Evergreen at 4

Evergreen’s fourth birthday was on September 5 over the U.S. Labor Day weekend. It has taken a bit of time to assemble data on the libraries running Evergreen. We are all aware of the growth of Evergreen use in libraries and in the community and the numbers I have assembled help demonstrate that fact.

There is interest in Evergreen outside of North America but so far few reports of libraries running Evergreen and none of the reported ones has a catalog visible on the Web. This fact seems likely to change next year but for now Evergreen libraries are concentrated in the US and Canada.

Table 1 shows the number of library systems and outlets. To clarify terminology a bit: outlets are not the same as Evergreen “org units” they are, rather, a measure of the separate buildings and one often hears them referred to in the community as “libraries.” Outlets = the central library + branches + bookmobiles. The table starts with a column labeled “EG@0″—the go live date of Evergreen with PINES. The EG@1 column presents cumulative totals of Evergreen systems and outlets at the first anniversary of the PINES go-live, the EG@2 column gives the cumulative total for systems and outlets at the second anniversary…and so on.

Table 1: Cumulative Totals for Evergreen Systems by Year
  EG@0 EG@1 EG@2 EG@3 EG@4
Systems 45 48 64 159 247
Outlets 239 253 285 427 609

There were 45 systems and 239 outlets running Evergreen on the first day. The EG@1 anniversary totals show an increase in a few libraries. The libraries were all still in Georgia—but take a peek ahead to Table 3.

During the second year, Evergreen was adopted in British Columbia when Prince Rupert Library became the first library system outside of Georgia and the first system in the Sitka network in November of 2007. Today, Sitka has 38 library systems using Evergreen.

Another consortium showing rapid growth has been Evergreen Indiana which now has 75 library systems—I think…they move so fast it is hard to keep up! Their first library was the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library in Zionsville, Indiana which migrated in late August, 2008 so 75 libraries in a bit over two calendar years is an impressive achievement.

Evergreen also saw its first academic library in this Evergreen year when the folks at the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island did their lightening migration in June of 2008. As the numbers in this table show, each year since then more systems and more outlets have joined the community.

The totals suggest that the character of Evergreen’s growth is changing—it appears to be gaining momentum. Moreover, these totals do not include data from King County or the five other libraries which migrated after the anniversary date through this writing. By my estimate, current publicly announced plans for Evergreen migrations will bring the totals to 680 systems, 1,225 outlets, and 21 consortia.

Let me add now that some numbers—such as the system count—are more accurate than other numbers such as the outlet count. Why is complicated and I will be happy to discuss the data separately. I believe that if there is any bias in these numbers, it will show in slight underestimates of the true numbers.

The second table (below) shows the expansion by type of library. Evergreen is still found primarily in public libraries but is increasingly found in other types of libraries. The classification by type is a bit ambiguous—Conifer, for instance, has what could be considered academic special libraries. I did my best with these categories. With the addition of these new types, development of Evergreen’s capabilities is enriched. The count of academic libraries is small but their contributions to Evergreen’s capabilities have been out of proportion to their numbers. This group is punching above its weight.

In the next few months, the number of K12 libraries is going to increase substantially and work has already begun on a “Kids’ Catalog Project OPAC with three consortia (Bibliomation, PINES, SITKA) and King County pooling resources to add this capability to Evergreen and to share it with the community. This pooling of development resources was discussed by Mike Rylander and me in a post: The Evergreen Superconsortium. This development path is proving to be a rich one.

Table 2: Cumulative Totals for Evergreen Systems by Year, by Type
  EG@0 EG@1 EG@2 EG@3 EG@4
Public 44 47 62 126 202
Academic 0 0 1 10 13
K12 0 0 0 1 3
State Libraries 1 1 1 2 3
Special Libraries 0 0 0 20 26
Systems 45 48 64 159 247

The third table gives totals for the number of consortia running Evergreen. Evergreen is the first library system designed from the ground up to be a consortial library system and, as the reader can see, Evergreen has been adopted by consortia in increasing numbers with more on the way as I have mentioned. As indicated Evergreen is also being used by libraries independent of a consortium but the consortial design of Evergreen has proven to be an important development particularly in an era when information seekers are have alternatives without information silos.

Table 3: Other Cumulative Totals for Evergreen Systems by Year
  EG@0 EG@1 EG@2 EG@3 EG@4
Consortia 1 1 4 9 12
Independent systems 0 0 3 9 17
with Evergreen
1 1 7 17 23

The last line in this table is a count by state or province of the number which have at least one library running Evergreen. These numbers, like the others presented here, show a story of growth.

There are other such signs in addition to more libraries and that is more people and more vendors supporting aspects of Evergreen-migration, support, and such. Every year I have said next year will be busier and…well, next year will be busier.

Bob Molyneux