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Evergreen: An Open Source ILS

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Slides from a talk I gave to the Hamilton Linux Users Group meeting on May 5th, 2008 at McMaster University.

Slides from a talk I gave to the Hamilton Linux Users Group meeting on May 5th, 2008 at McMaster University.

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Transcript

  • 1. Evergreen: an Open Source ILS
      • John Fink
      • Digital Technologies Development Librarian
      • McMaster University
  • 2. The ILS: what is it?
    • A place to find books, yeah, but also...
    • ... a way for libraries to provide access to:
    • ... databases
    • ... e-journals
    • ...thesis and dissertations.
  • 3. Our current situation
    • Proprietary ILS vendors abound, which means...
    • ...they're expensive
    • ...they respond slowly to feature requests, if at all.
    • ...our data is not as portable as we'd like.
    • What are we paying for?
  • 4. Does this remind you of anything?
    • Hey, do you remember:
    • ...Coherent?
    • ...Xenix?
    • ...Ultrix?
    • ...A/UX?
    • ...BSD/OS?
    • There's a good reason for that, huh?
  • 5. But what we really needed was...
    • ...a good solid kick to the pants.
    • A couple of years ago, our vendor was bought by a competing vendor, and that means...
    • ...product consolidation, which means...
    • ...we're in trouble.
  • 6. Fortunately...
      • We're not the only ones with this problem.
  • 7. There are OSS choices:
    • Koha
    • Evergreen
    • PHPMyBibli
    • NewGenLib
    • ... but
    • Libraries are very risk averse – don't rock the boat!
  • 8. So, as a result
      • McMaster University decided to migrate off of our current ILS and go with Evergreen.
  • 9. Who else is using Evergreen?
    • Georgia PINES
    • Sitka (BC PINES)
    • ...and a lot of other people in stealth mode.
  • 10. Why Evergreen for us?
    • Open source
    • ... (of course)
    • ... so no vendor lock-in
    • ... transparent access to objects via JSON or XML
    • ... a known backend
    • OUR data is OUR data.
  • 11. Features of Evergreen
    • Highly flexible organizational hierarchy
    • Efficient decentralization of front and backend through OpenSRF and Jabber
    • RSS feeds for users and libraries
    • A ”book bag”, to save items for later
    • Automagic relevance detection
  • 12. But...
    • Evergreen is missing some key features that academic libraries need...
    • ...things like acquisitions, serials, and reserves.
    • ...plus the install is not, uh, very friendly.
    • ...but since it's open source, we can work on that!
  • 13. Evergreen support model
    • Hey, it's open source, so we have...
    • ...mailing lists (dev and ”normal”)
    • ...IRC
    • ...and the option of paid support from many groups.
  • 14. There's something intensely gratifying about asking for help on IRC or on the lists and getting immediate response from the people that actually wrote your software.
  • 15. So where are we right now?
    • Here at Mac we're...
    • ...in the midst of migration with two other Canadian universities, Windsor and Laurentian, collectively we're known as Project Conifer.
    • ...target date of summer 2009.
  • 16. Project Conifer
    • The goal is to eventually have a shared catalog, where people from Windsor, Laurentian and McMaster all have borrowing rights at each institution, and can easily see eachother's collections.
    • This is what library people call a ”union catalogue.”
    • Hopefully, this will make borrowing easier.
  • 17. Any questions?