculty and staff hope to continue the project in coming years to continue to grow the collection and document student experiences on campus.

Students interested in advising the libraries next year can contact Dommermuth: emily.dommermuth@colorado.edu.