Papercut Zine Library launches fundraising campaign

by Jess Bean on May 19, 2011

Papercut Zine librarian Kimberly doing "librarian things" at PZL HQ

All good things in this world are wild and free, but occasionally must hold fundraisers to keep themselves that way. Somerville’s Papercut Zine library has just launched a campaign to raise funds to keep their Pearl Street library open and running for the next year.

“Our goal is to raise $5000,” said Kimberly , a PZL librarian. “It’s a hefty goal for one month, but we’re pretty motivated, and people have been really supportive.”

That sum would sustain the library for a year or more. As of May 18, Papercut has raised about $1,000.

PZL moved to an artists’ building in Somerville in March 2010. Compared with the library’s previous location, a space “more like a closet” in the Democracy Center, its new home is as much a meeting place as a library.

“Local zinesters need a space to share their work and let the local zine community know about it,” Kimberly said. “It’s nice to have a physical space for that. As valuable as blogs are, the face-to-face aspect is so important.”

The move meant more room for its collection of nearly 13,000 independent publications and lots of exposed brick wall space to showcase the work of local artists, but it also meant larger bills. PZL holds events such as the Cupcakes vs. Muffins Vegan Bake Off, zine readings and concerts to raise money.

“The main reason to have this month-long push is we are feeling burnt out from the daily fundraising,” Kimberly said. “Every month we need to book a benefit or dig out other funds. We’ve been scraping by. If we can get it all at once we can focus on other events, workshops and things we want to do in the Somerville community.”

To encourage donations, PZL is giving away prizes. This is a zine library, so the schwag donors receive is better than almost anything from a PBS fundraiser.

Somerville comic artist Liz Prince has lent her local star power to the drive. Prince donated a one of a kind print to be entered in a drawing for donors who gave money from May 15-17. Prince will also be donating a bundle of her own hand-made zines, and those who donate over the weekend will be entered in a drawing to win it. Zine artist, activist and illustrator Cristy Roads, creator of Green Zine, will be donating several prints, which will be framed as donor incentives.

Pins, patches and stickers for sale.

Those who donate $5 can get a house-made Papercut patch, button and sticker. Those who contribute $30 or more will receive a zine, hand made by the librarians, that features pictures of the library and events held there.

Those without funds can support Papercut in other ways.

“We always are excited to have volunteers, whether they’re drop-in volunteers who want to help for a day, or someone who wants to become a librarian,” Kimberly said. “We can always use markers, cleaning supplies, trash bags, random library stuff. And if you want to curate a show or a gallery, we’re always open to that. Anything to get people in and enjoying the space.”

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