Librarian of the Month

Join Us in Celebrating Our 2021 Librarian of the Month Winners!

We were honored to highlight twelve outstanding librarians from across the country this year!

See the round-up of our Librarians of the Month Winners for 2021.

January 2021- Esther Melander of Soda Springs Public Library, Soda Springs, Idaho

"Esther has been a huge open source advocate. Her interest in Koha and being a part of the community was evident since since the first time we met. Now that their Library Consortium has migrated, Esther is still giving back! She recently shared reports to help future libraries export data from their legacy ILS to migrate to Koha!! Thank you for being an amazing part of the open source community, Esther!"

February 2021- Elizabeth Quinn of Cherry Hill Public Library in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

"I enthusiastically recommend Elizabeth Quinn, Supervisor of Technical Services at the Cherry Hill Public Library as a Bywater Librarian of the Month. We at CHPL are dedicated Bywater clients and Koha users, lead by Betty Quinn who is our touchstone to make sure our Koha catalog, print, e-collections and databases all run smoothly for our staff and patrons. During the pandemic changes of 2020, Betty made sure that our virtual and digital services were available for our active and engaged patrons in this community. Our circulation for electronic and digital collections skyrocketed as the physical library building closed. She keeps the staff informed and trained by attending Koha user meetings, taking part in webinars, watching the Monday minutes and the Library is Open Podcast. Thank you to Betty for her dedication and work ethic for our library!"

March 2021- James Staub of Nashville Public Library in Nashville, Tennessee

"James has been actively contributing to Aspen Discovery to make sure that Aspen works well for the special needs of Nashville Public Library. James has added everything from special reports for their schools to payment processing that meets the requirements of their county. James is also a great advocate for Aspen Discovery- he has given many talks over the years to help promote Aspen Discovery and has been an active member of the growing Aspen Community."

April 2021- Sarah Cornell of Portsmouth Public Library in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

"We at the Portsmouth Public Library would like to nominate our own Sarah Cornell to be a ByWater Librarian of the Month. She is our Koha hero, mentor, champion.... She worked tirelessly to, almost single-handedly migrate, our previous system to Koha with the experts at ByWater. She learned, she questioned, she immersed herself in all things Koha to ready our existing data to migrate in the best way possible. She anticipated our questions and worked on data behind the scenes to make things work seamlessly. She informed the staff and provided opportunities for us all to learn and be "invested" in the process and the outcomes. She is our Koha guru. She lives and breathes the details large and small. She lets the staff use Koha the way we need to in order to do our jobs and is open and flexible when we throw curveballs at her. She is a lover best practice and delights in the details, but facilitates our need to explore and reinvent processes and procedures as we need every day. She embraces the open-source concept and lives that sort of philosophy every day, giving staff the power to collaborate and contribute to the system that keeps us all doing our jobs at a high level of productivity, quality, and efficiency....all while having fun!"

May 2021- Eric Swenson of Salina Public Library in Salina, Kansas

"Eric's enthusiasm for Aspen Discovery is infectious. He is always eager to help both patrons and staff better utilize Aspen Discovery to find what they want. He also makes sure he understands how Aspen works so he can best customize it for his users and suggests changes that improve Aspen for all libraries."

"Eric is such a great member of the Aspen Discovery community! He is always willing to assist his fellow members and most importantly, is always striving to provide the best experience for his patrons within Aspen. He approaches every challenge with friendliness and eagerness, which is such a joy!"

June 2021- Steve Clegg of Benbrook Public Library in Benbrook, Texas

"Steve truly believes in open-source and providing access to all information. He has been instrumental in forming MetroShare, a 7 location consortium using both Koha and Aspen Discovery. His dedication to the community is ever-present. We are proud to have an outstanding member take the lead in the open-source communities we support."

July 2021- John Brice of Crawford County Federated Library System in Meadville, Pennsylvania

"John Brice has been a true advocate for using Open Source Software in libraries long before it was considered mainstream. John was a key player in securing the funding that allowed Koha to be useful for libraries with large collections. His DIY ethic and gregarious personality have lead to many successes at the Meadville Public Library and the Crawford County Federated Library System."

August 2021- Keely Ward of Holland & Knight in Chicago, Illinois

"It is always a pleasure to talk with Keely and she brings such an infectious spirit to the open source community! She is an advocate for open source solutions and has been published and has presented on open source topics a number of times over the years. She's always working on innovative ways to increase access to information to the lawyers and researchers she works with. We're proud to know her and work with her"

September 2021- Elaina Komala of Fox River Grove Memorial Library in Fox River Grove, Illinois

"I am very excited to submit a Librarian of the Month nomination for Elaina Komala, Fox River Grove Memorial Library, Adult & Technical Services Manager. Elaina has improved our Library’s use of Koha in every way, from streamlining cataloging, to training staff, to devising insightful reports, to adding images to all item records, and more. She intuitively understands what patrons and staff need to get the most out of their online catalog experience, and we are better able to serve internal and external customers because of her. She is thoughtful when planning new initiatives, balancing pushes into new territory with managing training time and sustainability. I love Koha and Bywater even more because Elaina makes them the best tools possible for our Library!"

October 2021- Dan Lerch of Penticton Public Library in Penticton, BC (Canada)

"Our ByWater Team has been continually impressed with Dan. Our Data Team thought he was a huge help during the migration process, even writing up some documentation to help data extraction easier for other libraries in the Koha community. Our Education Team acknowledged that Dan really showed up eager and prepared to work; consistently anticipating issues and bringing great questions. He truly dove feet first into open source and two new softwares- no small undertaking! His commitment to his library, his co-workers, and his community are very evident."

November 2021- Laurel Moran of San Diego Law Library in San Diego, California

"Laurel has been an open-source advocate since 2016 when San Diego Law Library went live on Koha! Laurel is constantly thinking outside the box to bring first-class services to their patrons. She has brought constructive feedback to the Koha community to help develop a more fine-tuned acquisitions process. Laurel is always willing to jump in and talk to a new prospective Koha partner and share her experience. The growth the ByWater and Koha community has seen in the last few years with county law libraries has been in part to the positive feedback from Laurel and her staff at San Diego Law Library. Thanks Laurel for being a vital member of the open-source community!"

December 2021- Sharon Kay Edwards of Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee

"Sharon, Director at Motlow State Community College, has been a member of the open source community for many years. She is also a great advocate for libraries, especially in the state of Tennessee, as the president of the Tennessee Library Association. She has been an amazing resource for other libraries with questions about open source and Koha. She is always willing to talk with libraries and share her knowledge with them! We’re thankful for her contributions and working with her over the years."

Nominate a Librarian for 2022

Do you have a staff member at your branch that you would like to nominate for ByWater's Librarian of the Month for 2022?!

We love to feature library staff members (not just librarians) that are impacting their patrons, are valued members of the library team, and who go the extra mile in the open source and library community.

Email us and let us know who they are, brag about all their accomplishments and we'll share it!