Tween Quaranzine

Call for Submissions

Monroe County tweens (ages 7–11) are invited to contribute to making an online Tween Quaranzine to document how you, the community’s young people, are responding to these strange times of quarantine and social distancing in the face of COVID-19.

To participate, you may contribute an 8.5” x 5.5” page. All ideas that highlight the community and uplift your voices are encouraged and welcome. The Library will accept writing (250 words or less), artwork, comics, photography, recipes, tutorials, and/or a combination of all of these––really anything goes as long as it can be represented on paper. For example, you can make a sculpture but you’d have to photograph it and then share the photo which is what would be used. The Library cannot accept video or audio files.

Zines have always amplified community voices. During this time, it is more important than ever to find alternative ways to connect. The Tween Quaranzine will be a reflection of Monroe County’s amazing community. Your pages will be compiled and made publicly available on the Library’s website as one zine! 

Submissions are due by July 31 and will be published the week of August 7.

By the way, what’s a Zine?

Zines are magazines published by individuals or groups independent of big publishing companies. Zines can be written on any topic! From personal narrative, to fiction, to DIY guides, if it exists, there’s probably a zine about it.

Zines come in lots of different styles. Some are written entirely as comics, others are written using only words, while others use only images. Some are black and white, and others are in full color. Check out this zine written for kids on the coronavirus.

The Library’s zine will be digital. The Library will also print a copy for its in-house zine collection and will send each contributor a digital file that can be printed.

Prompts to Get Started

Imagine your story.

  • If COVID-19 weren’t happening right now, how would your school year have ended?
  • If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and what would you do?
  • Imagine aliens came to Earth during this pandemic. What would they think about our world? Would they be able to help us?
  • Imagine that COVID-19 were a dragon. Write a story about a brave adventurer slaying it.

Draw a picture or write an open letter describing what it is like to be stuck at home to someone who lives in a different part of the nation or to someone in the future long after COVID-19 has been cured.

  • What does it feel like?
  • What are you doing to pass the time?
  • How are you staying connected to friends, family, and classmates?
  • How do you stay positive?
  • What advice would you give to others?

Write a poem or make a piece of art that shows what you’re most excited to do when this is all over.

  • Maybe it’s a place, a person, or a thing––everyone is missing something right now!
  • Do you have a favorite toy or game that has helped you get through this time? Describe it, draw it, and share how it has helped you.

Rules and Submission Guidelines

Please submit your work through this form. Please email kbaker [at] with any questions or entries.

Your submission will be publicly visible on the Library’s website. Please get your parent or guardian’s permission prior to submitting content.  Your first name, the first letter of your last name (optional), and your age (e.g. John S., age 8) will be published along with your submission.

Submissions will be reviewed by Library staff. Work must be appropriate for age 7 and up and is subject to the Library's behavioral guidelines. Submitted content must be original and previously unpublished. You may choose to submit multiple pieces, but the Library will only publish one per participant. Submitting your work is not a guarantee that your submission will be published. 

By submitting your work, you agree that MCPL has the right to publish your work in their Tween Quaranzine but ownership rights of the original work remain with the creator.

Real Friends

Shannon had long believed the advice of her mother, “One good friend. My Mom says that's all anyone really needs.” But when her one friend, Adrienne, starts spending more time with the new, popular girl and her “friend group,” Shannon is left confused about where she fits in.

What’s even more challenging, one of the girls in the group is a bully! How can Shannon navigate the complex social order of middle school? Real Friends is a relatable fast paced graphic novel based on the experiences of award winning author, Shannon Hale. Recommended for readers 8-12.

Pride Month Zines - QZAP Archive

Queer Zine Archive Project

In honor of Pride month, the Library is highlighting QZAP, a huge, free, queer zine collection available online! QZAP (The Queer Zine Archive Project) exists to catalog and preserve the history of queer zines. The Library has showcased just a few of QZAP's zines below. Make sure to check out QZAP's archive for many, many more zines––all available virtually!

Fort Mortgage

Fort Mortgage

Buying and finding your first home may be intimidating, but this Chicago-based zine helps readers using the writer's first-hand experience.


Growing Pains

Growing Pains

This zine is written by Sarah Kennedy, a punk woman who was involved with riot grrrl, on her life, privileges, and background, in relation to her work and who she is now. It includes an essay by Erika Reinstein defending riot grrrl culture and calling for allyship between zinesters.


From Sheytls to Yarmulkes

From Sheytls to Yarmulkes

As stated within, “This zine is about the unique experiences of transgender Jews, examined through personal narratives that explore the idea of gender and sexuality among different sects of Judaism."


A Quick Guide to Transgender Health Care Information in Davis, CA

A Quick Guide to Transgender Healthcare Information

Based in Davis, CA, this zine provides an overview of queer terminology, library call numbers and subject searches, websites, books, and articles on transgender healthcare.


Empty Orchestra #1

Empty Orchestra #1

A fun and quirky guide to one girl’s love for karaoke bars, and her reviews of such bars around the US.


Our Library Crushes

Our Library Crushes

A personal favorite, this mini-zine is full of cute and awesome librarians!


How We Kiss: privilege on the dance floor

How We Kiss: privilege on the dance floor

Highlighting the difference between cis-gendered and queer spaces, this zine makes clear boundaries for showing empathy and providing safe places for different communities.


Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

A Note from the Director

Recent events of racism and physical violence against Blacks across our country are both frightening and abhorrent. Monroe County Public Library mourns the lost lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more. 

As a trusted community institution, we stand in solidarity with the American Library Association (ALA), the Black Caucus of the ALA, and with Monroe County residents who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity. We condemn the systemic and systematic social injustices endured by Black people and people of color and we stand against racism and injustice.

We must all affirm that Black Lives Matter and understand that “all lives matter” is not an appropriate response. We must acknowledge systemic racism and the role that we all play in it––in our homes, our workplaces, and our community organizations.

The Library reaffirms its mission, values, and goals to strengthen our community through civil discourse, inclusiveness, respect, and safety by providing a safe and welcoming place for all and promoting a climate of civility, inclusiveness, and compassion.

As part of our reaffirmation, we want to share some actions we’ve recently taken and are committed to in the future:

  • Staff participated in implicit bias and homelessness training and will continue to participate in other opportunities to achieve a better understanding of how to reduce inequities
  • An ongoing review of programming, services, collections, partnerships, and staffing to ensure equitable practices and procedures are in place
  • In an effort to make the Library more accessible to all, we waived all unpaid overdue fines and collection agency fees, and eliminated fines for all late returns moving forward

Public libraries are critical links in our communities and essential as we move forward in this troubling time. As a public service institution, it is our responsibility to be responsive to the needs of our community, to address inequities, and to provide a place of safety and inclusiveness. It is also our responsibility to provide resources and information to help individuals seek knowledge which can lead to greater understanding and compassion. To move towards change, we’ve compiled these staff picks lists and resources. We will continue to add resources in the coming weeks.

We know there is much more to do and we will work with our community to make improvements, and to encourage communication and deeper, compassionate understanding. 

Supporting Our Black Community

There are many ways we can support our Black community. If you don’t know where to start take a look at this list for all kinds of ideas to learn, support, and engage with our Black community.


For a quick start check out one of these online articles.

Staff Picks

Check out these Library staff picks lists for more in-depth reading:

Local Resources

  • Black Lives Matter Bloomington 
    This local chapter of Black Lives Matter includes an extensive resource list
  • Support Minority and Women-Owned Bloomington Businesses 
    A list of local businesses owned by women and minorities compiled by the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources
  • Learn about ways to support the City of Bloomington’s Commission on the Status of Black Males
    This commission promotes positive aspects and addresses concerns of our local Black male population
  • The City of Bloomington’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission 
    This commission plans activities and events in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday
  • Take a class or explore a campus partner of IU’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
    You can choose to take classes, participate in research, attend performances, and form friendships with others who share an abiding interest in the experiences of Black Americans and other people representing the African diaspora
  • Visit or donate to the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center 
    The NMBCC has an extensive history of supporting the IU’s efforts to challenge, support, and contribute to the continued development and success of the black students, faculty, and staff
  • Check out Bloomington’s own Bring It On! on WFHB
    "Bring It On!" is Indiana’s only weekly radio program committed to exploring the people, issues, and events impacting the African-American community


  • George Floyd Memorial Fund
    This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George.  A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.
  • National Black Lives Matter 
    The official #BlackLivesMatter Global Network builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe. The website includes toolkits for healing action, conflict resolution, and other educational resources. 
  • Campaign Zero
    We can live in a world where the police don't kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.

Social Justice Resources for Teens

Current Issues:
What You Can Do:


Under the Kanopy: Two with Michel Piccoli

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

By Craig J. Clark

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Alain Resnais, 2012)

On May 12, the great and greatly prolific French actor Michel Piccoli died at the age of 94. With
hundreds of screen credits to his name, from 1945 to 2015, Piccoli was a fixture of French cinema who
worked with nearly every major director in the French film industry, often multiple times. He didn’t
cross paths with New Wave fixture Alain Resnais until both were in the twilight of their careers, though,
when Resnais cast Piccoli as himself in his penultimate feature. Based on two plays by French playwright
Jean Anouilh, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet starts with a baker’s dozen actors being summoned to the
home of a deceased playwright whose version of Eurydice they've all performed in at one time or
another. To their surprise, they’ve been assembled to view a recording of a new avant-garde production
of the play, but instead of idly watching, the actors – starting with Piccoli, who played Orpheus’s father –
begin reciting their dialogue and interacting with the performers onscreen. And Resnais doesn’t stop
there, employing digital effects to make people appear and disappear and split screens when multiple
actor pairs are playing the same scene simultaneously. It’s all part of the gamesmanship that has been
part of the director’s modus operandi going back to 1961’s Last Year at Marienbad (which doesn’t
feature Piccoli, but is still worth checking out and puzzling over).

Death in the Garden (Luis Buñuel, 1956)

One of Michael Piccoli’s most fruitful collaborations was with Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, with whom
he made six films in all. The first was Death in the Garden, a French/Mexican co-production for which
Buñuel toned down his surrealistic tendencies to tell a story set in an unnamed South American state
where a government takeover of the diamond mines gets the prospectors who have staked their claims
all riled up. That leads to complications for a number of people just passing through, including Piccoli’s
Father Lizardi, a Catholic missionary who’s eager to take up his post with an Indian tribe deep in the
jungle. When the miners’ rebellion tips over into violence, Father Lizardi joins four other French
nationals – a prostitute played by top-billed Simone Signoret, a grizzled prospector played by Charles
Vanel and his deaf-mute daughter, and a rugged loner played by Georges Marchal – on the next boat
heading out of town. Unfortunately for all of them, when they're forced to cut through the jungle
they're deprived of their provisions and they really aren't up to the task of surviving without them. To
say Father Lizardi’s faith gets tested along with everyone else’s would be an understatement.

After Death in the Garden, Piccoli reunited with Buñuel for 1964’s Diary of a Chambermaid and could be
counted on to pop up in roles both large and small in Belle de Jour, The Milky Way (in which Piccoli plays
the Marquis de Sade), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and The Phantom of Liberty. He even
dubbed the voice of Spanish actor Fernando Rey in Buñuel’s final film, That Obscure Object of Desire, in
which the female lead is played in alternating scenes by two different actresses. Sounds like something
Alain Resnais would cook up.

Staff Picks: The First Rule of Punk

When 12 year old Malú’s moves to Chicago with her mother, she’s worried she won’t find her place. But in exploring her Mexican heritage, embracing her love of all things punk, and connecting with new friends, she learns how important the first rule of punk actually is. Malú’s zines (self published magazines) are printed throughout the novel, offering another glimpse inside her mind and a great introduction to the art of zine making. Recommended for readers aged 9-12.

Going on an Origami Bear Hunt!

The Summer Reading Games are here! Between now and August 1, you can register on Beanstack and play online. There's an app too! Read for fun and complete activities to earn badges and tickets for prize drawings. Activities like this origami bear!

Check out these instructions and follow along with the video to create your own origami bear. After you've made your bear, hang it in your window for others to see. When you go for a walk, look for bears in other people's windows too. How many bears can you find on your bear hunt?

Need some book suggestions to jumpstart your summer reading journey? Children’s Services staff have put together two lists of recommended reads! Revisit classic fairy tales, nursery rhymes, legends, myths, and folktales or imaginative retellings of them with titles from the Imagine Your Story list. You can also try the colorful and imaginative picture books from the Imagine Your Story with Picture Books list! But you don’t have to stick to physical books––magazines, eBooks, audiobooks, and comic books all count too

Don’t forget to log your minutes as you read! This year there is a community-wide reading goal of 200,000 minutes in honor of the Library’s 200th birthday. If the milestone is reached, the Friends of the Monroe County Public Library will donate $2,000 to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank!

Origami Bear Instructions

Quaranzine, Vol. 1

Quaran-Zine, Vol. 1

The first issue of the Library's new community Quaranzine has arrived! There are two different versions––one is for reading on a screen, and the other has been imposed so that it can be printed at home, folded, stapled, and read in that fashion.

Download for on-screen reading -- Download for at-home printing

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this zine. Please consider contributing to the next issue, coming July 1!

Zines have historically been ways for communities to grow even when they can’t be around each other. They allow someone to find a community even when that community isn’t nearby. Individuals would write and send off for zines from other people elsewhere to try and find these communities. Now, you can virtually connect in a much quicker digital space. Although the format may be different, the need to share and understand each other is still the same, and zines are still alive and providing that necessary community connection.

This zine was created by many different individuals using a variety of methods (digital, physical collaging, photography, and more). Hopefully, this Quaranzine represents a slice of Bloomington’s community culture or ‘folklife’––the living expression of culture in everyday life. By capturing something of your lives and your separate quarantines during the COVID-19 pandemic, this Quaranzine is helping to document and fill Bloomington's history with your memories, feelings, and moments.


Want to contribute to the next volume?

Send your art and thoughts in the form of an 8.5” x 5.5” page of words or images, a photograph or an image, or about 250 words about something. Recipes, pictures, fun projects, and more––all ideas that highlight the community and uplift voices are encouraged and welcome!

Please reach out to quaranzine [at] with any questions or entries. Submissions for the second volume will be accepted through June 26. Submissions will be compiled and posted to this site by July 1.

Top Five Virtual Events

Top Five Virtual Events

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped Library staff from doing what they love––creating engaging and educational programs for the community! In April, the Library’s programs and services moved online. Programs are shared regularly through YouTube, Zoom, and the Library website. Here are five of the Library’s most popular virtual programs from April and May! Which ones have you enjoyed?

  1. Harry Potter Escape Room: Over 1,800 people have attempted the Library’s first-ever digital escape room! Are you up for a challenge? Set during book seven of the Harry Potter series, this interactive game is full of puzzles and codes you’ll need to solve to escape. 
  2. Breathe Like a Bear: Created in collaboration with the Monroe County YMCA, Breathe Like a Bear was the most watched virtual program of the past two months! Practice mindfulness with librarian Amy, guided by the book Breathe Like a Bear (available instantly as a read-a-long and a short movie on Hoopla). Then learn simple exercises to relieve anxiety and aid in relaxation with Taylor from the YMCA.
  3. Removing an Image Background Using GIMP: In this tutorial, Library digital media expert Josh demonstrates how to use GIMP to remove a green screen background from an image, as well as some basic editing techniques. GIMP is a free and open-source graphics editor. 
  4. Bilingual Rhymes and Songs for Preschoolers: Lizzie shares four short rhymes and songs in Spanish and English. Want more Spanish songs and rhymes? Check out this recent bilingual edition of Preschool Storytime presented by Lizzie or one of these Spanish rhymes found in our YouTube playlist.
  5. It’s Spring: Virtual Storytime: Ginny provides a full storytime experience in this program with two books, three songs, and a felt story all about spring. 

There are more programs coming your way soon, including the Library’s biggest virtual event to-date, the summer reading games! Between June 1 and August 1, you can register and play online. Participate in reading challenges and activities for all ages, including a community-wide reading goal of 200,000 minutes in celebration of the Library’s 200th birthday! For regular program updates, follow the Library on Facebook, and subscribe to the Library on YouTube.

At-Home Digital Creativity

At-Home Digital Creativity

Specialized digital creativity software available in Level Up is an invaluable part of your workflow, but when the Library is closed, what do you do when you can't access to it? Here is a list of some of our favorite alternatives to popular Level Up software that you can download and use at home, for free!


Photoshop Alternatives:

Photopea Logo

Photopea is an online photo editor with many of the features you use for most of your Photoshop projects. Photopea will have the tools you need from making quick selections, adjusting layers, to text tools and filters.

Online Tutorials

Krita Logo

Krita is a great alternative for the brush tools you would use for digital painting and drawing in Photoshop. Features include a full suite of brush effects and adjustments to give you precise control and total creative freedom.

Online Tutorials


Illustrator Alternatives:

Inkscape Logo

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor. This software can be used to create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos, icons, and complex paintings.

Online Tutorials


Premiere/iMovie Alternatives:

Lightworks Logo

Lightworks is a non-linear editing system with an interface similar to iMovie for editing and mastering digital video. It offers the widest native format support available, quick export to video hosting sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, and tons of powerful, real-time effects with inbuilt presets.

Quickstart Guide

Shotcut Logo

Shotcut is a free and open-source cross-platform video editing application that supports hundreds of audio and video formats and codecs. You can edit audio, video, and apply effects just like in Premiere.



After Effects Alternatives:

Natron Logo

Natron is a node-based compositing software application. This software allows for a wide array of effects applications to your video projects. It can track objects, rotoscope, remove your green screen background, and more.


Davinci Resolve Logo

Davinci Resolve is a video editing, color correction, visual effects, and audio post-production tool. Whether you are looking to edit, color, or work with VFX, this is a terrific tool to complete your project.



Logic/Pro Tools Alternatives:

Audacity Logo

Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder. This app allows you to erase your mistakes, apply effects, and it has plugin integration for virtual instruments.



LMMS can arrange samples, synthesize audio effects, read MIDI instruments, and even track and sequence your music. It is a full-fledged digital audio workstation free of cost.



3D Modeling Tools:

Blender Logo

Blender is an endlessly robust solution for both 2D and 3D creations. If you are looking to model, animate, create, or apply visual effects, sculpt, or simulate virtual environments this is the tool for you.


TinkerCAD Logo

TinkerCAD is an incredibly easy-to-use web-based 3D modeling tool. Use this to build, place, cut, and mold your vision for a 3D object into reality.



Game Design Software:

Unity Logo

Unity is a cross-platform game design engine used by professionals to produce interactive experiences and videogames alike. Use this tool to produce the next Untitled Goose Game, Beatsaber, or Cuphead.


Twine Logo

Twine is an interactive storytelling application used to create self-contained adventures. Use it to tell a story with endless paths and uncounted endings. This is an excellent tool to create a choose-your-own-adventure or visual novel.