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

We’re Live on Evergreen!

   May 31st, 2011 Brian Herzog

Our brand new Evergreen catalog went live last night about 7:00 PM, and today is the first day staff and patrons are seeing the new catalog. Each MVLC library has its own search interface, and here's ours:

New Evergreen Search Interface

The consortium network staff in charge of the migration chose Memorial Day weekend so they'd have an extra day to work on everything, since libraries would be closed anyway. Although you always plan for the worst with major changes like this, it seems like everything is more or less going according to plan.

My library chose to open late today (1:00 PM instead of 9:30 AM) to give staff time to get caught up on checking everything in from the weekend (since the catalog was totally off-line during the migration), and to also give us time to get familiar with the new interface before we started using it to serve patrons.

The last couple month have felt like a mad scramble to test what we could, suggesting as many changes as possible to make the catalog more staff- and patron-friendly. The great thing about open source software like Evergreen is that new features can constantly be developed, but nothing happens instantly, and everything needs to be prioritized.

We're not launching with the perfectly ideal catalog, but we have been trying to reframe our patrons mindsets to the new "perpetual beta" approach to feature development in our catalog. I also expect a stream of training and how-to blog posts and maybe videos, but that should be par for the course for any migration. If you feel so inclined, please try it out and I'd love to hear feedback and suggestions.

Newspaper headline: Titanic Sinks; 1500 DieOh yeah...
A colleague at another MVLC library pointed out that today, May 31st, is also the 100th anniversary of the launching of the Titanic. That is not foreboding at all.

Now, time for vacation
Although I know it's bad timing, I'm going to be traveling this week and next for a family wedding and niece- and nephew-seeing. I'll have a couple days with the new system before I leave, but I'll post again in a couple weeks with an update on how things are going.

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