Papercut Zine Library & the Lucy Parsons Center re-open

Radical reading
By LIZ PELLY  |  November 9, 2011


On Saturday night, Papercut Zine Library re-opened in a new location: the back shelves of Lorem Ipsum Books in Inman Square. Zinesters perused hand-stitched books and photocopied pamphlets on topics ranging from punk politics and parenting to feminism and freeganism, while local musicians played folksy tunes on acoustic guitars, mandolins, and cello between floor-to-ceiling shelves of used books. At a zine-making table, complete with a typewriter and collaging materials, attendees cut and pasted pages on the spot.

Now in its seventh year, Papercut is a lending library of over 14,000 lovingly handmade publications, offering donation-based membership and DIY library cards. The opening included readings by writers from a local arts zine, High 5, and a local literary journal, the Inman Review (full disclosure: I was DJing, y'all).

"We're excited to do more connecting with the writing community that's blossomed in Inman Square over the past few years," said Kimberly Jane Boutin, one of Papercut's six volunteer librarians. They plan to host workshops and zine-release events in the new space, which is significantly larger than the library's previous home.

The Lucy Parsons Center, a nonprofit radical bookshop and community center founded in Boston in 1969, also re-opened earlier in the day at a new building on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. A group bike ride traveled between openings around 6 pm.

"We really wanted to connect both openings and show just how important independent publishing is to the Boston community," said Boutin, who explained Papercut and the LPC as "infoshops" — stores and social centers providing activist resources, meeting spaces, and radical political info. "Both spaces have served as meeting places for tons of different long-term activist groups."

Both spaces have also long reflected many of the same values now nationally projected by the Occupy movement. Like the general assemblies, Papercut and the LPC run non-hierarchal consensus-driven collectives. And like Occupy Boston's Free School University, Lorem Ipsum is home to radical free school Corvid College. Papercut has a section of activist guides and "know your rights" zines. "They're a great way to introduce yourself to various types of activism," said Boutin, "and ways you can be connected to activism as a whole in Boston."

The Papercut Zine Library at Lorem Ipsum Books is now open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 2-7pm at 1299 Cambridge Street in Cambridge. The Lucy Parsons Center is at 358 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain; for hours and information, check 

  Topics: Books , Cambridge, Books, DIY,  More more >
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