Open Source Live: Kick off the Public Library Association Conference

Join us for the next Open Source Live where we will be kicking things off for the Public Library Association Annual Conference (PLA) in Portland, Oregon later in the month. We wanted to share what our amazing library partners are doing around the country to kick things off. This year the PLA Annual Conference will amplify equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice (EDISJ) issues and ideas through diverse programming, dynamic speakers and authors, and partnerships with local organizations.

The event will take place on Wednesday March 7th 3:00pm - 5:00pm ET (1:00 - 3:00pm MT).

Watch Live

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Presentation: Building Library Community Virtually

The professional communities we build as librarians can be as important to us as the communities that we serve. The structure of the open source community enables us to stay connected, share ideas, and have built-in sounding boards- even when the events of the last two years made connecting with peers much more challenging. Despite never meeting in person, libraries throughout the country collaborated on the development of an open source discovery layer. We met monthly on Zoom, shared ideas through messaging platforms, and were able to troubleshoot developments until patron and staff-forward solutions were reached. Even if in some communities, physical doors were closed for a time, the work continued for staff throughout. Today, we are here together and in person for the first time and wanted to share our experiences working together virtually to build community and a patron-forward platform.

  • Sam Passey, Director, Uintah County Library (Utah)
  • Bob Bennhoff, AspenCat Services Manager, Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC)
  • Tara Wood, User Experience Manager, SWAN Library Services (Illinois)
  • Mark Noble, Aspen Discovery Team Lead, ByWater Solutions

Presentation: A Little Help From Friends: Open Source Community Crisis Response

Change and challenges are inevitable. As a vital part of their communities, libraries must sometimes pivot at extreme speed to address difficult situations. Providing essential services - particularly to underserved populations - means libraries must evolve, adapt, and remain flexible in a crisis. In this presentation, we will share four library experiences that demonstrate how connecting to the open-source library community can promote connection, inspire creative problem solving, and provide support when it’s needed most.


  • Develop a plan to effectively address a crisis. The plan should focus on community needs and ways to maintain essential services for underserved and local populations.

  • Identify potential partnerships within the library’s networks. Connections to other libraries or entities whether local, regional, or national can help a library in crisis endure, strengthen and thrive.

  • Emerge with confidence that plan development, partnerships, and continued strength will foster growth during difficult times.


  • Meghan Flynn, Assistant Director, Grand County Public Library (Utah)
  • Renee Rountree, Library Director Washington County Library (Florida)
  • Jessica Zairo, Director of Library Sales & Outreach, ByWater Solutions

About PLA

Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends, and library vendors from across the country and around the world. This multi-day event offers over 100 top-quality education programs, inspirational and entertaining speakers, social events that include author luncheons and networking receptions, and a bustling exhibits hall featuring the latest in products and services.

The PLA Conference is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. In collaboration with its parent organization, the American Library Association, PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. Please note: PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public.

Read more about the 2022PLA Conference at:

For More Information

Jessica Zairo
Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
ByWater Solutions