Bibliomation staff participated earlier this afternoon in a GoToMeeting/conference call with Jed Moffitt and Matt Carlson of King County Library System (KCLS). King County has poured quite a bit of development dollars into Evergreen enhancements, including refinements to their Circulation client and development of their Acquisitions module. (They have contracted with Equinox for these enhancements to Evergreen.)
King County has also just won a sizable IMLS grant to the tune of $998,556 so that they can further develop the peer-to-peer support model that works so well among public libraries.
Matt Carlson showed off some of the new circulation screens and emphasized that the driving developmental force behind these new screens was a focused eye on usability. They have streamlined the circulation interface in ways that make perfect sense. Some examples (some of which have been rolled into the Evergreen 1.6 client):
- Checkout, checkin buttons on a toolbar
- Patron registration can now be completed all on one screen
- Built-in, configurable links to help screens, circulation manual
- Patron search now displays horizontally, giving more real estate to the results screen
- Patron screen gives a quick summary of number of items, bills, etc.
- Can now easily add a patron note, alert, or block to patron record
- Can now place hold from within the patron record without the need to enter in the patron information again
- Ability to display item detail information on one screen from item status
- Plans to add item history (last 10 items) from the Check-in Screen
We’d like to publicly thank Jed and Matt for taking the time to show us some of the fruits of their labor. They have made some fantastic enhancements to the Evergreen staff client and I am so grateful that the rest of us who are Evergreen-bound will be able to reap the benefit of it. We here at Bibliomation are very much looking forward to the possibility of collaborating with KCLS on Evergreen improvements in the future.
–Amy Terlaga / Assistant Director, User Services / terlagaATbiblioDOTorg
Yesterday, Network Services met and got their first look at Bibliomation Evergreen 1.4 (our demo/test server). There was a lot of excitement in the air as I was showing Evergreen to them. The members also had some great suggestions as to things that would further improve Evergreen and those suggestions are:
1) Have a button in the patron’s account so that they can request a change of address/phone number which would alert staff to a new address/phone next time the patron was checking out items in the library so that library staff could update the patron’s information accordingly.
2) An option for patrons to “opt-in” to see their check out history which should only be available to the patrons if they decide they want to keep track of the books they read.
3) A way to exempt fines due to library closing for special events.
4) Book-Drop mode. Currently you can set the check in date manually, but a book-drop mode button that would automatically set the date to the library’s last open day of service would really help staff (especially over long weekends or holiday closings)
5) The ability to print receipts via a Function key.
Thanks to everyone who participated and gave excellent ideas and thoughts. This is what open source is all about….sharing ideas to improve the ILS.
Bibliomation’s Open Source Developmental Partners Project now has a home on Facebook.
Four small public libraries – the Douglas Library, in Hebron, the Slater Library, in Griswold, the Beacon Falls Library, and the Windham Free Library – have volunteered to work with Bibliomation in a pilot project which will allow us to implement and test new enhancements to the Evergreen software.
To join the group:
For questions about the project itself, you can email Bibliomation’s Open Source Project Manager, Melissa Lefebvre at mlefebvreATbiblioDOTorg.
The following message was first posted on September 25th by Mike Simonds, CEO of Bibliomation, on Connecticut’s conntech listserv, a list that focuses on technology in CT’s libraries:
[Any questions you may have regarding our migration plan can be sent to me at terlagaATbiblioDOTorg] –Amy
On September 24th the Bibliomation Board of Directors voted to accept a staff recommendation to establish the Evergreen Open Source Software system as the future migration path for the network. This recommendation was based on fifteen months of investigation. The Bibliomation staff download both the Evergreen and Koha Open Source Software products, loaded identical sets of test records on both systems, then evaluated the two products against over 120 separate functional requirements. This testing provided conclusive evidence that the Evergreen option is the more consortia friendly of the Open Source alternatives currently available.
This decision does not imply an imminent system migration for Bibliomation. There are still a number of enhancements to the Evergreen Software that we feel will be necessary before such a migration is feasible. We will, however, move ahead with the Bibliomation Developmental Partners Project. Four small public libraries have volunteered to work with the network in a pilot project which will allow us to implement and test new enhancements to the Evergreen software. Bibliomation will migrate each of these libraries into a small, fully functional shared Evergreen system, which will, in turn act as a test bed for the software improvements as they are developed. In return for their cooperation in this project Bibliomation has created a very favorable cost structure that will fully reflect the potential financial savings Open Source has to offer libraries.
The four libraries that have agreed to participate in this project are: The Beacon Falls Public Library, The Douglas Library Association of Hebron, The Slater Library in Griswold, and the Windham Free Library Association. We will be scheduling profiling meetings with these libraries in October and hope to have a functioning shared Evergreen cooperative system operational in
Connecticut by early 2010.
Michael J. Simonds
Chief Executive Officer
32 Crest Road
We’ll be spending some time over the next few months to investigate the consortial functionality of Evergreen.
We’re starting with a day-long session with Shae Tetterton, project manager at Equinox, the support vendor for Evergreen software development, implementation, and hosting services.
We’ve sent Shae some of our current functionality needs as well as some wish list items and she plans to touch upon these areas in her demonstration of the Evergreen software.
In the meantime, Melissa, here at work, is VERY close to bringing up our first Evergreen test server – NOT an easy task.
Shae will be here tomorrow as long as the weather cooperates!
Here’s a general article in LJ about the importance of assessing your risk before you take on an open source ILS system:
It’s an interesting read and very timely: