[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] What are your requirements for Evergreen?

Mark Ellis mark.ellis at yourlibrary.ca
Fri Feb 1 14:22:54 EST 2008


Here are a few things we need:

1. The ability to support Chinese (both simplfied and traditional) in
the data and interface.  Your i18n efforts may make the latter just a
matter of translation. Getting result sets sorted properly might not be
as straightforward.

2. Shelf locations - (e.g. New Books Shelf)  Items with the same call
number may be shelved in different locations within a branch--often
temporarily.  This would appear as part of the item location where
additional specificity is required. (e.g. MacDonald Branch - New Books

3. Hold postponement.  We didn't fully appreciate the utility of this
feature until we lost it as a result of a migration and began to hear
from patrons.  Not only do they use it to prevent holds from being
trapped while they're on vacation, but it also allows them to manage the
rate at which they receive holds.  They can float on top of the hold
queue until they've finished reading whatever they have in hand.  This
contributes to faster turnarounds and more efficient use of the

Mark Ellis
Manager, Information Technology
Richmond Public Library
Richmond, BC
(604) 231-6410

-----Original Message-----
From: open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org
[mailto:open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org] On Behalf Of
Dan Scott
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 6:12 PM
To: open-ils-general at list.georgialibraries.org
Subject: [OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] What are your requirements for Evergreen?

I would like to start a discussion thread on the following subject, as I
believe it's incredibly important to the success of the project and I
don't think we've had much discussion about it yet. Perhaps this
discussion will also be able to feed into the Duke initiative to write a
design requirements document for an academic library system.

(Note that "Project Conifer" refers to the project to implement a
consortial install of Evergreen for Laurentian University, McMaster
University, and the University of Windsor.)

"What are the base requirements that have to be in place before we, as
an academic library, or consortium of academic libraries, can migrate to

I'll kick off the discussion by giving an overview of the basic parts of
the library system (both functionality and "soft requirements" like docs
and training) and my understanding of where things are. Please feel free
to broaden beyond what I provide here, as I will undoubtedly forget or
mangle some of these! I believe that the answers may differ for
different institutions, of course.

An acquisitions system is a given for everyone, and we're currently
working on that in the acq-experiment branch, as documented in
http://open-ils.org/blog/?p=101 http://open-ils.org/blog/?p=108 and
http://open-ils.org/blog/?p=115, as well as in the wiki at

A serials module is also a base requirement for everyone. On top of the
acquisitions portion (subscription support, vs. basic one-time
purchases), at a basic level we need basic patterns (overlay calendars
with exceptions), a helpful check-in interface, and claiming.

Academic reserves are another base requirement for each site.
Essentially, give the system the ability to associate one or more items
with one or more courses (instructor, course name, course code) and, by
doing so, temporarily override the physical location of the item. Longer
term it would be nice to have integration with courseware (WebCT /
Blackboard / Moodle / Sakai) so that the reserve items would
automatically be displayed as part of the course list, and it would also
be nice if Evergreen could integrate with the campus academic system to
know what courses a student was registered in and display those courses
& reserve lists from the catalogue.

Internationalization (i18n). One facet of this (internationalization of
addresses to allow Canadian / American / arbitrary address formats from
around the world) affects everyone. BC has already been able to
customize Evergreen to support Canadian addresses, so a basic level of
support is there. However, Laurentian in particular requires pervasive
bilingual support - which is one of the development pieces I'm actively
working towards. We hope to have this completed in the next few weeks;
after that, we simply need to send off the strings to translation and
our needs will be met. The new acquisitions system is being built to be
i18n-ready from the ground up.

Circulation: Are there circulation requirements beyond what Evergreen
already offers today?

  * We have added infrastructural support for being able to search
multiple Z39.50 sources at once, which was one of the requirements
voiced at the Conifer Acquisitions session.
  * Equinox has stated a number of times that they would like to rewrite
the existing cataloguing client knowing what they do now. If our staff
do not like the current cataloguing client, it might be possible to use
a third-party cataloguing client (OCLC Connexion Client, for example)
  * Authority control: there is some rudimentary authority control built
into Evergreen today.
  * Bulk import of MARC records and authority records: the current
interface for bulk imports of MARC records is the command line, which is
not particularly friendly when you face the need to import, say, 12,000
records for a new set of Springer e-books.

Catalogue: Do we have requirements beyond surfacing new functionality
like academic reserves, acquisition requests, etc in the catalogue?

Reporting: The current reporting module is extremely powerful, but it
comes with no standard report templates. With that power comes a certain
amount of complexity (it is essentially a nice GUI wrapper around the
relational schema of the database, so understanding relational databases
helps a lot) that means that our best approach for moving forward will
probably be to define what standard report templates we want out of the
box, then assign someone or some people to create those templates.

Documentation and training: There is currently not much in the way of
official (staff and librarian-oriented) documentation available for
Evergreen. I started an effort to write "The Book of Evergreen", but
that faltered when I turned my attention towards more basic

Data partitions: in a consortial environment, what is necessary in terms
of separating one Library's data from another's yet? For
example: should a Laurentian acquisitions person be able to see
McMaster's acquisition accounts and individual funds?

Migration of existing data: Apart from bib records / holdings / patron
records / authority records and open transactions (for example, books
that are currently checked out), what other data do we want to migrate
- complete transaction records dating back as far as our existing
systems allow? Or would we be satisfied just exporting a static set of
statistics so that we can combine data from the live system with the
statistics from the old system (for example: circ counts by barcode by
year)? Either way, we will have to define what data we want to migrate,
then figure out how to migrate that into the new system.

Dan Scott
Laurentian University

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