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

Dan Scott denials at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 00:53:09 EST 2008

Hi Deb:

I'm going to push you for some more information here - and remind you
that the question I asked was:

"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 Evergreen?"

Nice-to-haves are fine, too, but we need to keep them identified as
such to prioritize tasks appropriately (unless, of course, having the
nice-to-have would outweigh any other consideration - like: "If
Evergreen came with a built-in ice cream maker, I couldn't care less
if it supported EDI!")

On 30/01/2008, Deb Bergeron <bergeron at macalester.edu> wrote:
>  Ok Dan--thanks for bringing the conversation over here!
>  You mentioned several modules.  One important module is the OPAC.   Here we
> need both one for patrons and one for librarians.  I've mentioned before
> that it's always a balancing act that includes the 'necessary' information
> for most librarians with those of the faculty and student patrons.

Can you mention specifically what you think needs to be different
about the current Evergreen OPAC (either for patrons, or for

> I realize there are several OS OPAC models out there, and perhaps one or more
> of these could be integrated.

I think we would want to keep these (Blacklight, Vufind,
Helios/Fac-Back-OPAC, Scriblio, etc) loosely-coupled. Hopefully people
will contribute Evergreen plugins to the projects (sheesh, I should
add one for Helios/Fac-Back-OPAC).

> Oh, and by the way, make sure that all the
> information can be viewed and downloaded to not only a computer, but any
> hand-held device.

Have you tried the slimpac ("Basic catalog (HTML Only)") down on the
bottom left of the opening search screen? It works well in my cheapo
two-year old cellphone, as well as on a Windows Mobile device I saw
the other weekend.

> Someone mentioned an ILL module--thank you!  We need a resource sharing
> module that will accomodate not only resource sharing within a consortial
> setting, but within a larger environment as well (i.e. the state, country,
> world--why are we not thinking like Google?!).  This module must have the
> ability to 'talk to' the ILS and update the database in real-time without
> human interaction.  And, could you make this module modular so we can use it
> with any ILS?

So for the first bit of your statement about resource sharing, I
gather you're talking about using Evergreen's holds functionality for
a consortial resource sharing mechanism. The last bit sounds like we
might be veering into wishlist turf, not base requirement territory.
Based on the scope, potentially an entirely different project, even?

I'm not sure about the middle bit - is that the ISO ILL piece that
Zachary mentioned? Or more than that? If we're talking "world" scope,
do you have some ideas of how we could trust this module to update the
Evergreen database - maybe everybody authenticates through OCLC or
signed PGP keys or something like that? Some specific workflows would
be helpful: let's say a patron at Laurentian needs a book that
MacAlester holds; would our system automatically find yours,
authenticate (somehow), request the book for ILL, negotiate fees, and
route the book for return to MacAlester once our patron is done with

>  So, based on the previous postings, we'd have:
>  Cataloging
>  Acquisitions
>  Serials
>  Circulation
>  ILL
>  Reports/Stats
>  ERM

To be honest, I don't actually like high-level laundry lists like
this; they're way too high-level to be helpful to us in trying to
build a library system that solves particular problems. I'm probably
to blame for kicking off the discussion with what amounted to a
laundry list, when what I'm really hoping for is more specific:
particular goals that people need to achieve, with task/subtask
workflows and information flows, and identified actors (technician vs.
librarian vs. patron vs. student vs. faculty).

The work/information flows would ideally state how you do things today
and muse a bit about how things could be done better - for example, in
acquisitions a number of systems use a single "notes field" method of
tracking all kinds of different alerts for a particular order; in a
description of "today's workflow" you might state that three different
notes are added to the "notes field" as you progress through the
tasks, then point out that you've actually found over time that the
kinds of notes you write fall into 3 or 4 typical categories and
wouldn't it be nice if the system would provide those categories for
you - or let you define the categories and associated actions (alert
or whatever)...

>  After building the base modules, let's think outside the box and include
> all the wizbang stuff students want (most of this is already available via
> ENCORE,  Endeca, and other products.)
>  Reviews

You mean reviews written by users, not the Syndetics-supplied reviews - yes?

>  Tagging
>  Chat--including voip

Chat with who? Strictly patron to library staff? Or patron to patron?
What's the use case you're thinking of here?

>  IM

How do you see this differing from chat?

>  Faceting

Well, arguably facets are already showing up on the left hand side for
search results - no?

>  Functionality not in an ILS (at least not that I've seen):
>  Add the ability to customize and add functionality similar to Google and
> Firefox.

Can you provide some examples of what you mean by this? Something like
a plug-in manager so that you can find/turn on/off/configure plug-ins
that other people have built? WordPress, Drupal, Serendipity, and
other web applications offer this kind of functionality, if you're
looking for other examples.

>  Throw in some social networking capability or allow it to be added on in a
> modular fashion--again over several devices.

Again, I'll need some examples to understand your goals here. Enable
EG users to self-organize in groups, post content (pictures, reviews,
podcasts, links to YouTube videos), and comment accordingly? Enable EG
users to send email / IM / text messages to other people to invite
them to become members of the library (and send them links to
e-audiobooks or something cool that they didn't think was part of a
library's mandate)? There are certainly some interesting possibilities
here for general library advocacy, even if that's not what you were
intending :)

>  Now I'm going to go think about this some more.

Thanks Deb!

Dan Scott
Laurentian University

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