capstone updates


We’re back to ingesting records, as we finally got a good extract from QZAP, thanks to zine librarian Dianne Laguerta, who worked with the data as part of a Code School program. And the records are still giving us/CollectiveAccess indigestion. 

photo of a 1980s woman with a bloated middle. With a purple wash over it for some reason.
Another dated reference, this image is from a 1980s Pepto Bismol commercial
capstone updates

Handwaves, Workarounds, and Getting It Right

Lauren and I thought repeating the ingests would be super easy. Breaking news: just because it’s easy-ish to map and upload thirty records and limited fields from a catalog does not mean it’s easy to upload 12,401 records that include category and keyword fields, especially when the server processing in the ingest doesn’t have the biggest brain. 

screenshot of invalid date error

capstone updates

12 hours/week

I’m a little late on this post (it was supposed to be shared last weekend), but as you can imagine and understand, life and work sometimes get in the way!  I’m remembering clearly this very moment our conversation with our two advisors, Lisa and Maura, a month or so ago, where they so kindly reminded us to mitigate our expectations for ourselves and this capstone over the course of the semester! We did some math during that meeting where they helped us think through how many hours each week we were going to spend on the project based on the prospectus we gave them (it was something like 12 hours/week) and I have definitely not had 12 hours this week, or last, to devote to ZineCat. For anyone reading this that works in an academic institution of higher education, you may empathize with my plight, but enough about me being tardy on this (last week’s) blog post…let me fill you in on the update.

capstone updates

Capstone Update 10/8/19

Our Zine Hack/Doc day has come and gone and it was quite the day!  Fifteen participants spent the better part of Sunday, October 6, 2019 embarking on a discovery of the Zine Union Catalog.  This entailed conversations about user needs, metadata, shared authority, cataloging challenges, workflows, algorithms, and human interventions in any ZineCat workflow.  Participants had a varying degree of familiarity with ZineCat and/or with Collective Access, the platform that ZineCat is run on, and came from a variety of institutions (including a co-developer of CA!).  We also had one attendee join in from Milwaukee using Zoom and we thank them for tolerating the intermittent wifi disconnection and sometimes poor sound quality.  Ultimately, it turned out to be more discovery than hack/doc, but we’re happy with the way it turned out! The following is a summary of the day’s events.    

capstone updates

Capstone Update 9/28/19

Lauren and I have agreed to post alternating updates on our progress as we collaborate on our capstone project: ZineCat improvements, planning and documentation. Our goals, as recorded in our prospectuses are:

funding updates

$1K MADH Grant

photo of the middle section of a check, which reads State of New York, DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE / DIVISION OF THE TREASURY

class projects updates

Doing Things With Novels Class: Jenna’s Final Project Draft Outline

My working title is Cataloger as Author, Metadata as Annotation, but based on the outline I just turned in, I’m not sure if the title will remain. I welcome feedback, using or, if you prefer, via the Google Docs comments function. If you wish to share via the latter, please send a Google account address to me at leslzine at gmail. 

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updates zine librarians

Zine Librarians unConference 2018

Lauren and Jenna met up with collaborators at the Zine Librarians UnConference, where we facilitated three Zine Union Catalog sessions (with links to session notes)


Data Visualizations!

Lauren and Jenna completed their Visualization and Design: Fundamentals summer class. They both used zine metadata for their final projects.

Lauren’s focused on keywords from the Queer Zine Archive Project and Jenna’s was about genre terms at the Barnard Zine Library.

Here’s a taste of Lauren’s

And a morsel of Jenna’s

Lauren’s project on Github pages. Lauren’s white paper is included on her Github.

Jenna’s project on Github pages. Jenna’s white paper is available via pdf.

Let us know what you think!


Final Project Presentation

Dear You,

Tomorrow we are presenting our final project. After that we’ll have ten days to finish up our final paper.

Our final paper assignment, reflected in our final presentation was to write 12-15 pages with elements including

  • Abstract with a clear problem statement
  • Project narrative
  • Environmental scan
  • Work plan
  • Strategy for our independent

We’re at 34 pages right now, but maybe since there are two of us…

Then again, since there are two of us, we were also charged with planning workshops for the Zine Librarians unConference in July, which we did: Overview, Priorities, Hack.  Librarian overachievers, party of two!

If appropriate, we’ll share the final paper with y’all when we turn it in. It’s due May 24. It’s too dogdamn long, so maybe we’ll do you a favor and make an executive summary.