The experience at the ALA Conference began like a zine fest, as I set up my Junk Drawer table and displayed my work. But soon people began stopping by who were entirely unfamiliar with the zine scene. I was unprepared for questions from one gentleman who asked me how I made money from zines, and if I knew how many of a particular issue would sell. These were people from more of the business side of public services. I realized that it was important to connect with these people, and to reach out and possibly even expand our readership. Zine fests are sometimes too exclusive, and don't include the general public, as a library aims to. The Zine Pavilion introduced some people to an independent publishing world they didn't know existed. As zine writers, some of us were introduced to the immense world of libraries that we had never grasped before.
Once I realized the size and scope of the conference, I felt fortunate to be there. It was great to see the array of products and publications from all over.
Despite the emphasis on online media, there was still much printed matter to be found. The dedication to the print form was one of the things the zinesters had in common with many of the others.
I enjoyed my experience at the ALA overall, and would certainly recommend it to self publishers of all types. I hope a continued presence of zines at the ALA Conferences will serve to introduce more people to the DIY ideas of self publishing, and establish zines as not just the latest thing, but an inspired and growing group of people.