William Jessup University: a self-implemented Evergreen site

William Jessup University, in California’s Sierra Foothills, is one of a number of sites that install and maintain their own Evergreen implementations. They went live in January 2009, at the beginning of their spring semester.

It’s often said that you don’t have to go it alone with Evergreen — there are commercial support options — but another way to express this is that you CAN go it alone with Evergreen. The software is free to download, free to use, free to modify — and your data also remains free, rather than sequestered in some vendor’s system or “cloud.”

Kevin Pischke, William Jessup UKevin Pischke, Jessup’s library director, added some thoughts about Evergreen. “We were in need of a new ILS from the standpoint that our old ILS no longer met our needs as a growing academic library. We looked into various proprietary and open source options for a replacement. Ultimately, we choose Evergreen because it is a well-supported open source project with a growing focus on the needs of academic libraries.”

Going it alone with open source software requires good resources — and of course, good software. Library director Kevin Pischke said, “we could never have done it without our IT staff [particularly Jeff Green] and of course the quality of the Evergreen project. WJeff Green, William Jessup Ue are a small library with a solid IT staff to rely on for support; however, as a library director I had the peace of mind that I could always contract with Equinox if we need further professional support.”

Kevin shared some last thoughts about what they hope to get out of Evergreen International Conference. “I am hoping to connect with and learn from others using Evergreen,” said Jeff. “We have been doing so much on our own that to spend time with others in the same boat should be refreshing and exciting.”

(Editorial note: the Evergreen community needs a better name for these implementations than “self-implemented site!” Ideas?)