BibliOak Project Timeline Established

Bibliomation staff had a really good open source meeting yesterday afternoon. Melissa Lefebvre, our Open Source Project Manager, presented the first draft of our BibliOak Development Partner migration timeline. The planned Go Live Date for the three automated development partner libraries is the first week of March 2010. We’ll be plenty busy until that time. We’ve already met with Beacon Falls, Windham Free, and the Douglas Library, Hebron for our initial orientation meeting. We meet with the Slater Library, Griswold this Friday.

The Windham Free Library is a “virgin” (non-automated) library so they will have a barcoding project to begin soon. The other three libraries have non-standard item barcodes so we will be using the ITG Scan & Print system to generate 14-digit barcodes with unique library prefixes for each of them. The programming is almost completed on ITG’s end for Beacon Falls, the first library to take on this task.

Melissa will be providing online demonstrations of the Evergreen staff client and web catalog for all four development partners the week of November 16th. Then we will be meeting with each library for all-day profiling sessions so that we can record their collection needs and circulation policies, to be programmed into their Evergreen server.

Nice to have a good plan in place!

Amy
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Amy Terlaga
Assistant Director, User Services
terlagaATbiblioDOTorg

Meet the Open Source Team: Spotlight on Ben Shum


Ben Shum is Bibliomation’s Open Source Software Coordinator.

Question: You began working at Bibliomation this past summer. How were you found for this position? What have been your job responsibilities since you joined the Bibliomation staff?

Answer: The company, PTFS, placed an ad on behalf of Bibliomation. They were looking for someone with computer/open source software development experience and I had three of the twelve skills listed – Java script, HTML, and Linux experience. I submitted my application on a Thursday, I was called by PTFS on the following Friday, and by that Monday I was being interviewed by Bibliomation. It all happened rather fast. I should also tell you that I was very excited at the prospect of working at Bibliomation. In one of my MLS classes, Foundations in Librarianship, my professor, Dr. Lisa Forman, spoke of Bibliomation’s recent investigation of open source library systems. Immediately after I was hired, PTFS sent me to the Evergreen conference in Georgia.

I’ve been doing all things open source-related since I was hired by Bibliomation.

Question: What kind of work have you been collaborating with Melissa on with regard to the Bibliomation Evergreen test server?

Answer: I put together the test server — I installed the operating system and the Evergreen software by the second day on the job. I then concentrated on learning the in’s and out’s of the system. The bugs that I found in version 1.4, I reported to the Evergreen community through the Evergreen IRC chat, and that was my entree into the community itself. They would let me know that the bug was already reported. I also became acquainted with the Evergreen email lists, their dokuwiki pages, and the change logs.

Question: What is your educational background?

Answer: I received my Bachelors of Science in Computer Systems Administration from Andrews University in Michigan in 2008. I’m now in my second year of Southern CT State University’s MLS program.

Question: How did you select Library Science?

Answer: It was a lunch with a librarian when I was still an undergrad. It sounded like something I’d want to do – I’ve always liked the information aspects of computers, always liked documentation. In high school, I worked in the registrar’s office and helped with records management. I’m good at most of the steps in the software development cycle – planning, designing, documenting, coding, testing, and maintenance.

Question: What do you like most about Evergreen?

Answer: I like that it’s open source, that you can see what you can change. An open-source ILS is not free in the sense of price or efforts. It still requires tremendous thought and preparation. In the end, the product of hard work will belong to us, not a vendor or others. But “us” is not merely the few of “us” here, but the whole community. It is a contribution for the whole, enriching us all.

Question: What do you like to do in your free time?

Answer: I like spending time with my family and friends. Work and school make up my life these days. I enjoy listening to music, especially movie and television soundtracks. Jerry Goldsmith is one of my favorite composers. He did the scores for Star Trek and Air Force One. I also like to play with Ubuntu Linux when I have a free moment.

Ben Shum can be reached at bshumATbiblioDOTorg.
Amy Terlaga, Assistant Director, User Services, and Open Source Team interviewer, can be reached at terlagaATbiblioDOTorg.

Meet the Open Source Team: Spotlight on Melissa Lefebvre


Melissa Lefebvre is Bibliomation’s Open Source Project Manager.

Question: How long have you been working for Bibliomation? What job responsibilities have you held?

Answer: I began working at Bibliomation in 2004. My primary job responsibility is web services administration for Bibliomation’s member libraries. I handle the web catalog customization, as well as web server support. I also support our web catalog add-ons, like WowBrary (new item lists) and our PC/Print Management system, LibraryMetricks. I am now also responsible for project managing Bibliomation’s migration to Evergreen.

Question: What is your responsibility as Open Source Project Manager for Bibliomation?

Answer: My ultimate goal is to migrate our 48 public libraries and 20 K-12 schools to Evergreen. Before that migration, I will project manage the migration of our four development partner public libraries to Evergreen. I also will be spreading the good word of the open source ILS to the greater library world. I want to dispel the myth that the open source ILS is a primitive system. It is fully functional and will be ready for our libraries to use on Day One.

Question: What is your educational background?

Answer: I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) in ’97. I then received my Photographic Conservation Certificate two years later from the George Eastman House in Rochester. Then came my MLS – I received that degree in 2004 from Southern CT State University, in New Haven. My first library job was at the Middlebury Public Library. While there I interned at Bibliomation and was eventually hired.

Question: What do you like most about Evergreen?

Answer: From the community standpoint, I love the consortial aspect, their willingness to share their resources. I love this communal sharing among the libraries. From a program standpoint, I love the RSS feeds in the OPAC. Our libraries will be able to use them to provide new item lists; they could also be used to provide school summer reading lists. I also like the fact that Evergreen has a staff client. This is what our libraries are used to.

Question: What do you like to do in your free time?

Answer: What free time? Ideally, I use my free time to do photography. I also like to hike. I’m interested in forensic science so anything oriented to that – the show, NCIS and books on forensics — I’m interested in. I have a two-year old so I’m also into coloring, and I make a mean batch of Play-Doh. I also like to make lotions and lip balms – I made some cheeky chocolate lip balm last Christmas that tasted like an Andes mint.

Melissa can be reached at mlefebvreATbiblioDOTorg.
Amy Terlaga, Bibliomation’s Assistant Director and open source team interviewer, can be reached at terlagaATbiblioDOTorg.

Open Source — Growing Interest among CT Libraries

This morning I attended the University of Hartford‘s presentation on their July 14th migration to LibLime‘s Enterprise Koha. Ben Ide, Tech Services Librarian for their library, explained why they made the move to open source and how their migration went – what went well, what didn’t, and what still needs to happen to make Koha function well for them. (They’re still waiting on course reserves, the importing of authorities, the acquisitions module called GetIt, browsing, and music searches so that their music librarians are able to pull up all records in their collection related to their search.) The University of Hartford had partnered with WALDO so that they could pool their financial and staff resources in a cooperative arrangement that will help them finance further software enhancements.

There were a number of librarians from stand-alone systems at this University of Hartford presentation. When I explained to the group Bibliomation’s plans to migrate to Evergreen within the next two years and that we’d be open to hosting other libraries on our servers, this seemed to pique the interest of at least a few members of the group. Nate Curulla, Director of Marketing for the open source support vendor, ByWater Solutions, was there to answer anyone’s questions about the kind of training and support models they can provide interested libraries. Chris Bradley, from the CT Library Consortium, was also there; she would like to explore some kind of an open source support partnership with Bibliomation somewhere down the road.

We are living in interesting times!

Amy
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Amy Terlaga
Assistant Director, User Services
terlagaATbiblioDOTorg

Conversation with Catherine Lemmer of the Indiana State Library

Earlier today I had a chance to talk with Catherine Lemmer, the Project Manager of the Indiana State Library’s Evergreen migration.

By the end of November, Indiana, with the help of Equinox, will have migrated 48 of their libraries over to Evergreen. Twelve of these libraries had non-standard item barcodes. Indiana used ITG’s Scan & Print system to generate 14 digit barcodes from these non-standard ones. They did this with a software program written by ITG that pads each item barcode with a five-digit unique prefix for each library and additional zeroes for padding to get to those 14 digits.

Indiana used 20 printers that generated these new item barcodes when scanned. Catherine claims that it is so easy to use ITG’s Scan & Print system that everyone from high school volunteers to the octogenarian set can do it. They’ve barcoded items from 30,000 to as many as 160,000 in a library collection. They even barcoded as many as 35,000 items in one weekend with 7 printers going simultaneously.

Towards the end of our conversation, Catherine suggested that I talk to the folks at the North Texas Library Consortium who have also migrated to Evergreen. They also used ITG’s Scan & Print System and might have additional insights and suggestions for me.

I’ll close by saying that it was a real pleasure talking with Catherine. She and I agreed to stay in touch as Indiana may be migrating 4 schools to Evergreen as a pilot project. Bibliomation has 20 K-12 schools and we would be interested in their findings.

Amy
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Amy Terlaga
Assistant Director, User Services
terlagaATbiblioDOTorg