Zines: Coming to a Library Near You!

Specifically, this one.

If you’re a punk rocker, art school kid, or some other genre-defying cool person, you probably already know what a zine is.

For the rest of you losers (just kidding), here’s the skinny:

zines

Zines are handmade mini-magazines (the term is an abbreviation of fanzine) that feature content curated by their makers. This could be original poetry, a collection of photographs, a comic you wrote about this one weird thing that happened to you, once… anything, really. And that’s the beauty of zines. They can be about whatever one deems zine-worthy, and anyone with basic photocopy machine prowess and a stapler can make them. Truly, zines keep the public in publication.

So in order to support this democratic form of publishing, as well as celebrate and promote the work of our creative community, the library will be hosting an opening reception showcasing zines created by this fall’s Writer’s Craft students.

The reception will be held Thursday, December 15th from 12-1PM, right here in the library.

So come enjoy some light refreshments and see what these cool cats are passionate about. Who knows, maybe you’ll finally meet someone who shares your burning love for Trompe L’ Oeil or your deep-rooted vendetta against Trump L’President. (Although, let’s be honest, the latter ain’t really all that hard to find, around here.)

Check it Out!

Mary J. Wilson

“Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds”

According to a new Stanford study, students are having a difficult time differentiating fact from fiction as they are constantly barraged with media from varying sources, The Wall Street Journal reports here.  Furthermore, the Media Insight Group reveals in their 2015 study that by the age of 18, as many as 88% of their survey respondents regularly get new from Facebook and other social media sources.

So, there is a lot of misinformation out there, as we all know. And being “information literate” or “media literate” requires us to be vigilant in fact checking and vetting our sources.

Luckily, there are some resources you can consult to give you a hand. For example, Melissa Zimdar, Ph.D., an assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College is compiling a list of “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources” that you can review here (it’s a work in progress). This page also includes some tips for analyzing news sources which is very helpful.

For more reading on this topic, check out this list compiled by a group of librarians: fake-news-bad-news-evaluation-resources of articles about the issue.  And as ever, feel free to talk to your librarian, Elsa, who is always happy to commiserate and help you navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of the news.

Below is a link to a video put out by a Swedish fact-checking organization called Viral Examiner, or Viralgranskaren about a false news article about the reason for a Christmas light ban. It’s an example of viral outrage in response to misinformation.

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-10-30-08-am

 

Smocking and Fine Sewing

 

smocking

Ever spent an afternoon at your grandmother’s house or some vintage store, looking through all the old linens and wondering how to make all those pretty old stitches that you just don’t see anymore?

Chances are, if you’re a Fibers major, you have. And if you have, then this is the book for you.

Complete with beautiful 19th Century illustrations, Smocking and Fine Sewing isn’t just a how-to guide on technique. Sure, there are step-by-step instructions with helpful pictures showing you exactly where to put the needle in order to create perfect hand-sewn hems, but really it’s the variety of examples that make this book exquisite.

There are smocked purses, jeweled embroidery, and so many variations of hem stitching that you could sew an entire collection of clothing and never use the same hem twice. And don’t even get me started on the examples of embroidered letters. It’s enough to make me wish I had about a hundred hours to spare, to make a set of monogrammed robes fit for a lord and lady.

So, nostalgiaphiles rejoice: the good old days may be gone, but at least you can still stitch yourself some old-time finery while enjoying a bracing cup of tea, put a record on the phonograph, and keep the dream alive.

TT

840

.S66

S66

1998

Check It Out!

Mary J. Wilson

Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy

Three of my favorite words. As an ex-Catholic-schoolgirl, I delight in everything forbidden. Admittedly, I picked this book off of the shelf this morning because the title made me snicker. But this book is so much more than a taboo title to giggle at- it’s an in-depth look into the ongoing battle between artists/writers/musicians/etc and our collective archenemy: those conservative business-types on Capital Hill who think they have the right to censor us “for the greater good.”

So, if you’ve ever wondered why you can’t make, say, or do whatever the bleep you want even though we live in a purportedly free country, this is the book for you.

Z

658

.U5

H43

1993

Check it out!

Mary J Wilson

 

 

 

Diane Arbus

Today’s featured find is a vintage photography publication, showcasing the work of Diane Arbus. The magazine itself is appealingly large (you’ll find it in our oversized collection), and affords each photograph ample page space. The only accompanying text to these vignettes of the 60’s is the year they were shot, allowing the images to speak for themselves. My favorite is a two-page center-fold style photo of a tattooed man laying in the grass with a lit cigarette held firmly between his fingers, gazing intensely at the camera.

Every photo has a sense of quiet moodiness to it- a sort of everyday surrealism. In another photo, a muscular man in weightlifting shorts wears a champion medal and stands by a large trophy, wearing an unreadable expression on his face in a spare room. Looking at these photos, the mind wanders through the curious scenes depicted and invents stories about the people and places therein. Strange and beautiful, this is definitely a magazine to get lost in.

Oversize

TR

647

.A72

P5

1980

Check it out!

Mary J Wilson

Bakelite Style

 

 

Looking for illustration inspiration? Bakelite Style contains page after page of beautiful Deco-era whatnots all made from the original plastic, developed by Belgian chemist Leo Hendrick Baekeland in 1907.

Everything in this book is completely charming, from the white-and-seafoam-green-flecked toast holder to the three-foot-tall champagne bottle radio. Just imagine the person who owned that radio. You could design a room around a thing like that. In any case, I bet whoever it was threw spectacular parties.

Flipping through these pages makes me want to invent a time machine to return to an era with better style than ours and never come back. But since I haven’t yet finished drawing up the plans for such a machine, for now the best I can do is let my imagination sink into the sumptuous Deco curves and concoct houses and people to go along with all of these beguiling Bakelite oddities. And really, that’s not so bad either.

TP

1180

.B3

1997

 

Check it out!

Mary J. Wilson

Supersurfaces

sophia-vyzoviti-supersurfaces

Today’s featured find is from our pamphlet collection. Don’t let the word “pamphlet” dull your interest though- this little booklet is loaded with nothing but mind-bending, full-page photos of ordinary materials (cork, paper, fabric, etc) folded into awesomely complex things.

Basically, it’s perfect for flipping through when you need inspiration, no matter what you work with. There are even step-by-step photos to give you an idea of how some of the materials were folded, and let’s be real, who here doesn’t love nerding out over materials?

Find it in the pamphlet section, above the reference books in the study nook.

PAMP

NA

2765.V997

2006

Check it out!

Mary J. Wilson