By Andrew Price, 2006-12-22 10:41:26 in General.

I just read an article about a new open source library system called Evergreen being developed at the Georgia Public Library Service. I'm impressed. It's great to see these kind of open source alternatives to large scale systems such as integrated library systems being developed. I know how hard a library information system can be to develop after looking into it for my A-Level computing project back in 6th form. Evergreen was released in November and from reading the Open-ILS blog, it seems other organisations are already getting on board with the development. It's hardly surprising - a free system such as this could save them a lot of money in license fees in the long run, and it being GPL'd, they'd get to enhance it with their own features if they want to.

After trying out the online demo of the public web front end it struck me as a substantial improvement over the Voyager system, which my university's library uses. It offers a better presentation of information, provides a nice (although slightly too web 2.0) smooth interface and looks like they've thought of accessibility features too.

It's not perfect though - two aspects I would criticise are the reliance on javascript for the web front end to work and the fact that the generated HTML doesn't validate at the moment. I haven't tested out the staff client or looked at the code so I can't comment on them. But still, it looks like a promising young system and I'm sure with enough interest it will grow into an awesome suite of software.


Tristan Rhodes writes:

Thanks for sharing the information about Evergreen. I had not heard of it before, but I will keep my eye on it.

Have you also heard of these other open source library systems?

Koha (actively developed)
http://www.koha.or g/

Emilda (last updated in 2005)

Tristan Rhodes

2006-12-22 17:33:43

Andy writes:

I heard about Koha from the same article but I didn't look into it very far. According to the article Evergreen was an improvement (if i recall correctly) on Koha. As I said, it's very nice to see projects such as these catering for large scale systems such as libraries. Thanks for mentioning the others.

2006-12-23 01:17:40