The Starsky & Hutch Lending Library

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You may be looking for the gen library: S&H Genzine Lending Library.

Name: The Starsky & Hutch Lending Library
Date(s): 1995-2006?
Archivist: Flamingo
Founder: Linda McGee, Barbara F, Jean H
Type: fanzine lending library
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch
URL: The Starsky & Hutch Lending Library, Archived version
Sh lending library title2.gif
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The Starsky & Hutch Lending Library was created in spring 1995, though it appears it was based on an earlier, more informal, circuit that began five years earlier. [1]

The main librarian was Linda McGee, who was assisted by a "Committee."

The library was a collection of out-of-print zines assembled by Linda and many other SH fans with the goal of making these zines available to those who had never had an opportunity to see them. Their intention was to ensure that this classic fiction would not be lost to Starsky & Hutch fandom. The library was run by different SH fans over the years and hosted both gen and slash fan fiction. Zines were always presented uncut, uncensored, and unedited.[2] By 2001, 64 zines, evenly divided between slash and gen, were listed in the library catalog.[3]

This library was active until about 2006, with a year-long hiatus between 2000-01.

Many fans had a lot of fears and hopes as their activities and creation became more visible. For more on this subject, see: Visbility.

A similar library, this one for only gen zines, was started in 1997. See S&H Genzine Lending Library headed by K. Hanna Korossy.

Its Beginning

rules, printed in Frienz #29 (March 1995)
the zines available when the library first "opened"
the "thank you" included as the frontispiece to donated zines
announcement from Starsky & Hutch Adzine & Newsletter #15 (February 1995)

From Linda McGee in June 1994:

Recently we seem to have quite a few new people discovering SH fandom. (Yea!) In addition to episodes, all these folks want to get their hot little hands on — yes -- zines. Problem: Many zines -- "&" and "/" -- are out of print and virtually impossible to find second-hand, especially if one can't go to cons. It's occurred to some of us that a lending library, similar to the one [Karen B] runs for "The Professionals", might be a good solution. We would have a collection of out of print zines available for loan at a nominal fee. The borrower would reimburse the postage costs and return the zine within a reasonable period of time, during which she could, if desired, make her own copy. Zines which are still available (such as the Zebra 3's) would not be included. If we do this, the question arises of where to get the loaner zines (Xeroxes would be fine). I have a couple I could contribute to the cause, and could copy a couple more, but I frankly can't afford to reproduce my entire collection, and no longer want to ship out my originals. An effort like this would require the support of more than one or two fans. So I thought I'd toss the idea out and see how it sounds to you. We have a responsible party who's volunteered to handle the library. Does this seem like a good idea to you? Is it a service you might use? Is it an idea you're willing to support in any way? For example: 1) Do you have extra copies or unwanted zines you could donate to the library on a more-or-less permanent basis? 2) Do you have access to copying, so you could donate cloned copies, or could copy other people's zines at no charge for inclusion in the library? 3) Would you be willing to donate cash toward copying costs? I have a friend in another fandom who has her own machine and will xerox zines for us at a small cost. (She doesn't want to make a business of copying SH zines for others, but would make us a single copy of a zine for use in the library.) Once again, this seems like a possible way to feed new fans (and any older ones whose collections are incomplete!). But one or two fans can't do it alone, nor should they be expected to. So, are you willing to help in whatever way(s) you can? Please write to me at home or through the l/z with your ideas, suggestions, and offers of assistance. [4]

From Linda McGee March 1995:

Okay, ladies, the Starsky & Hutch Lending Library is a reality now, and it's off to a great start! Barbara now has thirty-seven zines in her custody, ready to be shared. Wouldn't it be great to have all of print zines available for lending? With your help, we can. We've enclosed a list of the zines currently in the Library. How about taking a look to see if you can add anything? All donations gratefully accepted, and you even get your name mentioned right up front on the 'Thank You' page! (Hard to believe I was never a cheerleader, isn't it? SH just brings out the 'rah-rah' in me, I guess.) To avoid duplication, it might be a good idea to let either me or Barbara know in advance what you'd like to send, so we can tell you if someone else is already going to donate it.

By the way, it's the policy of the Library to include zines in their complete, as-originally-published form. We don't mean no xerox copies. We love xerox copies! We mean that no stories, illos, etc. should be omitted. I mention this because we received one donation from which the contributor had apparently decided to excise a story. So, please, if you can't send the entire zine, let us try to get it from another source.

Also by the way, Barbara said she'd had an enquiry about the Library from someone who said she got the info via a computer network, which started us talking about the subject of on-line communication. While we think it's great to pass the word to friends on a one-to-one basis, we're a little leery about making a formal announcement to be read by the general public. You just never know who's out there. TNT is on line. Who else might be? Someone from Spelling-Goldberg who doesn't like the idea of fanzines? Fandom has existed quite peacefully for years without letting the Powers That Be in on it. So, if by any chance you'd thought of putting an announcement on a bulletin board, we'd like to recommend discretion instead. [5]

In March 1995, Barbara F wrote:

I received the library zine package from Linda McGee today. Look for her notice elsewhere in this l/z. Do please Include a SASE when you write me about it. I've agreed to do this for one year, then we'll see how it's going. I've already heard from a couple of people requesting info. One mentioned that she'd heard about the Library through a friend on the GEnie bulletin board. Discretion being the better part of valor (or cowardice of survival, depending on your point of view), Linda and I have agreed that while it's fine for everyone to pass along word about the Library to personal friends and acquaintances, we would request that it not be posted for public consumption. I don't know the terminology, but not where just anybody who signs onto the board can read it? There are some weird people out there... With some really weird attitudes about slash. This kind of problem we don't need! [6]

From Starsky & Hutch Adzine & Newsletter #15 (February 1995):

Sad news about the S&H Fanzine Library closing because some person chose to override Barbara F's wishes about NOT posting information about its existence on any online service; the Library existed for us, NOT the general public.... STARSKY & HUTCH FANZINE LIBRARY IS CLOSED! When Barbara F., the Librarian, opened the Library she asked that its existence NOT be posted on any online service. She opened the Library only to us, NOT to anyone with a modem.

Some person chose to override Barbara's wishes.

Because of this person's action, we no longer have a fanzine Library. About posting any Fanzine info or their Editors on the Net, etc. Please don't! I do NOT want any info about this OR from this Adzine or FRIENZ posted anywhere on the Net, or any online service or the BBSs etc. I know that many other Editors also DO NOT want any info posted about their publications on the Net or any online service. Please ask any fanzine Editor first whether she objects to info about her publication being posted ANYWHERE on the Net or any online service etc. Thank you. [7]

From a post by Flamingo on September 11, 2000:

For close to 10 years [8] there has been a small institution called the Starsky & Hutch Lending Library. It contains a selection of out-of-print unabridged zines, both gen and slash, VHS episodes of the series, the Max Franklin books, and audio interviews of PMG and DS. The SH Library was started through the generosity of fans who donated used zines and videotapes, photocopies of out of print zines, and small gifts of money used to purchase photocopies and episodes.

However, the library is now worn out. The fanzines--especially the slash collection--have been loaned and loved nearly to death. Combs are broken, pages are crinkled and damaged, and the covers are falling off. In addition, over a dozen key episodes have been lost, as well as a set of letterzines. Zines have not been returned and are considered gone. Obviously, it is time to revamp the collection. We decided that the best way to revamp the collection would be to make a file "master" of each zine, since taking apart the zines and trying to photocopy hole-punched pages jams photocopiers and mutilates the already worn zines. Having an unpunched master will make it much easier to replace lost and worn zines in the future. We also want to make multiple copies of the most popular fanzines so that the burden of wear, tear, and stress could be spread out over several copies.

At first, it seemed that refurbishing the collection would be a fairly easy job. Several local fans got together, and one (anonymous) fan offered to donate a measurable sum to recopying the library. Nearly twelve work hours later and a $150.00 poorer, we realized that this was a job WAY too big for a few fans to accomplish.

We were hoping to use the con to help the library by renting a photocopier for the weekend to make zines for the library and for fans who would help fund the library by donating money for the zine of their choice. However, the price of renting a photocopier and paying to have it delivered and picked up again was so incredibly expensive we had to ditch that idea. So while the library will be able to be viewed at the con, we won't be able to make copies of it there.

And since preparing for a con is a considerable job in itself, we realized trying to re-institute the library at the same time was insanity. (Yes, even though some of you question this, we can recognize insanity when it slaps in the face!;-) ) So, for now, the library is in hiatus, at least until after the con.

Once the con is over and all con responsibilities under control (she slaps herself to keep from laughing maniacally), we are hoping to have an organized set of internet activities geared to helping us refurbish the library so we can have more out-of-print zines (or in-print zines if their editors wish to donate them), episodes, and other SH items that are hard to come by. We will need your help, but since the library is for you and for fans who cannot obtain zines through other means, we know you'll be willing to help.

But for now, the library is on hold, but we're hoping not for much longer. [9]

From a post by Flamingo on June 30, 2001:

I wanted you guys to be the first to know some things about to happen. We're *very* close to opening the S&H Library. Very close. We're installing the carpeting, and putting up all the little "quiet please" signs and wiping down the shelves right now. For now we are probably going to only announce it here on VP, not because we don't like all our friends on the other lists, but The Committee doesn't want to get so overwhelmed right away that it can't function properly. After we get the first members on board and we can see how well we can provide this service to the fandom, we'll let the news out to other folks. We're still refurbishing the library from stuff it's lost over the years and that will be an ongoing task.

We do have some wonderful NEW surprises to offer -- clean copies of the never-really-published-as-a-zine-but-passed-around-from-fan-to-fan Vermont Avenue and Homecoming stories -- possibly my very favorite SH story of all time, some other refurbished zines newly presented clean and spiffy. AND -- thanks to the gracious generosity of our own April Valentine -- we will actually be able to offer copies of the color version of Murder on San Carmelitas! We're working on coming up with a few sets of uncut eps, too, but that's going to take a little more time. As I said, the library is an ongoing activity. [10]

A 2001 Dilemma, and Possible Solution, for International Fans

On August 23, 2001, Flamingo posted:

I wanted to post this publicly since a number of fans from Canada, Europe, and Japan have been asking me if they can become members of the library. Typically, we hadn't thought that far. :-/

After some quick discussion among The Committee, we realized:

1) most of the library's losses occur during international mailings. No surprise. We know how hard it can be to safely get mail from one country to another, coming or going.

2) The cost of the mailings is prohibitive and by the time you've paid the mailing going and coming you've more than paid for the cost of producing the zine in the first place.

So, this is what we decided:

1) we can take advantage of the new Global Priority mailing system which gives you flat rates for postage to both Canada and overseas (there may be some areas not serviced, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it).

2) Global priority to Canada is $7 and overseas $9. This means you get to squeeze in as much as you can into a flat rate GP envelope for that price. There are bigger envelopes you can send stuff in but then the price goes up and it's not a stable fee.

3) $14 (Canada) and $18 Overseas can amount to a great deal more money for the people living in those countries. I know in Canada the exchange rate is almost double and it's worse in England. Don't know what it is in other countries like Germany and Japan, but it's expensive.

4) Because of the extravagant cost of the postage, and the high rate of zine loss shipping overseas, we've decided we will make copies of the zines (almost all are copies anyway) available for international fans and that the zines will only go *one* way. Depending on the size of the zine, we might have to charge for duplicating it (at 4 cents a side) but maybe not. We're still working out the economics of that. It may be possible that international fans' membership fees will cover it, especially since *that* fee costs them so much more to start with. We're still feeling our way around this.

5) Practically speaking, what this means is that some in-print zines may not be available to international fans because we won't copy them in deference to the generosity of the publishers. However, those zines are available from the source anyway. Most of the library is out of print. Since international fans can keep their zine copies, we are hoping they will make them available to other fans in their own countries to reduce the terrible mailing fees and extend the library to these hard to reach places.

This is what we're *thinking* of doing. We'd be interested in your input on this. <post to VenicePlace, quoted with Flamingo's permission </ref>

The Library Closes in 2006

One reason: "This is partly due to the real-life obligations of the current librarian, and partly due to the impracticality of mailing pounds of paper back and forth all over the world. With the rising price of postage, it now costs more to mail zines back and forth then it would to copy the zines and let members keep them. Unfortunately, that's not a practical solution, either. The time involved for a librarian to copy the zines herself is simply prohibitive." [11]

Another reason: As fans migrated to the Internet, many zine stories (slash and gen) became available online at the S & H Archive. [12]

A Possible Reboot?

Starting in 2010, several volunteers began discussions as to how to bring the library and the out of print fanzines back into circulation again. The current debate is whether to use an opt-in only model with offline distribution on timed-out CD disks. Basically, the concept of online distribution with open access to the Starsky and Hutch fanzine history continues to remain elusive.


  1. ^ The online introduction by Flamingo states 1990, but this does not jive with the 1995 announcements in Frienz.
  2. ^ Starsky & Hutch Lending Library
  3. ^ S & H Lending Library Card Catalog List of Titles, Last updated 7/23/01
  4. ^ from Frienz #25
  5. ^ from Frienz #29
  6. ^ from Frienz #29
  7. ^ Note: while the subject of keeping this library on the down-low was discussed, the subject of it closing was either an interruption in service, or a false alarm.
  8. ^ This date contradicts 1995. Perhaps it was a more informal library much earlier?
  9. ^ from ThePits, used on Fanlore with permission from Flamingo
  10. ^ Flamingo, June 30, 2001, VenicePlace, quoted on Fanlore with permission from Flamingo
  11. ^ The Starsky & Hutch Lending Library, accessed 12.15.2010
  12. ^ Starsky & Hutch Lending Library