[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Library course using Evergreen

Tara Robertson information.detective at gmail.com
Sun Jan 31 11:16:02 EST 2010

Hi Robert,

Shirley and I have talked a lot about the readings, the assignments and I'll
be helping with the Evergreen part of the class.

I think installing and configuring Evergreen would be waaaaaay beyond the
scope of 3 credit class, as well as beyond the scope of almost all library
school students (and almost all librarian's) technical abilities. This might
be slightly more realistic in a few years when Evergreen is easier to
install, and when library school students have more technical skills.

This is the first time that a class like this has ever been taught at UBC. I
think Shirley has done a great job of covering a variety of topics and still
keeping it a manageable 3 credit course. As it's a new class, I'm sure
she'll revise it before she teaches it again.

The course readings are listed on the website:
http://blogs.ubc.ca/libr551/readings/ Abrams' "white paper" is on March 9th,
along with Mark Leggott's response. The other readings that week explore the
Koha fork, and the strong community values around open source/free software.

I don't think any 3 credit course can cover all the options for selecting an
ILS, however I think that after this class students will hopefully
understand some of the questions that people are asking about systems,
library automation, and the current marketplace.


On Sun, Jan 31, 2010 at 6:31 AM, Soulliere, Robert <
robert.soulliere at mohawkcollege.ca> wrote:

> Hi Shirley,
> I think it is wonderful that you are using Evergreen in your course and I
> think it can provide many other opportunities for classroom learning. Given
> the scalability of Evergreen, I think it would be really great if a course
> allowed students to install and configure local instances of Evergreen ILS
> systems in an advanced course dedicated to Open-Source ILS systems.
> I do want to question this statement  in your course blog:
> "We now know these systems have one of the most important roles within or
> libraries, why would we trust other people to provide the code and host our
> servers?"
> I know this is more of an introductory question where you then list the
> advantages of Open-Source, but just note that Evergreen does not have be be
> hosted by other people. Mohawk College uses its own server and I believe
> many other organizations do as well to run Evergreen. The part about code
> also seems strange since vendors also provide "code". The different being
> that we can see and edit the code in Open-source software.
> I do think that Stephen Abram's position paper against open source software
> might be an interesting read for classroom discussion:
> http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/Open%20Source%20Position%20Paper%2020091014%20FINAL%5B1%5D.pdf
> It is not an academic paper, but may be  something students will be exposed
> to in the real world and need to be able to analyze critically.
> Students should also look at the Evergreen blog at:
> http://www.open-ils.org/blog/. I think it provides a great historical
> perspective of Evergreen since the can find entries going back to 2005 and
> track the evolution and growth of Evergreen to the present.
> This is probably all beyond the scope of this introductory course, but I
> think a good comparison and discussion of proprietary vs Open-Source ILS
> options should be explored in library schools today so that students will
> understand all of their options when choosing an ILS.
> Thanks,
> Robert
> ________________________________________
> From: open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org [
> open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org] On Behalf Of Shirley
> Lew [shirleysue at gmail.com]
> Sent: January 31, 2010 1:39 AM
> To: open-ils-general at list.georgialibraries.org
> Subject: [OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Library course using Evergreen
> Hello!
> I've been lurking on this list for several weeks and thought I should
> introduce myself. My name is Shirley Lew and I'm teaching a course,
> Library Automation & Systems, at the School of Library, Archival &
> Information Studies (SLAIS) program at UBC this term - course web site
> is here http://blogs.ubc.ca/libr551/blog/. The course is using an
> instance of Evergreen for teaching and learning purposes, provided for
> us by the Sitka Consortium in British Columbia. For the majority of
> students, this is the first opportunity they will have had for
> hands-on exploration of an open source ILS. They're curious and
> excited to see what Evergreen has to offer, for good reason!
> The major course assignment this term involves evaluating some of the
> functionality of Evergreen (specifically the circulation module) and
> comparing it with Koha for Class, the other ILS system to which we
> have access. I will be encouraging students to subscribe to this
> listserv, both to observe the discussion and to ask questions as they
> get to know the system. This discussion list is clearly a very
> supportive and collegial one, so I thank everyone in advance for any
> help/support you can offer students who may ask questions.
> - Shirley
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