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Friday, June 24, 2016

Brazil Library selected for state pilot program

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Indiana State Library recently announced the Brazil Public Library has been selected to be a pilot for the installation of a new integrated library system (ILS), called Evergreen, which will hold the records of all of the library patrons, circulation transactions and collection items.

Brazil's library is one of 20 libraries in the state to receive the initial Evergreen installation and form the Evergreen Indiana Consortium.

Patrons of Evergreen Indiana libraries have access to materials at the other member libraries. Most of the costs for the Evergreen installation and ongoing system maintenance are funded by the State Library through Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants.

What turned the Evergreen Indiana Consortium on to Evergreen was its scalability. At the time, it was unknown whether one, 10 or 100 state libraries would participate in the initiative. However, the nearly seamless conversion of hundreds of Georgia Pines member libraries to Evergreen was a good indication the software was capable of meeting Indiana's needs.

"The State Library was impressed by the continued growth and development of the Evergreen software itself and its flexibility to meet the individual needs of the local library," Indiana State Librarian Roberta Brooker said. "Evergreen was developed by the library community and possesses many user-friendly modules and applications that best suit the needs of libraries."

The potential savings for the taxpayer and the convenience for the library user is what attracted the staff at the Indiana State Library to pursue this as a viable initiative for state libraries. Evergreen Indiana is expected to collectively save Indiana's 238 public libraries about $15 million per year after most of the public libraries in this state are involved.

"The Indiana Library community needs to find viable ways to save tax dollars and this project will not only conserve scarce resources but will also enhance their ability to share resources with one another," Brooker said. "Eventually, access to the 24 million items owned by Indiana's public libraries will be just a click away for patrons of participating public libraries."

More than 100 libraries (including public libraries representing 59.5 percent of Indiana's population) submitted a "letter of intent" indicating an interest to participate in the initial discussion among Indiana libraries of how an open-source ILS might be of value to libraries.

Brazil Public Library is the 16th library to go live on Evergreen this year. The libraries are migrating from a variety of ILS systems and serve populations ranging from 1,500 to 35,000. An additional 18 libraries plan to migrate in the first half of 2009.

The conversion of the library's catalogwill begin after closing Dec. 23, and will be completed by 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. Both the library and the online catalog will be closed during this period. Some other services may be temporarily suspended until Jan. 2.

"Customers will find Evergreen Indiana to be easy to use and the new catalog software will offer many popular features," Brazil Public Library Director Jill Scarbrough said.

"For instance, individuals can keep a personal list of what they have read or want to read and may share the list with friends and others via the library's catalog."

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Welcome Brazil as yet another member of the growing Evergreen community!

While open source often does result in significant cost savings, there are many other pragmatic reasons for libraries to move to open source -- many of them learned the hard way by those of us who have dealt for years with proprietary software.

OSS software is YOUR software. You can (if you choose) contract for other services, as Evergreen Indiana chose to, but the software itself is free: free to use, free to download, free to modify, free to share. This is a far more secure model for software than the "closed code" model, which leaves libraries vulnerable to vendor abandonment and makes it easier for vendors to shine on libraries about the development path of their software. Been there, done that, got the teeshirt.

Evergreen development happens in the open -- on discussion lists, chat channels, public webinars, and so forth. It's no longer this mystery meat where we propose and vendors dispose.

Content partners Evergreen libraries work with (barcode vendors, added content, book jobbers, etc.) also appreciate Evergreen's open code. They don't have to deal with frustrating nondisclosure agreements to see how their products integrate with Evergreen.

See the Evergreen project website (evergreen-ils.org) for more information about Evergreen and open source. Thank you for covering this topic!

Karen G. Schneider

Equinox Community Librarian

Equinox Software Inc.


-- Posted by kgs on Tue, Dec 16, 2008, at 10:07 AM

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