Evergreen Newsletter, December 2008

The newsletter for Evergreen open source library software

Volume 1, Issue 2
December, 2008

The newsletter so nice, we publish it twice!

Southwest GA. Regional Library System (On the left: PINES bags!)

Thanks for the warm welcome to the first issue of the Evergreen Newsletter. Does it need a better name? In any event, as a reminder, we will post this newsletter to the Evergreen general discussion list (see all Evergreen lists) and to the Evergreen blog. Cross-posting and forwarding is encouraged.

In This Issue…

Evergreen Events, Evergreen Aggregator, Two Evergreen Releases, Z39.50 Targets, New OPAC Imminent, SOLINET Classes, Evergreen Conference, Documentation Update, Evergreen on Facebook, Evergreen Down Under, Newsletter Administrivia.

Save These Dates

  • Evergreen at ALA Midwinter 2009: There will be an Evergreen social function (Birds of a Feather Nosh Together?) Saturday, January 24, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, at a very nice locale near the Denver convention center. We’ll open registration for this soirée in early December. For right now, if you would like to RSVP email events@esilibrary.com
  • Evergreen at Ontario Library Association 2009: Expect a Birds of a Feather get-together, plus enjoy the Evergreen-related programs.  Also see Dan Scott’s excellent post describing the Evergreen programs at OLA. 
  • NEW! Evergreen at Code4Lib 2009: Evergreen developers and fanfolk will surely offer a lightning talk or two and will host at least one Birds of a Feather at this popular annual conference. Note that Equinox Software Inc. is a proud sponsor of Code4Lib at the Silver level ($2,500).
  • Evergreen Conference 2009: May 20 – 22, 2009. Our first global conference! See more about this exciting event below.

Introducing a convenient aggregator, Planet Evergreen

The seemingly tireless Dan Scott of Laurentian University has created Planet Evergreen, an aggregator that pulls together feeds from various Evergreen-related resources. Consider this in “beta” at this point and try it out, then let Dan know of any additions or changes you’d like to see. Bravo Dan! Also let Dan know if you’d like to take responsibility for this feed (sprucing it up, maintaining its feeds, etc.).

Evergreen 1.4 Marches On; 1.2.4 Released

The second release candidate for Evergreen 1.4-with the warm, cozy name of 1.4rc2-became available November 19th, 2008 — see its feature list — and developers released its Windows staff client shortly thereafter. See the Evergreen download page for the 1.4rc2 source code, Windows staff client, and, courtesy of Dan Scott of Laurentian University, this VirtualBox image of Evergreen 1.4rc2 on Ubuntu (Hardy Heron).

Take 1.4rc2 out and give it a spin! The techspeditious among you will surely download the code and look it over, but you don’t need nerd credentials to get a look at this bleeding-edge version of Evergreen. Just download the corresponding 1.4rc2 staff client and point it against the development server at http://dev.gapines.org.

One caution: the Evergreen staff client needs to match the server version, so if you’re exploring 1.4rc2 and you are already running an earlier version of the Evergreen staff client, you may want to download the 1.4rc2 staff client into a separate directory so you can keep your current staff client running.

Also, on November 11, Evergreen developers released 1.2.4 (see its feature list), the latest current stable release of Evergreen, and probably the last significant release in the 1.2 series.

Features in 1.2.4 include improved low-count hit estimations in the public catalog, the ability to charge deposit and rental fees based on item configuration, and the ability to require staff verification of hold captures during opportunistic (check-in time) capture based on shelving location. Bill Erickson, a developer at Equinox, commented, “We’ll continue to backport relevant bug fixes as necessary.”

1.2.4 is currently powering the Michigan Evergreen catalog, and is also in use on the demo server, demo.gapines.org.

Wiki Update: Z39.50 Targets

A big heartfelt thanks to Melissa Belvadi, Emerging Technologies and Metadata Librarian at the University of Prince Edward Island, for contributing Z39.50 targets to the Evergreen wiki.

If you have targets to contribute, post them to one of the lists, send them to Karen, Equinox Community Librarian, or consider requesting a wiki account so you can add and update them yourselves.

New OPAC Skin Imminent

As of this writing, a very attractive, user-friendly interface for Evergreen’s discovery layer (aka public catalog, aka OPAC) is very close to debuting on the development server-by early next week, if all is well. A HUGE thanks to Georgia Public Library Service, which is funding this design work. Watch for the announcement!

SOLINET Evergreen Training Classes an Instant Hit

SOLINET’s Evergreen classes and guided tours have been a smashing success, thanks to members and support from Equinox/Evergreen. A number of students have attended the online courses (Evergreen Circ and Evergreen Cataloging) since these classes first launched in October, with reported great results. The next scheduled class is Evergreen Admin and Statistics, to be held online December 17th.
Every month, SOLINET also offers a guided tour and demo of Evergreen-absolutely free of cost! Participants range from those who have migrated to Evergreen and those who are interested in all Evergreen can do.

SOLINET is developing a new Evergreen class this winter: an advanced cataloging class focusing on batch importing and buckets. SOLINET’s Evergreen instructors are Jennifer Bielewski and Jenny Liberatore. For more information on classes, contract for classes, to recommend a class or questions in general, please contact the trainers at 800-999-8558 or email at jbielewski@solinet.net or jliberatore@solinet.net. They’d love to hear from you!

For more about SOLINET’s Evergreen training offerings, see their website.

Evergreen Conference, May 20-22, 2009

We won’t rehash every detail in this blog post, but the Evergreen conference planners have a great line-up for this first-ever global Evergreen conference. The conference will take place at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia, a very attractive university town with great restaurants and pubs, just one hour from the Atlanta airport.

As planned so far, Evergreen conference activities include a day-long hackfest, a vendor reception, three program tracks (Tech, Admin, and The Front Line), keynotes, lightning talks, Birds of a Feather sessions, networking dinners, pub crawls, and pleasantly long breaks between events so you can network with friends old and new.

A webpage is imminent. Please do comment if you have questions about the conference or events you’d like to see happening. Start thinking about the hackfest, lightning talks, programs, Birds of a Feather, or other events that YOU can make happen at this conference!

The 2009 Evergreen Conference is being jointly coordinated by Georgia Public Library Service, Equinox Software, SOLINET, and several others in the Evergreen community, including Catherine Lemmer of Indiana Evergreen.

Documentation Update

We have made progress on all four active documentation projects (more are imminent). Soon notices will go out on the Evergreen discussion lists and related lists requesting feedback on this documentation.

The four topics in work right now are reports, cataloging, acquisitions, and the importer-exporter. If you would like to be included in reviewing drafts of this documentation as it proceeds, watch the lists/blogs or reply to this newsletter.

We continue to investigate using DocBook for the “formal” documentation and appreciate the feedback we have to date for using this format.

Evergreen on Facebook

Evergreen has a Facebook group. We are now posting events to this group, such as the Evergreen conference and the ALA Midwinter get-together, as well as press releases for new Evergreen libraries and systems and other related news. The group has over 200 members. If you’re on Facebook, join our group. If you aren’t on Facebook and you don’t think you’re the Facebook “type,” give it a try. You might be surprised by who’s on Facebook!

Evergreen Down Under

Melbourne State Library Karen Schneider, Equinox Community Librarian, spoke about open source and the history of openness in libraries at five state libraries in Australia, crisscrossing this huge country with fellow presenter Lizanne Payne of Washington Library Research Consortium. The “good news” of Evergreen was well-received by librarians and library workers in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Melbourne. At left is a modest little reading room at the state library in Melbourne.

A Few Reminders

Webinars and videos: Don’t forget the section on the Evergreen wiki devoted to community-contributed documentation and tutorials.

Evergreen 2.0: As noted earlier, development for Evergreen 2.0 (planned to include acquisitions, serials, and reserves) is on an intentionally slow track through early January while the Evergreen developers focus on other development priorities, but will resume production for a roll-out targeted by late May, 2009. In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, see the Evergreen acquisitions roadmap.

Evergreen also has a Flickr set and Delicious bookmarks.

Equinox Team, December 2007

Recognize the original Evergreen team in this 2007 holiday photograph? If you’re a Flickr member, join the group and share your own Evergreen pix!

New Evergreen Libraries: Welcome Aboard!

Below are the newest Evergreen libraries – the Evergreen installations known to have taken place in November, 2008. Also see the growing list of Evergreen libraries.

Michigan Library Consortium: Traverse City http://catalog.tadl.org/

British Columbia: Invermere http://catalogue.bclibrary.ca

If you’d like to follow along as libraries join the Evergreen community, you can subscribe to the Equinox press release feed, which will announce most known Evergreen implementations (or follow the Facebook group mentioned above). The Equinox press release feed was recently tweaked to make it easier to track and share the releases.

Newsletter Administrivia

Feel free to forward, share, etc.!

The deadline for the Evergreen newsletter is the last working day before the first of the month… feel free to submit items earlier. The co-wranglers for this newsletter are Karen Schneider, Equinox Community Librarian and John Fink, Digital Technologies Development librarian at McMaster University.