In 2003 the Denver Zine Library was just a couple of shelves in co-founder Kelly Costello’s back yard. Now, it’s collection of 20,000 self published magazines housed in a space at The Temple artist collective.
"If you had asked me in 2003 what I thought it would be 15 years later, I don’t even know if I expected to still be doing it," Costello said.
He had plenty of chances to step away – the library survived seven moves between four buildings, some of which were bulldozed.
"I’ve always had the mindset of we’ll do it as long as there’s community support and as soon as that dwindles, maybe it’s time for us to close up," he said.
Kelly is grateful the support hasn’t dwindled. The Zine Library is entirely run by volunteers and it survives on donations and money they make hosting zine making workshops like the one they put together for Girls Rock Denver on Saturday.
"The biggest thing is just that you can find whatever resources you have around to express yourself," Adonia Arteaga said. She’s on Girls Rock Denver’s organizing committee.
Self expression is how Costello got into making zines in college. Connecting with other zine-makers is what has kept him going ever since.
"I think the reason I stay involved is just the amount of empowerment it’s brought me in my life and the connection to incredible people" he said. "It just keeps me coming back for more."