Congrats to not one, but two other Open Source ILSs

First I’d like to welcome NewGenLib to the virtual family of FOSS ILSs. In truth, we’ve known about them for a while and have been looking at their serials interfaces during our ACQ/SER design, but now that eIFL is covering them, well… 😉 It’s great to see another entrant, and one that has already found an itch to scratch. I’m sure cross-pollination is in the stars as they seem to have an interesting system.

Next up, a pair of kudos to Koha.

Over the past weekend they added, at a mailing list member’s request, a call number browser inspired by Evergreen’s, which we call Shelf Browse. In Evergreen, because it supports a hierarchical organization of libraries, you can actually browse an entire system or even consortium as one huge virtual shelf! It’s a very nifty feature, and one that we know the PINES patrons have been making good use of (to the tune of 66,965 and counting so far this year, and about 300,000 times in 2007) since Evergreen launched in September of 2006. Now Koha will have a similar feature at the request of a small church Library! This, my friends, is Open Source at work.

By way of evidence from our users, I’ll mention that Evergreen provides call number / shelf browse as a “Quick Search” from the advanced search interface, which is useful to Evergreen users and may be useful for Koha patrons as well. In any case, good work.

I also noticed that Koha has incorporated, as of November of last year according to their source repository’s timestamps, the SIP2 code that David Fiander and Bill Erickson wrote for Evergreen. We’re glad to see the code that GPLS funded is going to good use in and inspiring other projects!

Three and a half years ago, when I first joined PINES and the Evergreen team, there was a dream and a small test server. Now we’ve written more than a quarter of a million lines of code, and that code runs the day-to-day operations of one state-wide library consortium (biggest in the world, he bragged 😉 ) with at least two more in the works, and is helping to build a province-wide consortium in Canada — and let’s not forget the Laurentian/McMaster/Windsor “Unholy Trinity.” These are amazing, and they fill my heart with a satisfaction that is difficult to describe, but none of those things, even as possibilities, are why I signed up. I joined this effort because I believe in Open Source software. I believe whole-heartedly that it is a force for positive change in an industry I love, and fits perfectly with the mission of libraries.

Again, congrats to both NewGenLib and Koha, and let’s keep the cross-pollination going.