Open Source News

Women in Open Source: Jessica Zairo

This month we are interviewing some wonderful women in the open source community! Here are some excerpts from our interview with Jessica Zairo of ByWater Solutions.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and your current role in open source.

My current role is Director of Library Sales and Outreach at ByWater Solutions. I work closely with libraries making the decision to move to an Open Source platform. Our team focuses on building relationships and provides our potential partners with a personable sales experience as they begin the transition to migrate to an Open Source product. What I love the most is getting people excited about Open Source and all the possibilities they have! My previous experience as a librarian ranged from law libraries to consortiums, providing reference, professional development training and outreach.

What led you to open source?

ByWater Solutions :) When I first started in 2015 as an Educator I immediately fell in love with the community. Working in a library consortium for years I knew the challenges libraries faced trying to provide the best patron experience for their users. I knew Koha was a perfect fit for libraries offering an intuitive interface, customizable platform and flexibility with workflows for each unique library.

What is a favorite project, experience or memory related to open source?

Getting to host the 2018 KohaCon international conference in the U.S. It was amazing to meet so many people that I had the honor of chatting with online, but got to hug them in person for all the help, guidance and support for Koha over the years. Seeing the energy and time that these librarians, coders, developers, support specialists had for Koha was just a thrill of a lifetime.

What do you love about open source?

Community. Community. Community. I love how no matter what the question, concern, discussion, or task is everyone and anyone is willing to help. Being able to share ideas with other users throughout the world and hear how they are using Koha, CORAL, Libki, or Aspen is just such an amazing feeling. Being part of an open source community gives you all the feels.

What is something you are listening to or reading right now?

Reading: 5 Star Trails Gainesville and Ocala by Sandra Friend and John Keatley. My family goes hiking every Sunday morning, so this is the perfect read to provide some new experiences!

Reading: 10 Mindful Minutes by Goldie Hawn