[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] need pointer on deciding "Is Open-ILS rightfor us?"

Kevin Kierans kevink at tnrdlib.bc.ca
Mon Mar 19 17:53:41 EDT 2007

<quote> /cut from an email from our school disctict IT team:

We did pilot a project that was developed out of Koha,
called OPALS-NA (OPen-source Automated Library System) - perhaps you
have heard of it?

This project is being done collaboratively by a company in Quebec and
New York school libraries. It is fully web-based, has an integrated
catalogue and other significant features.

I would give OPALS a look ... it is a very good product and might be
something of interest to you.


-----Original Message-----
From: open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org
[mailto:open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org]On Behalf Of
Kyle Banerjee
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:15 PM
To: open-ils-general at list.georgialibraries.org
Subject: Re: [OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] need pointer on deciding "Is Open-ILS
rightfor us?"

Howdy John,

I know Evergreen is all the buzz now, but since you have a small
library with what sounds like might be simple needs, you might want to
investigate the open source Koha alternative http://www.koha.org/

For a small institution, the installation will most likely be much
simpler, there will be significantly fewer dependencies, and the
support community is more mature.

Given that your techie folks do not have an ILS background, I would
strongly recommend consulting with someone who does. People tend to
think of the ILS as a catalog, but it really is a specialized database
optimized towards library workflows. If the people handling the
migration don't "get" what needs to be done, it's highly likely that
lengthy (i.e. expensive and time consuming) cleanup will be necessary.
Regardless of the system you opt for MARC or MARCXML would be ideal.
Generally speaking, MARC is a good way to go with migrations.


On 2/28/07, john <lists.john at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>  This is my first posting to the list. My name is John and I am one of two
> full time tech folks that
>  work for a small school district. We are keen to leave the world of
> proprietary software behind in
>  all of our work, and this includes our library catalog solution. I'm
>  excited about the reading I've done around OPEN-ILS and I hope that you
> folks
>  can help me to get my bearings as I struggle to understand whether such
>  a move is feasible for our small district. Perhaps if I give you a
>  little background you can let me know what you think:
>  Userbase: 1400
>  Titles in current catalog: 30,000+
>  Librarians: 3 at 3 different schools on a single fiber connected campus
>  current solution: SirsiDynix/Horizon
>  Our SD/Horizon solution is:
>  1. slow
>  2. plagued by data corruption issues
>  3. expen$ive with high start up costs and 3 year contract cycles
>  4. proprietary
>  5. hard to use for Librarians
>  6. Not especially useful to students
>  Potential blockers to a switch:
>  1. Neither techie is a programmer
>  2. Neither techie has any ILS background
>  Unknowns:
>  1. In consideration of trying to demo Open_ILS what format should we
>  request our current records from SirsiDynix/Horizon? They have been very
>  reluctant to part with the records, but if I had a format that would
>  facilitate a transfer I'd push aggressively for that.
>  2. Is there a standard/evolving migration path for these records. I see
>  that this appears to be
>  a commonplace task for some folks
>  Thanks! I look forward to hearing your (collective) ideas.
> John

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