Issue 42, 2018-11-08

Editorial Edit

A few words about our editors. A farewell to one editor. A solicitation for new editors.

This is the editorial, so let’s have a quick hurrah for the editors. We’re all volunteers, and I would hazard a guess that we’re all quite busy in our day jobs. Work for the Code4Lib Journal comes in pretty regular waves: there is a wave of proposals to consider and vote on; a wave of first drafts, second drafts, and all the edits in between; next entering the article into WordPress; and a final push to read as many completed articles as possible and give them a final vote of approval. The Coordinating Editor—for this issue, me—stands in the surf and throws stones at the editors, trying to distract them from their day jobs and make sure the process keeps flowing.

Why do we do it, then? I can’t speak for everyone, but there are perks: for instance, we get a first look at some really incredible ideas and projects. I must admit that more than once I have chosen to edit an article because the author was describing something my department was contemplating, and this seemed like an excellent way to jump in and learn more. We also get to work with some pretty interesting people and help them shape their ideas and text. Sometimes our contributions are modest, sometimes they are significant. Every article is different, every author is different. Each issue is something new–jam packed with newness if we’re lucky. Finally, we get to work with great people, our colleagues on the Editorial Committee.

There are currently fourteen of us listed on the Editorial Committee page, which sounds like a lot, but when you have eleven articles as we do in Issue 42, and each article needs an assigned editor and a “second reader,” we can get stretched thin. If you scroll down the Editorial Committee page, you will find a further twenty editors who have passed into Emeritus status. That number is about to grow by one.

Carol Bean is one of three remaining founding members of the Journal. She has been here for all 42 issues, but has decided to step back, as she has moved on from libraries and put together an interesting mix of new pursuits: “data munging,” stocks and options, grandkids. In fact, Carol tried to step back last issue, but when she saw that we could use another hand, she stepped forward again. The Journal is part of the Code4Lib solar system and shares many of the same traits. It’s still very much DIY, and when something needs doing there is the assumption that someone will make it happen (ideally without even being asked). Carol embodied this trait—she took care of things that needed doing.

She was generous in other ways. When fellow editors might be ready to throw in the towel on an article, she would always give the author one more chance to get it into a publishable state. She also wanted to make sure that public and special libraries were represented on the Editorial Committee. Finally, she was a master of the sometimes enigmatic signature line, which was a tiny window into her life tucked beneath her name. A recent sampling:

  --who will now hunt down all the crumbs and demand someone pick them up
  --who thinks the maple tree outside is being overly melodramatic
  --who issues disclaimers when the wine is good
  --who is waiting for the other shoe to fall
  --who watches with curiosity as the squirrels try to hop through foot-deep snow

Call for Editors

You probably saw where this editorial was leading. We’re looking for more editors to step into Carol’s big shoes. We need more Carol: people who are engaged, smart, generous. You can find out more about this on our Call for Editors page. Eric Hanson and Junior Tidal from the Editorial Committee are leading this effort, and they ask that you submit your letter of interest by Friday, December 7.

Issue 42

We have a great issue. Take some time and read it all. Consider helping us put together Issue 43.

–who is ready for a nap

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ISSN 1940-5758