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Implementing a shared instance of the Evergreen ILS for an academic library consortium in Ontario
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Implementing a shared instance of the Evergreen ILS for an academic library consortium in Ontario


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  • 1. Project Conifer Implementing a shared instance of the Evergreen ILS for an academic library consortium in Ontario Art Rhyno Leddy Library, University of Windsor A presentation for the NELINET Open Source ILS: Relevance for Academic Libraries seminar - Dec. 9, 2008
  • 2. What is Conifer? Project Conifer is the joint project of Laurentian, McMaster, Windsor, and Algoma to adopt Evergreen as our common library system One union catalogue One shared set of servers One step towards greater cooperation among Ontario libraries for ILS functions
  • 3. What is Conifer?
  • 4. An ILS with a growing track record for consortia
  • 5. The trip to here… 1989-1993 worked on a SPIRES-based ILS at Memorial University and wrote my first MARC editor 1993-1995 joined Windsor, a beta partner in the development of Notis Horizon, one of the first client/server library systems 1995-1997 scrambled when Ameritech pulled the plug on Notis initiative with less than 24 hours notice, scraped what was left of the budget to go back to the marketplace and became one of the first customers of Endeavor Voyager 1999-2002 spent side hours developing java-based library system called PYTHEAS, some of the mappings ended up in Koha via work with a developer in BC, wrote my second MARC editor
  • 6. The trip to here… 2005 highly problematic Voyager upgrade, IBM hardware costs squeeze budget, agree in strategic planning to look for new ILS options 2006 operational strategic plan targets one day symposium on the State of the ILS 2007 officially join forces with Evergreen, work with Evergreen coders on beginnings of acq/ser layer, participate in a quot;meeting of the interestedquot; university libraries in Guelph, Project Conifer is born! 2008 take on increased development role in Knowledge Ontario to secure more funds for Conifer project, partner with developer at Windsor on reserves module
  • 7. Lessons & Pledges… I will: not underestimate the issues in data migration in any ILS implementation remember that consortium dynamics can take some time to work themselves out remember to be extremely cautious when anyone fixates only on financial savings in an OSS project I will never: totally trust the stability of a commercial library application write another MARC editor in my natural life
  • 8. The ILS Symposium - Nov. 15, 2006
  • 9. PINES - a very big challenge for OSS solutions
  • 10. Survey Results (2005)… Over 100 projects listed! 18% - No longer active 23% - Not updated in 3 years
  • 11. OSS Misconceptions & Realities…
  • 12. OSS Misconceptions & Realities…
  • 13. OSS Misconceptions & Realities…
  • 14. OSS Misconceptions & Realities…
  • 15. The Shocking Slide from the ILS Symposium Alpha release (Online public access catalog, Cataloging, Circulation) debuted in July 2005. Beta release in early 2006 All PINES libraries migrated to Evergreen software on September 5, 2006 All of the above was promised and delivered on schedule That's right, on schedule. Really... I am not making this up
  • 16. The Other Shocking Slide from the ILS Symposium…
  • 17. The Conifer experience…
  • 18. The Conifer experience…
  • 19. In other words… linux-based servers commodity hardware communal documentation widely understood software stack for 80% of the application
  • 20. Relationship to OLE “With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a multinational group of libraries is developing the design for an Open Library Environment (OLE), an alternative to the current model of an Integrated Library System. The goal is to produce a design document to inform open source library system development efforts, to guide future library system implementations, and to influence current Integrated Library System vendor products.”
  • 21. OLE as UBL?
  • 22. OLE as OSI?
  • 23. Evergreen’s relationship to OLE “Do the current open source ILS products provide a new model of automation, or an open source version of what we already have?” - Marshall Breeding, Overview of the state of library automation: Framing the OLE Initiative, OLE Project Core Partners Meeting, September 9, 2008
  • 24. Do you already have… well-documented and unfettered access to your records? web savvy conduit for mixing and matching applications? the ability to change how your ILS works?
  • 25. Evergreen’s hidden asset “Given the modest size of the library community, it is gratifying to note that Evergreen is not the only open source ILS, nor the only successful one…Yet, Evergreen is of special interest not only for its scalability, but also for its architecture. Evergreen utilizes a jabber-based communications infrastructure and a custom messaging layer called OpenSRF (Open Scalable Request Framework), pronounced quot;open surfquot;. It provides a powerful message based system that allows for maximum utilization of network settings.”
  • 26. Well worth tracking down later…
  • 27. OpenSRF and The Architectural Advantages of Evergreen
  • 28. OpenSRF - some practical plumbing for the web ecosystem “With OpenSRF, ILS functions can be abstracted and extended in a wide variety of development environments. OpenSRF has the potential to be to the ILS what HTTP was to the World Wide Web…OpenSRF represents a strong conduit for bringing forward state information to arbitrary web spaces and allowing the ILS to support rather than sit on the sidelines for web interactions. “ - Art’s ramblings for Open Source Business Resource, August 2008: Focus on Education
  • 29. OpenSRF - some practical plumbing for the web ecosystem
  • 30. OpenSRF - some practical plumbing for the web ecosystem modeling Reserves Direct in Django to take advantage of programmer availability add internationalization layer, critical for Conifer OpenSRF gives high fidelity access to Evergreen at deep level
  • 31. Achieving Agility it’s not about it’s not about saving money creating another (although that consortium for would be nice) finding common work flows (although we hope that will it’s not about happen) doing what we already do with it’s about agility and OSS tools flexibility on an (although we increasingly still have to do networked planet a lot of the (and we can’t afford same things) to stumble right now)
  • 32. The Road to May 2009 (go live date) Thinking about Acquisitions Ideas from UPEI on serials and dealing with overlapping consortiums Moving fast on Reserves Hoping to contract Equinox for data services Remembering May 1997 - everything is relative!
  • 33. The Road to May 2009 (go live date) Lots of requests to join Conifer since shortly after the project launched Colleges, hospitals, and other universities Knowledge Ontario (KO) is a cross-sector partnership of 4500 library organizations in the province, some discussions about possible KO branding We also have been sharing everything that’s going on in the project
  • 34. In fact, there are *no* secrets…
  • 35. Because Dan Scott can not be stopped! Conifer Project Manager par excellence IBM background, documentation expert, internationalization zealot He doesn’t seem to sleep…
  • 36. The Role of Decoupled Interfaces
  • 37. The Role of a Common Index QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 38. Arbitrary Injections into Web Spaces
  • 39. The Role of the Cloud
  • 40. Remember this?
  • 41. Google’s strengths & weaknesses
  • 42. Links Conifer: Evergreen project:Home: Wiki: Acquisitions demo: SITKA talking points: points Equinox:Home: