• Author: drawmedy
  • Published: May 30th, 2011

Educator Workshop Recap

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Last week one of our last zine workshops supported by the Somerville Arts Council, “Zines in the Classroom: A Workshop for Educators” convened at the library.  As a former classroom educator, this workshop was very dear to my heart.  As I wrote in the workshop description, I am excited about the creation of DIY media as a powerful (as well as cheap and accessible!) way to empower students to process and express their knowledge and experiences.

Seven former and current classroom educators from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island attended the workshop, arriving with a range of experiences with zines and zine culture and a host of interesting questions ranging from how to come up with successful prompts for students to the relationship between zines and on-line social media.

During the workshop we looked at zines made about teaching and learning before exploring resources in various sections of the PZL and concluded by creating our own “flash zine” about our experiences as educators.  Participants, your finished product is in the mail and on its way to you!  And others, come check it out as the newest edition to our collection.  It includes a list of selected suggested zines for the K-12 classroom.  Learn more about this workshop series here.

  • Author: drawmedy
  • Published: Apr 24th, 2011

Comics 101 Recap

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This past Saturday Papercut ran its second community workshop generously supported by a grant from the Somerville Arts Council.  LB, a PZL librarian who joined the collective earlier this year, has been working for several months to organize our substantial collection of underground, hard-to-find, and independently produced comics.

In “Comics 101″ LB discussed the historical context that led to formation of both popular and underground comic trends in the United States, focusing on the impact of the Comics Code Authority and its rigid regulation of content in mainstream comic publications.  He then gave participants an overview of the eclectic and diverse holdings in PZL’s collection, ranging from zine-style DIY publications to larger-scale publications from both fringe and mainstream comic publishers.

We were pleased to welcome several first time visitors to the library for this event.  While zines are clearly the focus of our library’s collection, we hope that those with particular interests in comics will recognize the amazing resource that PZL represents within the Boston Comics community!




  • Author: drawmedy
  • Published: Apr 2nd, 2011

PZL Librarians Lead Zine Making Workshop at Somerville Middle School

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Thanks to a generous grant from the Somerville Arts Council, PZL librarians Kimberly and Anna were able to lead a zine making workshop in March for over 40 7th grade students at the Arthur D. Healey school, the first of a series of zine-making workshops that the library will run throughout the Somerville community.

The workshop began with students exploring selections from the PZL collection and coming up with a class definition of a zine.  After discussing the reasons why individuals or communities might choose to make DIY publications, each class generated the material for their own zine in one class period!  Student pages included comics, reviews, reflections,  collages, and how-to’s.  It was a great time!  Here’s what the teachers had to say:

Thank you for the presentation by the Papercut Library to the Healey School in Somerville! The students were fully engaged, and left with full understanding about what zines are and their uses. The kids had a fantastic time creating their own zines, and didn’t want the time to end! Thanks again, and I am sure we have created some zine enthusiasts.

All the best,

Sherri Sklar

Humanities Teacher, Healey School

Your visit inspired my students to begin making their own zines in their free time!  The kids were deeply engrossed in the materials you brought along and in creating their own page.  Your presentation style was highly engaging, students were excited to participate, and I was impressed with their creative zine ideas.  We will have to build in some time to the curriculum to revisit the zine genre in the future.

Thank you!
Claire Schu
Humanities Teacher, Healey School

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