FREE Webinar – Libraries and Open Source Software…03.11.09

11 03 2009



From Karen at the Evergreen blog:

Understanding Open Source, Tues, March 17, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET

Join us for a Webinar on March 17 about open source software! Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

This webinar will answer the most commonly-asked questions about open source software, such as…

* What does “free” mean?
* Why are libraries using open source software?
* What kind of open source software is available for libraries?
* Do we have to maintain it ourselves? (Quick spoiler: no.)
* What are the characteristics of good open source software?
* What are some easy ways to learn more about open source software?

Bring your own questions, as well!

This webinar offers flexible access options. You can:

1. Use a computer headset with a microphone to both listen and speak

2. Phone in to a toll-based conference line, or

3. Listen in on computer speakers and text your thoughts in a chat window.

The session will open up 15 minutes early for people who want to practice their webinar skills or test their equipment.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements

(Note: we have had trouble finding affordable webinar software that supported Linux workstations — let alone a satisfactory product that was itself open source. If you have suggestions, we’re all ears.)

PC-based attendees:

Required: Windows 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh-based attendees:

Required: Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or newer


Libraries Using Open-Source Evergreen ILS Software Continues to Grow…11.17.08

17 11 2008

Evergreen seems to be expanding quickly.  The Evergreen website describes the software as follows:

“Evergreen is an enterprise-class library automation system that helps library patrons find library materials, and helps libraries manage, catalog, and circulate those materials, no matter how large or complex the libraries. As a community, our development requirements are that Evergreen must be:

  • Stable, even under extreme load.
  • Robust, and capable of handling a high volume of transactions and simultaneous users.
  • Flexible, to accomodate the varied needs of libraries.
  • Secure, to protect our patrons’ privacy and data.
  • User-friendly, to facilitate patron and staff use of the system. 

Evergreen is open source software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL.

Want to learn more? Visit the Frequently Asked Questions or search the site. Or chat with us live.”

Of course, Evergreen is not the only “open-source” ILS sytem available (see also Koha but here is a list of libraries that have chosen to use Evergreen:

  • Georgia Public Library Service
  • Equinox Software
  • University of Windsor
  • SITKA (BC Pines)
  • Laurentian University
  • McMaster University
  • Kent County Public Library
  • Grand Rapids Public Library
  • Michigan Library Consortium
  • Indiana Open Source ILS Initiative
  • Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island
  • Marshall Public Library
  • © 2008 GPLS | Partially funded by the Library Services & Technology Act through the Institute of Museum and Library Services

    Evergreen Open Source Library Software Implementation Expanding…09.30.08

    30 09 2008

    It seems like Evergreen is going more mainstream quickly as more libraries implement the Evergreen ILS software.  LIS Wire reports today [] :

    The Grand Rapids Public Library has gone live with Evergreen, the consortial-quality open-source library automation software. GRPL follows Branch District Library in Branch County as the second of seven public libraries in the Michigan Evergreen project that will migrate to Evergreen by the end of the year. Michigan Evergreen is a shared-catalog project administered by the Michigan Library Consortium (MLC). Equinox Software, Inc., the support and development company for Evergreen, provided bumper-to-bumper support during the data migration process.

    ‘The Evergreen catalog was developed for the 275 libraries in the PINES Library system in Georgia,’ said Marcia Warner, director of Grand Rapids Public Library. ‘The move to the Evergreen system allows us more flexibility to adapt the catalog to meet our patrons’ needs, offer innovative features such as freezing holds and creating book bags, while at the same time reducing costs.’

    “We applaud the Grand Rapids Public Library in taking steps to transform their library service and to be at the forefront for the state as the leader in moving to this new technology and setting an example for other libraries throughout the state to follow,’ said Lakeland Library Cooperative Director Sandra Wilson. Brad LaJeunesse, Equinox company president, added, ‘In addition to up-front cost savings and a support plan that really delivers, MLC now has the security and flexibility that open source brings to software decisions.’

    The Grand Rapids Public Library was founded in 1871 and was originally located in City Hall. Today the library operates out of its main location on Library Street as well as seven other branches located throughout the city. Grand Rapids Public Library currently houses 925,000 bibliographic items and serves a population of over 197,000 residents.

    The Grand Rapids Public Library will oversee day-to-day administration for the new server for all seven pilot libraries, and MLC will provide support and training to the participating libraries. Equinox will also provide ongoing technical support to MLC’s Evergreen implementation.

    The library’s website can be seen at and their new online catalog can be viewed at . For more information about the Michigan Evergreen project, see the project wiki at or follow the latest activity at, the Michigan Evergreen blog…”

    New Evergreen ILS installation…06.13.08

    13 06 2008

    LISWIRE ( reported on June 11: “…Whistler Public Library of the British Columbia SITKA (formerly BC Pines) Consortium has followed Prince Rupert, Powell River, Fort Nelson, and Terrace Public Libraries as the next facility to go live with Evergreen, the consortial-quality open-source library software. Whistler Public Library’s new on-line catalog can be viewed at The migration was handled by a partnership between Alpha-G and Equinox Software, Inc. Alpha-G is an acknowledged expert in the legacy system and Equinox is the support and development company for Evergreen. The migration of Whistler Public Library is another step in a process that will see a total of 15 SITKA libraries transition to Evergreen during 2008. Two more libraries, Mackenzie and Taylor Public Libraries, are scheduled for migrations in November 2008. When MacKenzie and Taylor go live, the SITKA consortium will have 18 systems running Evergreen. British Columbia is following a gradual approach to moving libraries over to Evergreen; libraries “opt-in” on their own schedule. Many are anticipated to join over the next several years when their existing automation vendor contracts expire. The SITKA OPAC is here: …”

    Evergreen Open-Source ILS option considered…06.13.08

    13 06 2008

    In reviewing ILS software packages the last couple of years, I have a growing interest in the open source software called Evergreen ( .  I would like to learn more about it as time goes on even though there is no way that my IT Dept. would ever consider it as an option for our organization. More libraries of different stripes are choosing this ILS option.  It will be interesting to learn of their experiences in the long term.

    As Wikipedia says, “Evergreen is free software available under the GNU General Public License. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Evergreen download page and installed according to instructions found in the documentation wiki. Help and information is available from the development and user communities on Evergreen’s mailing lists. For those not wishing to do it yourself, support, installation, and data migration services are available through vendors including Equinox Software and Liblime.

    Evergreen runs on a Linux server and uses PostgreSQL ( for its backend database. The staff client used in day-to-day operations by library staff runs on Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computers and is built on XULRunner, a Mozilla-based run-time that uses the same technology stack as Firefox and allows for a browser-independent offline mode. The on-line public access catalog (OPAC) used by library patrons is accessed on-line in a web browser…”