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Image Of A Manual Typewriter With The Words From The Editor Typed On A Piece Of Paper In The Typewriter

Introductions are in order

While I have been formally introduced to the readership of Open Shelf since I began my stint as Deputy Editor, I recently realized I have yet to properly introduce myself (Hello, how are you?) and put a face and personality to the name you see in email responses from the Open Shelf email address.

My name is Bennett Steinburg and, as the bio listed on our Editorial Team page says, I am a (now not-so) recent graduate from the University of Toronto’s Master of Information program and am currently working outside of the field of librarianship as content coordinator at a web design agency based out of St. Catherines. 

It is quite an interesting thing to be serving as Deputy Editor of the OLA’s official magazine without being embedded in library work and the library world. With each issue I am involved in publishing and with each contributor I speak to, I find myself more and more often reacting with surprise and excitement to the creativity, accomplishment and scope of the project and vision shared by OLA members (although upon further reflection, this should come as no surprise when considering the talented individuals who choose librarianship as their field).

I find myself adopting the “outside-looking-in” perspective more often with each passing issue. I hope it will prove to be a valuable editorial perspective for the magazine, the editorial team and for the contributors with whom I am privileged to work each month.

While not working in a library environment, I continue to pursue and investigate my passion for storytelling, performance and learning both in and out of the library. I spend my day ensuring that visitors to the websites I work on receive good information (and improve the SEO, or the level optimization for discovery by search engines, of the sites so that they are able to find the information in the first place), and then I am able to turn to Open Shelf to focus on much of the same.

Pre-COVID, I performed and instructed workshops about improvised comedy and had begun to facilitate instructional sessions about improving storytelling and mindfully connecting with others using techniques borrowed from improv. I am also an avid player of tabletop role-playing games (which bear a number of striking, and perhaps surprising, similarities to improv) and am particularly passionate about their ability to foster emotional intelligence and growth in young children, educate players about real-world issues (including subcultures, pieces of Canadian history, or differences in life-experiences) and serve as a powerful platform for self-expression, community-building and collaborative ingenuity. 

Please take this as an open invitation for submissions or collaboration about either of those topics, either as they can serve us as professionals or about their place in the library. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to work with one of our amazing readers on a piece related to either!

I am so thankful for the incredible contributors I have had the opportunity to meet and work with in my time thus far at Open Shelf, and for all of the excellent ones I will have the privilege of collaborating with in the future.

Bennett Steinburg
Deputy Editor
Open Shelf

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