Access2008 Presentation V3
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Access2008 Presentation V3

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Presentation on Evergreen/Conifer for Access 2008 in Hamilton, ON.

Presentation on Evergreen/Conifer for Access 2008 in Hamilton, ON.

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Access2008 Presentation V3 Access2008 Presentation V3 Presentation Transcript

  • Evergreen and Conifer or... How to amaze your friends and astound your enemies by building a union catalogue on the cheap(ish) John Fink Digital Technologies Development Librarian McMaster University
  • My relationship with the ILS, 1995-2008:
  • ... View slide
  • But first, for the uninitiated
    • What is Evergreen?
    • It's an ILS that...
    • Is scalable...
    • Built on open standards...
    • Runs on stock hardware...
    • And is open source!
    View slide
    • That sounds terrific. Why isn't everyone everywhere using this?
    • Open Source (again)
    • Many many different pieces == many many places to break.
    • Install process getting better , but...
    • New ways of doing things == learning curve...
    • ...but...
  • Break the shell and you'll find magic.
  •  
  • But you knew that already, right?
    • So what's Project Conifer?
    • It's a confederation of five institutions:
    • McMaster, Laurentian, Windsor (mid-2007)
    • Then NOSM and Algoma University (mid-2008)
    • ...but probably nobody else (yet)...
    • With a single ILS install in Guelph.
    • ...(Guelph?)
  • What Conifer is NOT:
    • Provincially comprehensive
    • Official at any sort of OCUL-type level
    • Its own, separate entity
    • An OhioLINK-style resource sharing scheme
    • or...
    • Operational (May 2009!)
  • Step back, and breathe...
    • Of course, now you're asking yourself...
    • ...but hey, why would any one of you, let alone five of you, decide to ditch the ILS systems you have now which are working pretty well, or at least decently right now, and jump into something Completely Unknown?
    • well...
  • It's NOT unknown
    • Examples of Evergreen installs:
    • Georgia PINES (~280 libraries)
    • BC SITKA (18 libraries)
    • Michigan Library Consortium (Welcome GRPL!)
    • The Indiana Open Source ILS Initiative
    • ...and UPEI.
  • So it's proven, but...
    • At the moment, it lacks what we would consider more ”academic” features, like acquistions, serials, reserves, and batch import/export.
    • These are due in with version 2.0 later this year.
    • And other things, like internationalization, a Z39.50 server, a better admin interface...
    • ...these come in 1.4 (this month!)
  • At the risk of sounding like this guy:
  • Or (maybe) worse yet:
  • We're doing this because:
    • All of us, in one form or another, have had proprietary software companies fail us; whether it's because the software or hardware is being end-of-lifed, and migration costs are exorbitant .
    • And nowadays, we're smart enough to take some measure of responsibility for the operation and development of our own software.
  • But really, we're afraid:
    • Of being told we can do something but then having it taken from us
    • Of being locked into a platform that is dying a slow death due to corporate takeovers or an arbitrary technology shift.
    • Of dependencies.
  • tl;dr If you can't open it, you don't own it.
      • So really, it's less a ”hey this software is free and we don't have to pay for it woo-hoo” kind of thing and more a ”holy cripes we need to take a little more interest in what, exactly, this piece of software – long the central kernel of the library – is doing.”
  • Because it's not cheap – there are hardware and opportunity costs involved, and just about any change means at least some modicum of training, and a whole lot of headache.
  • But we at least have one advantage.. We (McMaster) are not planning on changing our patron interface – Endeca – and any reasonable discovery layer ought to function without too much hacking.
  • Ten years on?
  • One year later, they went out of business.
  • Image credits: Uncle Karl image courtesy of Wikipedia Stallman image courtesy of gnu.org love/hate photo courtesy of [email_address] @ flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiji_art/2414595461/ Coherent image courtesy of mrbill @ flickr: http://flickr.com/photos/mrbill/29870228/ EG install image courtesy of G. Hill, K. Thornley: http://www.principiadiscordia.com/book/59.php