Case Studies

The Power of Storytelling in the Open Source Community

Storytelling is one of the most compelling means of communication. Stories help us find common connections and reflect a shared human experience. We see the power of storytelling through the worldwide success of TED Talks, the sway of personal reviews, and the popularity of social media and reality TV. In the open source community, storytelling has the ability to break down barriers, build community, and welcome the next wave of open source advocates.

If you have been deeply embedded in the open source community for a while, you may not remember a time before embracing the open source mantra. But for those that are new to the concept of open source, there are myths and mystique around what open source actually is. In a society where so much comes with a cost, those that are unsure may be looking for the catch. Through our stories, we can acknowledge that some may find the concept of open source scary, and work to show them the truth- open source is about values, sharing, and community.

When talking about proprietary software, values isn’t usually the first thing to come to mind. Open source at its core is about values. We are the grassroots movement that continually works for what we believe is right when it comes to access in software and information. We believe in working together to build free, high quality products that are accessible for all. This mentality extends beyond software into a mindset of openness, sharing, and collaboration in our community. We cheer on problem-solving, respect data privacy, and feel that access to information is an inalienable right.

At ByWater Solutions, we deeply value collaboration and the spirit of the people behind open source. Our educational content is freely available, without an exchange of funds, as our way to give back to the community. Whenever we get a chance to speak about the power of open source, we take it. When so much of the world is defined by borders, paywalls, and keeping people out, we value that open source is universally available. The work we are all doing translates across continents, languages, and cultures. We all have a shared goal- to enrich, educate, and empower our communities- wherever they may be.

We believe the future is open and we want to welcome the next wave of colleagues and advocates. For over twenty years, the open source community has been building something unique and special and it’s time to raise our voices and share our stories. So, we want to pass the mic and hear from you, the open source community.

Introducing: The Library Low Down- Case Studies in Open Source

This monthly series is an opportunity for libraries to share their experiences with open source! The first case study comes from Benbrook Public Library in Texas.

Read the series as it grows:

For More Information

Jessica Zairo
Director of Library Sales & Outreach
ByWater Solutions