Preserving a Legacy: San Diego skater launches U.S. tour to ‘Save Print’

San Diego’s Kevin Marks launches “The Look Back Library;” helps skate shops across the country build free skateboard magazine archives

Have you ever thought about what might happen if libraries went away—like actual, physical locations, with materials you can pick up and hold while reading. What if everything became digital? The case can be made that our society is moving in that direction.

Perhaps in true skateboard spirit, however, there are some who are going against the grain. Kevin Marks is one of those people. Since October 2015, Marks—a Kansas native who has lived in San Diego, California, for 21 years, and an avid skate magazine collector—has been working to create a skate magazine library, which he has turned into a non-profit, “The Look Back Library. Compiling issues of his own, and donations from friends and fellow skate enthusiasts, he has assembled a massive collection, some of which go back to the ’80s and beyond—a time period sentimental to Marks because it represents the era when he picked up his first skate magazine.

This month, Marks has taken his project on the road, and aims to visit a long list of skate shops across the country, helping them build their own free skate magazine libraries and preserve a legacy that deserves to live on.

“I’m currently in Tampa bringing a classic skate mag exhibit around the country for the next six months,” Marks explained in a recent email. “The purpose is to promote our library building efforts, but also to shine a light on how rad print magazines are.”

Marks says he is dedicated to ensuring that skateboarding literature will always be available to the masses. “We want it to be a community effort. Whatever space a shop can set aside, I can fill that with magazines.”

Have some magazines you’d like to donate? Interested in creating a library at your shop? Marks is accepting inquiries: kevin@lookbacklibrary.org

Here’s a look at his current tour schedule:

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Read Jenkem’s story on Marks, here.