A Message from ByWater’s CEO – The Year Ahead


At the beginning of every year I send out a newsletter to highlight some of our goals.

We consider each library that we migrate and support as Partners. We do this because we believe that we are all in this together. I am a librarian, I have worked in libraries, I have my masters in library science, I have so many wonderful experiences in libraries, I live and breathe libraries. Everyone at ByWater Solutions has the same mantra – we love everything that libraries do for their communities.

I feel that this year will bring many new challenges to local public, academic, special, and corporate libraries. I originally started this company on the idea that we would be advocates for libraries – interested in the daily challenges and obstacles that were presented. We have always been interested in providing support on an open source product that we love, while also creating a personal interest in each library – placing each library’s interests in the foreground. We are interested in the stories and challenges that you are facing. There are a variety of issues going forward; whether that be fiscal responsibility, diversity of programs, feature based software, volume of users, diverse collections, high-powered high-learning, or librarian/staff retention and quality.

Having a very diverse set of partners with ByWater – I have been introduced to many advocates for growth and learning towards the importance of libraries on every level of institution. I would like a chance to have a conversation with each partner of ByWater within the next couple of weeks – about what challenges you are facing at this time, what you think is coming in the future, and how we can help you find information and sources for the challenges you face. I feel that the notes and the information gathered (to be shared) throughout these calls will generate an excellent knowledge base for our partners moving forward.

We at ByWater are librarians. We are interesting in disseminating information – I foresee many interesting topics that will be raised that we can help find information to help each of you meet the needs that you have for your users, boards, directors, town councils, academic peers, and participating members.

This year I want to present what we think is important for our year ahead.

Privacy – We will roll out a completely encrypted system for web traffic in the coming months and will make every one of our hosted web sites completely SSL encrypted. We have mastered the “let’s encrypt” SSL system. In my opinion this is a really big deal. Security of our systems is a daily task and also a very important goal for librarians. Each patron of our systems should know that their pursuit of knowledge should be confidential. This was a major win for ByWater and I am very excited to launch this program for all of our partners. A big shout out to Larry for making this happen.

We have also launched a podcast site, libraryisopen.com – where we are interested in having conversations with librarians about what matters to them. We have a few podcasts that are up – please check them out. We will be releasing one a month. Jessica Zairo is the host of these podcasts, so please approach her if you have an idea for a podcast.

We have a goal of creating the next generation of library catalogs, based on RDF (Linked Data) and Elastic Search. Linked data has the power for libraries to eliminate silos of information. During this digital age we need to spread our libraries and our programs towards acceptance throughout many digital platforms. We need to have our metadata be acceptable for search engines and other data stores beyond just the static library platforms. This innovation will not only improve the presentation of our materials but will allow links from outside the library to drive traffic to our institutions, and allow our bibliographic data to be presented in other mediums.

We have a few other goals, but I think it would be best to discuss those in future emails as we establish clearer goals and deadlines.

At this time I’d also love to recognize and introduce some of the new team members of ByWater, all MLS librarians: Kelly McElligott, Karen Holt , Michael Cabus, Jacqueline Salter, and Jessica Beno. Each of them bring a very diverse background to our company and I am excited to watch them on their journey of personal growth and knowledge while informing and educating us all on what they learn. That is the power of ByWater; it is always about what we each are learning, understanding, and sharing to partners, libraries, koha community, and co-workers. The collective knowledge that we have is a powerful unit. Let’s make sure that this year ahead of us, we all work towards the best methods for communication between all constituents, all patrons, all partners, all support staff, all community members, and all librarians! We are all in this together – lets all get on the same ride – join in – let’s all go for this great adventure together. Together I feel that we can all present the voice that needs to promote education and learning and moving us forward to create libraries that we all imagine.

I can’t wait to talk with you each.

Brendan Gallagher MLS,

Also from, Nathan Curulla, Joy Nelson MIS, Melissa Lefebrve MLS, Kyle Hall, Jesse Maseto, Larry Baerveldt MLS, Dani Elder MIS, Cindy Norman, Rocio Dressler MIS, Todd Goatley, Josh Barron, Barton Chittenden, Nick Clemens MLS, Jessica Zairo MLS, Michael Cabus MLS, Jessica Beno MLS, Jacqueline Salter MLS, Karen Holt MLS, and Kelly McElligott MLS.

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