Access 2008: the Fall Fashion Color was Evergreen!

Electropus 2

(Note: see the new Evergreen Flickr set and Delicious set for more linkalicious pleasure.)

Many good topics were discussed at Access 2008 in Hamilton, Ontario this past weekend, but Evergreen seemed to be every other word (the alternate word was LibX).

As you can see from the photo on the left (by Evergreener David Fiander), Access was a laptoppy sort of conference, whose attendees spent their days feverishly taking notes, chatting with one another online, and otherwise being at one with their geeky selves.

Access began with a day-long Hackfest (which is where developers gather and tackle projects). Evergreen figured in three of the Access Hackfest activities:

* A LibX connector. LibX is a library-resource browser plugin on steroids, led by Annette Bailey and Godmar Back of Virginia Tech. With Godmar’s help, LibX got a connector for Evergreen.

* Zotero. Dan Scott of Laurentian University (part of Project Conifer) led the way on this project to make Zotero, an open-source citation manager, work with Evergreen’s default OPAC. (Zotero already works with the Slimpac, Evergreen’s mobile/low-fi Interface.) Fabu! This functionality will be available in 1.4.

* SOPAC. Nick Ruest (McMaster) and Michael Vandenburg (Kingston Frontenac Public Libraries) spent a profitable 8 hours getting down and dirty with a SOPAC-Evergreen implementation.  SOPAC is an OPAC replacement–well, that’s not quite doing it justice; SOPAC is a user-engagement layer that also employs an open-data social software repository. Coolness indeed. Alas, the clock ran out before Nick and Michael could get entirely through this very complex project, but they made beaucoup headway.

During Access, the Robertson Library in UPEI announced that it had integrated Google Book Search into its Evergreen installation. Fascinating project! Check out the nifty examples and keep your eye on this as it evolves.

Hackfests last a day, and then people have to return to their usual commitments; but if you have interest in helping along any of these projects — the Evergreen “general” discussion list was abuzz this week! — there are many ways to reach the Evergreen community (including commenting on this blog).

We also heard word of a library developer working on a Vufind connector for Evergreen — a very Evergreen-ery idea indeed.

Meanwhile, several excellent presentations focused on Evergreen, such as these talks by John Fink and Dan Scott.

Finally, at the Evergreen Birds of a Feather, several people suggested using MarkMail for the Evergreen list archives. That is an idea that is happening right now — live posts are being archived, and the backfiles will be there soon, very soon. Thanks also to Jason at MarkMail!