or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk



King County Library System Launches Evergreen Catalog

   September 28th, 2010

King County Library System + EvergreenI found out yesterday that the King County (WA) Library System is now live on Evergreen. They did a lot of work to develop the online catalog, and many of their customizations will become part of the core Evergreen code.

Which is good news for many Massachusetts libraries, as we'll be following in their footsteps in May 2011. But development continues, and we can still customize beyond what KCLS has done - so if anyone has comments or suggestions, please submit them to Kathy Lussier at http://masslnc.cwmars.org.

And for the curious, these introductory videos show and explain a little more:

Yay for open source!




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


6 Responses to “King County Library System Launches Evergreen Catalog”

  1. Erin Says:

    Did you happen to attend the Technology in Rural/Small Libraries last week? Hosted by Webjunction? They mentioned Evergreen along with some other open source ILS as well. Great webinar. It should be archived by now if you wanted to view it. @baldgeeinmd and @webgoddess were the presenters and the hashtag was #ruraltech if you wanted to check the stream. Good stuff!

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Erin: I didn’t, but I found the WebJunction archive for the program, so I will definitely check it out – thanks for the tip.

  3. Erik Says:

    I hope, for your own sake, that you don’t repeat the mistakes that KCLS is making. So far, their implementation of Evergreen is a disaster. Take note of the fact that their website and libraries have been emblazoned with “We’re Working On It!” signage for months. If you can successfully login to your account and finish a transaction via the WebPAC, consider yourself lucky. Is it possible that Evergreen does not scale to a library of KCLS’s size? Millennium’s limitations (as proprietary software) may have been at odds with KCLS’s desires for greater catalog openness, but at least their WebPAC always worked.

  4. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Erik: thanks for the heads-up. Our demo opac was just launched for staff review. I’ve already made a few notes of glitches I’ve noticed, but since this still a test environment, I’m not sure what are known bugs are which are legit. Ans for what its worth, we are definitely keeping our eye on KCLS, so hopefully their trailblazing will make our migration go more smoothly.

  5. Mark Wilson Says:

    I live in Western Massachusetts, where Evergreen has now been implemented for a few weeks. I am a Server/Network and PC Technician of over thirty years field experience. Evergreen is a total disaster, patched together with hodge podge slipshod coding. It doesn’t work at all, the search results, when you can even login, are random at best, or zero results even if you are holding the item in your hand an know it is in the system!

    Evergreen is; dropping Patron accounts randomly, crashing and dumping Patrons in the Apache Server environment in the root of the server’s main drive with full admin, it crashes in nearly all it’s major functions, the search is archaic and far from useful even when it works, the interface is terribly dated, and the security is laughable!

    Evergreen in my opinion is what Techs refer to as “Junkware”, tosed together with a buch of open source scripts that were never meant to work together and will not ever work together properly.

    If the Western MA library system were my client I would have advised them to stay away from this software after testing it myself first, and would advise them now to dump it and go back to their previous catalog software, as Evergreen is obviously a totally unprofessional half baked and useless for their purpose mish-mash of code.

    P.S. I downloaded the Server and Client of Evergreen myself and tested it on my own network, and I must say it is unusable at best.

  6. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Mark: we’re still struggling with Evergreen too, but not to the same degree that it sounds like you are. I agree that, it seems to me, far more effort is put into the programming than into design or usability testing, which frustrates me to no end. But the problems you’re citing I’m sure are settings or misconfigurations that can be fixed. Contact Kathy as MassLNC – she’s great at tech support, and will be able to get you on the right track some how.

    In MVLC, we had so many problems that we eventually set up a help desk ticketing system. It didn’t eliminate problems, but certainly got them addressed quicker.