The Mellon Foundation and Evergreen 2

I’ve been asked about this many times over the past couple of weeks, so I figure the word is out. And, so I can clear out about a dozen emails in my inbox, I figured I’d post the definitive answer here:

Yes, the Evergreen project, by way of GPLS, has been approached by the Mellon Foundation.

We are still in the preliminary stages and are exploring what such a relationship would entail, but there are many exciting possibilities. Mellon, which has made a commitment to support only open source projects, is very interested in supporting the ILS space and has been looking for a way to help for some time. In their words, they selected Evergreen over other ILS’s because it is based on a highly-scalable, service-oriented enterprise-class architecture. We’d consider that a ringing endorsement!

Where do we go from here? One thought is to construct a software development consortium of like-minded affiliates to collaborate on Evergreen development. The thought is to include both public and academic libraries in this group. And like everything else we’ve done with the project so far, the existing community will play a big role in whatever happens on this front — we don’t want to disenfranchise anyone in the community, or slow the momentum we’ve built up.

Also, on a related note, there is the idea of Evergreen and the XC project working more closely together.

I will update the community as things develop and progress on this front.

2 thoughts on “The Mellon Foundation and Evergreen

  • Scott Garrison

    Congratulations on the Mellon support–a ringing endorsement, indeed!

    This sounds great, and along the lines of community source projects such as Sakai and Kuali. If there’s a cost to entry for the consortium, i.e. ‘pay $X to have a say in governance and development prioritization, or don’t pay and use the software at no cost, and with no say if you don’t have the wherewithal to hack it yourself’, you’d obviously want to keep that as low as possible.

    I attended what has turned out to be the final Voyager EndUser Group meeting in April, and sat in the session where the EndUser Group Board entertained a discussion of how to dissolve the entire Group. Ex Libris wasn’t going to subsidize the Group like Endeavor had, so there was no practical way for it to continue existing. The only viable alternative was for institutions to join Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA), or the International Group of Ex Libris Users (IGELU). That ELUNA has an annual institutional membership fee of $150 for full voting rights on its board, and for software enhancement prioritization with Ex Libris seemed to incense a proportion of people who were used to participating in EndUser Group for no fee.

    As several of them complained and asked what they’d get for their $150 (or 230 Euros for IGELU, IIRC) per year and how hard it would be for them to get their institutions to pay, I sat there wondering how much at least some of their institutions had shelled out to send them to Schaumburg from thousands of miles and even continents away…

  • Dan Scott

    Major congratulations on the Mellon front! Well-deserved recognition and support for a solid product.

    I think that Laurentian University will be happy to continue our contributions to Evergreen development in the context of a larger “software development consortium” – but it might make for an interesting blog post to describe what the difference in intent and practice would be between this “software development consortium” and the typical “open source community” that contributes towards a given project.

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