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International Institute of Social History replacing its library system: how we learned to love FOSS … and went live with Evergreen this September.

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Presentation on theme: "International Institute of Social History replacing its library system: how we learned to love FOSS … and went live with Evergreen this September."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Institute of Social History replacing its library system: how we learned to love FOSS … and went live with Evergreen this September

2 Our storys timeline Strategic choice for FOSS replacements had already been made 2009: – Defining the IISH ILS requirements – Feasibility study if and which FOSS ILS could match the requirements (based on documentation) – Pilot: real tests to evaluate Koha and Evergreen 2010: after deciding for Evergreen in principal: further thorough testing and getting to know

3 Timeline continued and in parallel: the future workflow – IISH working groups re-assessing cataloging, acquisition, use of the MARC standard and in parallel: outsourcing the programming of lacking Evergreen functionality (authorities management) 2011: having it all fall into place: – Opportunity to clean up the IISH MARC data – Get the right IT staff and IT expertise – Set up the Evergreen production environment – Train IISH staff for the new ILS – Migrate (we did it ourselves) and go live !

4 What we learned along the way Formulating our ILS requirements: – Workflow perspective: letting the old ways go and do some fresh thinking – Data perspective: can we get the most important data out the old system, in the new system.. and out again !! No data-lock-in.. Feasibility study (2009 – to FOSS or not to FOSS): lack of documentation for Evergreen – right now much improved

5 What we learned.. Pilot (2009): hands-on experience needed but preferably without the hurdle of a full Evergreen install; alas: some versions we piloted (1.4, ) had virtual images which helped.. but we had to learn a full install as well – right now Evergreen has test servers and a LiveCD !

6 What we learned.. Thorough testing and getting to know Evergreen (2010 into 2011): Evergreen does not do what I want it do and what I think it can do – but why is that? Is it me, is it a bug or what? Lots and lots of trial and error.. and talking to the Evergreen community.. and try again

7 What we learned.. Making Evergreen fit our requirements: – IISH did not have the right IT staff: we had a System Administrator but no Real Programmer – We outsourced (and have a Programmer now) – IISH had and has to learn how to improve Evergreen without becoming a fork but stick with the Roadmap and our chosen Evergreen branch Test migrations with *all* MARC records from old system into Evergreen: it is true: everything that could go wrong, did go wrong

8 First impressions after going live Definite advantages: – Evergreen is much more open and all kinds of data sources for MARC records can be used now: from publishers, found on the Internet, thru Z – Title Records can have scans (like a Table of Contents scan) or book jacket images attached: more valuable as Finding Aid for our foreign language collections – Working with a community: shared resources and experiences! – We can learn Evergreen any trick we like and when we like: it is Open Source (beware: staying in line!)

9 First impressions.. On the other hand: – Evergreen functionalities follow American – Canadian library practices.. – IISH does First Cataloging and issues Authority Records – Evergreen assumes Pre-Cataloging – Serials Management we would like to see fast tracked.. how to present your case to the community, how to contribute with programming – Generally speaking: we learned to love FOSS, now we have to learn our living apart together with the Evergreen community..


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