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FOLIO Forum: A Peek Inside Open Source Communities: An Open Panel Discussion

20 Feb '18

February 21, 2018

Libraries and open source software share a common thread — a desire to work together to solve problems that organizations can’t solve by themselves. For libraries this means shared cataloging records, cooperative reference, consortia and interlibrary loan agreements, and regional book depositories. In open source software, organizations work together on discovery layers, integrated library systems, and digital archives.

Cooperation cannot be assumed however. Conflicting goals, uneven institutional support, and challenges communicating across distances can hinder any project. How do open source projects move past these issues?

In this moderated panel discussion, participants from open source projects address these questions:

  • How does the project scale in an organized manner?
  • How do participants provide input, help define requirements or contribute code?
  • How do features get prioritized and by whom?

Panelists will offer experiences from their communities and participants will be able to ask questions about how open source software is developed across this broad set of communities.Participants will come away from the session with knowledge about how open source projects work and how they can get involved in a project’s goals and outcomes.


  • Paula Sullenger: Associate Dean for Information Resources Services, Texas A&M University
  • Evviva Weinraub: Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies, Northwestern University
  • Rosalyn Metz: Director, Library Technology and Digital Strategies, Emory University
  • Kathy Lussier: Project Coordinator, Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative
  • Chris Hallberg: Library Technology Development Specialist, Villanova University