SPAM: Re: [OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] General Questions

Dan Scott denials at
Thu Mar 27 11:42:52 EDT 2008

On 24/03/2008, Laura Long <laura at> wrote:
> Hi everyone -

Hi Laura!

>  My name is Laura Long, and I work at a small public library in Missouri.
>  We have been looking at various ILS recently, and are very impressed with
>  Evergreen. But we do have some questions, and I was hoping someone could
>  answer them. For informational purposes, we are using Sirsi-Dynix Unicorn
>  (we aren't very happy with them and don't want to make the switch to
>  Symphony, which is why we are looking). None of us are very tech savvy, so
>  if these are really basic questions, sorry!

We're a Unicorn site as well. I hear you loud and clear.

>  1. We currently use Baker & Taylor for cataloging of new book purchases.
>  We download records from their web site, and then upload them into
>  Unicorn..I assume this would also be possible with Evergreen, but is the
>  process simple?

I'm not familiar with Baker & Taylor, sorry.

But I'm interested in some more detail- are you downloading just the
bibliographic records via Z39.50? Evergreen supports this today; you
would just have to set up Baker and Taylor as a Z39.50 source.

Or are you downloading batches of MARC bibliographic records into a
file, that you then load into Unicorn (either via a report or via some
cataloging tool)? This is not quite as easy today; at the moment, to
load batches of records into Evergreen you have to run some command
line scripts. However, a nice interface for loading records is
definitely on our wish list (required for acquisitions, in fact) and I
know that Mike is doing work behind the scenes to make importing
records easier.

Or are you downloading the MARC order records and creating
acquisitions records at the same time? This is part of the set of
requirements for acquisitions, and will include the nice interface for
loading records. Post-April, I expect there will be a fair bit of work
on this.

>  2. We use PCReservations. I noticed in the documentation there's a
>  document about PCReservations, but it was blank. Does anyone have
>  experience with this program? Would we need to change from PCReservations
>  to another application?

I have no experience with this, personally. I tried to find the
document in the wiki backend to repair the link, but it looks like the
upload of the document failed :(

>  3. We would be interested in having a support service to help us with
>  implementation and the FAQs it said to inquire on the mailing
>  lists about vendors who offer support, so I am inquiring? Who are the
>  vendors? Is there an average or approximate cost for support?

The vendors that I am aware of are:
  * Equinox (company formed by the original developers of Evergreen -
they're the same people who are still doing almost all of the
continuing development of Evergreen) at
  * LibLime (company formed to support open source library software,
best known for its work on Koha, did some work on Evergreen back in
2006 but hasn't been active in the project since then) at

>  4. The help documentation is well done in some areas, but I noticed there
>  is very little in terms of cataloging. Will there be more information in
>  the user manual/help documents at some point? Is there someone who could
>  help with training staff? Is this something a vendor could help us with?

There's a small team of volunteer documentation writers taking
advantage of an offer that Jason Etheridge from Equinox made a few
months back to give free training sessions on Evergreen in exchange
for documentation. We've had three sessions so far (I think - I'm
terrible and have only made one), and we certainly intend to write a
solid user manual + online help, but it's still in the early stages. A
number of us are also trying to beef up the wiki with more

I know Equinox has provided training sessions, so a vendor could
certainly help. I also know that catalogers from Georgia provided
training sessions for the new libraries that migrated to Evergreen in
BC. So there are a lot of ways of getting training & documentation. Of
course - asking questions on the list is another good way of getting
information (and then it becomes searchable).

Welcome to the list, Laura!

Dan Scott
Laurentian University

More information about the Open-ils-general mailing list