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From the editor: Time for a 1% change

“1% daily improvement or, have big dreams, set big goals, and then do a little bit everyday to make your dreams a reality”. This is Chris Nikic’s approach to his athletic training, and it is clearly a good one because last month he became the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. And, as I think about the work of the Open Shelf team over the past four years, I think we’ve been following this rule of thumb. Although our results are different from Chris’s, we’ve had goals and worked towards them in “manageable chunks”. So, as I hand off the baton to two new senior editors (another 1% change), I feel good. 

The past four years have gone by fast and here’s a brief laundry list of “highlights” that celebrate the work done by the Open Shelf editorial team since February 2016:

  • Tons of good stories, including international collaborations (e.g., our LGBTQ+ column).
  • A group of enthusiastic volunteers that has grown from four to thirteen (and that’s just the folks on editorial team) and developed our skillset to support an expanded social media portfolio and better metadata oversight.
  • Effective collaborations with OLA staff and Board members, including two new Board liaisons roles.
  • A redesign, a strategic plan, and a new set of editorial guidelines, all of which help us to navigate hackers and tough censorship decisions alike.

And now it’s time for more change. So we’ve selected a new chief editor along with a new deputy editor and it’s my pleasure to introduce them.

Alicia Cappello will become the Open Shelf editor-in-chief in February 2021. Alicia has a MLIS and a MA in digital humanities from the University of Alberta. She has written on topics ranging from social media (her thesis) to worm killing (for the Edmonton Horticultural Society) and has edited blogs, academic journals, and business reports alike. As a trustee for her local library, Alicia is familiar with the challenges faced by small rural public libraries as well as Ontario libraries in general, and is looking forward to becoming more involved in the OLA community. Plus, she knows her way around a WordPress site.

Bennett Steinburg is following in Nikolina Likarevic’s footsteps and became our new deputy editor on November 13, 2020. Bennett completed his Master of Information at the University of Toronto this past June and has also written in different contexts, most recently for a literary journal and a U of T student union. His storytelling experience goes beyond the written word, however, and he brings his experience with improv comedy to the team—meetings should be lively. Bennett is currently working as a content coordinator in a Toronto-based website design agency and is looking forward to making meaningful connections with other library professionals through his role on the Open Shelf team.

Both Bennett and Alicia bring strong skills and fresh eyes to these key editorial roles and we are very pleased that they are joining the Open Shelf team.

My dad always used to say, “an opportunity is never an opportunity till it passes you by Martha Lyn” and this is another philosophic approach to work that has always stood me in good stead. Being the Open Shelf editor-in-chief has been a marvelous opportunity to do creative and meaningful work with a lovely group of people. I am definitely glad that I did not let this opportunity pass me by.  

Martha Attridge Bufton
(Outgoing) Editor-in-Chief
Open Shelf

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