Interviews with Great Folks #21: Jenna Freedman

June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Tell us who you are!

My name is Jenna. I am a zine librarian and do other librarian stuff, too.

When did you start making zines? Why did you start making zines?

The first time I contributed to a zine was sometime in the 1990s, and I started my own zine, Lower East Side Librarian Winter Solstice Shout-Out, in 2001. I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but the zine sort of grew out of my annual winter solstice card mailing. I used to draw and paint hundreds of cards every December. After I met Celia Perez in library school and she introduced me to personal zines the cards morphed into what I called a zineletter the first couple of years. Celia deemed the zine “all growed up” in 2003.

As for why…I don’t know…I’ve always liked to write. Creating a zine and sharing it with my friends and family seemed like a nice way to communicate and give people something special to me. Now that I share the zine with a larger zine community, I guess it’s the same thing. I think it’s valuable for me as a zine librarian to also be a zine maker, and a maker of personal zines, at that.

What do you write/draw/whatever about?

I share selections from whatever I write about during the year. A lot of it is about work because a lot of me is about work. For a departure from librarianship, I also present book and zine reviews in a separate reading log. :) I used to publish reviews of every book I read, but that got out of hand, so now I just share the top dozen or so. Topics in the Shout-Out beyond librarianship include NYC, lists, anxiety and depression, aging, political activism, cats, friends and family, contributions from other people about their jobs, and I don’t know what all else. Some years I did hand illustrations, but lately I’ve been messing around with photographs for my graphics.

What do you think is great about zines?

I like how much I’ve learned from zines–about race and gender, how to treat people or not treat people, what it’s like to be X, Y or Z. I also love how zines are written and illustrated, who writes them, the points of view they express, how they’re outside of mainstream publishing by choice, etc.

Tell us anything you feel moved to!

You’re pretty! Also, want to see a picture of my cats that is so sweet you might die from looking at it too long?

– Thank you, Jenna! You’re pretty and smart and nice!

– Jude

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