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Evergreen in Armenia


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A presentation at Evergreen International Conference 2009 by Tigran Zargaryan of the Fundamental Scientific Library of Armenia.

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Evergreen in Armenia

  1. 1. Evergreen in Armenia Tigran Zargaryan Fundamental Scientific Library Director Armenia
  2. 2. In this talk • and the eIFL-FOSS program • Context timeline: from a proprietary ILS to a FOSS ILS • Introduction of Evergreen to Armenian libraries • Activities on implementing Evergreen in the institutions of the NAS • Economic crisis, Armenian libraries, and FOSS • Future Plans
  3. 3. • (Electronic Information For Libraries) • Working with national library consortia in 48 developing and transition countries • programs: Negotiations, Consortium Building, Knowledge Sharing, eIFL-IP “Copyright and libraries”, eIFL-OA “Open Access”, eIFL-FOSS. •
  4. 4. eIFL-FOSS: the program • Advocates FOSS use in libraries • Raises awareness and understanding of FOSS • Facilitates engagement with FOSS development communities • Develops support material for evaluation of and migration to a FOSS systems • Undertakes projects to deploy FOSS solutions, enhance skills, and build capacity
  5. 5. Context timeline: eIFL activities on introducing FOSS • 2005: Art Rhyno research report, “Open Source Systems for Libraries: a report for”. • 2006: Art and Tigran research top FOSS priorities for countries. – FOSS ILS is the top priority. • 2006: formation of eIFL-FOSS program within • 2007: eIFL-FOSS program receives funding from Open Society Institute. – Advisory Board established.
  6. 6. eIFL-FOSS ILS Project • Piloting and evaluating 2 FOSS ILSs (Koha and Evergreen) in 7 countries: o Armenia ( Evergreen and Koha) - FSL o Georgia (Koha) - National Scientific Library o Malawi (Koha) - Mzuzu University Library o Mali (Koha) - Library of the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, University of Bamako o Nepal (Evergreen) - Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya ( o Palestine (Evergreen) - An-Najah National University o Zimbabwe (Koha) - Midlands State University Library
  7. 7. Context continued • 2008 (June): Yerevan training workshop on Evergreen and Koha; – part of eIFL-FOSS ILS project. • Hosted by Fundamental Scientific Library and sponsored by, 10-11 June 2008. • Technical lead from each pilot site invited to attend. • Expert trainers volunteered their time: – Dan Scott of Laurentian University, Canada, and – Henri-Damien Laurent of BibLibre, France.
  8. 8. Yerevan training workshop • Intensive two days of technical work covering: – project briefing on the role of pilot libraries; – comprehensive demonstration of Koha and Evergreen functionality; – install-fest: guided installation of both ILSs; – data conversion and migration scenarios; etc
  9. 9. Yerevan June 2008 training
  10. 10. Yerevan June 2008 training
  11. 11. Yerevan June 2008 training
  12. 12. Piloting: the point • 2008: Extensive testing of Evergreen and Koha systems started in the FSL. • The aim of this testing was to estimate pros and cons of both systems, to work out a visionary decision on the possibility of migration from the proprietary ILS system to the FOSS ILS, and to evaluate which of these systems will best fit to Armenian libraries requirements. • 2009: After 3 months consultations and piloting, the final vote was for the Evergreen.
  13. 13. Introducing Evergreen • Preparation activities started in FSL for introducing this new product, and careful planning steps were adopted. • The library allocated a server for Evergreen installation, and for hosting bibliographic records. • From Armenian Libraries Union Catalogue the test set of Armenian records was exported and passed to Dan Scott for importing into Evergreen system and testing. • Tigran Zargaryan translated Evergreen into Armenian, and again Dan Scott tested this translation for internationalization version. • Currently Armenian localization is included in the Evergreen as one of interfaces.
  14. 14. Introducing Evergreen • A group consisting of 2 librarians having good knowledge in MARC formats, and 2 computer specialists (participants from the Evergreen workshop) with professional knowledge in Linux, Apache were assigned as leaders for this endeavor • However, we wouldn’t be able to start this ambitious project and be successful without the help, support and advice from the Evergreen international community, and eIFL-FOSS community.
  15. 15. The Evergreen Community • To all our queries to the discussion lists we have received immediate answers and detailed explanations. • During piloting phase we have pointed the developers to some significant bugs, specifically when working with non- Latin alphabets. • The presence of active and well coordinated discussion lists is a basis for success during Evergreen implementation and migration. • Evergreen discussions lists are not only some type of technical communities, it is also a social element, which makes end users confident that during the work with Evergreen you wouldn’t stay alone with all your problems and doubts. • This is a core element and our special thanks to all members of the lists.
  16. 16. How eIFL-FOSS has helped • Provides email discussion list for all eIFL-FOSS country coordinators and ILS pilot sites. • eIFL-FOSS blog to maintain interest and highlight activity within the pilots. • Set up eIFL IRC channel #eifl on to provide a space to develop IRC skills (not common amongst these libraries). • Monitors news and information sources for relevant information for eIFL-FOSS country coordinators. • Regularly encourages (and promotes) direct engagement with FOSS development communities.
  17. 17. Implementing Evergreen at NAS • The National Academy of Sciences with its 29 research institutions is a leading producer of scientific publications. • All institutions have libraries with the total number of collections consisting of over 1.2 million volumes in Armenian, European, Asian, and Slavic languages. • FSL as a leader on digitizing and automation of libraries in Armenia has prepared a visionary document on developing digital library modules for NAS institutions. • Evergreen is planned for use as the integrated library system for all NAS institutions.
  18. 18. Implementing Evergreen at NAS • Starting from April 2009 training sessions for the NAS institution librarians on working with Evergreen is in progress. • FSL has allocated a dedicated Evergreen server for hosting NAS institutions’ catalogues. • Already 17 librarians from different institutions have passed training courses and are involved in cataloguing activities. •
  19. 19. Regional Cooperation • Our colleagues from the Ilia Chavchavadze State University library (Tbilisi, Georgia) appealed to FSL for help and consultations on working with Evergreen. • It was agreed to organize 2 day workshop, which was held in FSL during April 6 and 7, 2009. • Although Georgian librarians had already installed and are working with the system, they decided to visit FSL for exchange of knowledge and skills.
  20. 20. Regional Cooperation • Such as FSL in partnership with Georgian and Uzbekistan Universities LIS faculties is participating in a 3 year EU funded Tempus project “New Masters Program on LIS”, it is hoped that analogical training sessions will be organized also for other partners from Georgia and Uzbekistan. • This could have a cascading effect on Central Asian libraries on using Evergreen for automation purposes.
  21. 21. Economic crisis, Armenian libraries, and Evergreen • The global economy is facing one of its greatest crises in modern history. • We do not know yet how long the crisis will last and how profound its impact will be on the economies of our countries. But given the fact that FOSS solutions are one of the most powerful engines of sustainability, and that the future of knowledge based societies is strongly tied with FOSS markets, we are confident that migration to Evergreen will help Armenian librarians to continue already started automation activities. • Currently Ministry of Culture has announced that they are planning to restructure financial allocations to the libraries. • This will directly affect the amounts being allocated to the libraries for paying annual maintenance fees for the Aleph system. • Evergreen can and must serve as a solution.
  22. 22. Future plans • Implementation of Evergreen in NAS institutions. • Russian localization of Evergreen (is in progress b by Tigran) • Creating documentation in Armenian (and later i in Russian) • Importing bibliographic records and holding data from Armenian Union Catalog (Aleph system) into Evergreen. • Careful planning for migration from Aleph to Evergreen
  23. 23. Future plans: Russian localization
  24. 24. Future plans: Russian localization
  25. 25. Conclusion • Undertaking a migration to a FOSS ILS in general and to Evergreen in particular isn't just a technical decision, it is also a decision about how the libraries will be engaged in the future in developing “Knowledge based” societies in their countries. • In reality the kind of experience which we have during our work in eIFL-FOSS program is not about technical skills and IT knowledge, but all about helping to facilitate engagement between libraries in developing countries, building user communities. • Implementation of Evergreen in NAS is an evident example of this.
  26. 26. Further information • • eIFL-FOSS • Blog • Email list
  27. 27. Thank you! Emails: tigran.zargaryan[@] randy.metcalfe[@]