[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Seeking funding partners for upcoming development projects

Kathy Lussier klussier at masslnc.org
Fri Aug 15 10:06:47 EDT 2014

Hi all,

The MassLNC Development Committee met earlier this week to ascertain 
what we need to move forward with some of our development projects this 
year. With PINES' assistance, we are close to moving forward with two 
development projects, but we still need a small amount of funds for each 

Alert development: This project has three components that give Evergreen 
sites more control over their alerts: 1)The ability to designate copy 
alerts as either checkin alerts or checkout alerts 2)The ability to add 
temporary alerts to copies, primarily so that staff in one library can 
add alerts to copies belonging to another library (e.g. "patron says 
this DVD needs cleaning"), and 3)the ability for a library to suppress 
some system alerts, such as the alerts that tell staff they have checked 
in a lost, missing, long overdue, or claims returned item.

Our libraries believe this project is important because, although alerts 
are sometimes necessary and relay critical information, many of our 
libraries find that some alerts do not provide information they need to 
know at certain points of the circ transaction. These alerts, therefore, 
add unnecessary steps to the workflow. Although clicking through one 
unnecessary alert may only add a couple of seconds to the workflow, 
those seconds add up throughout the hundreds or thousands of circ 
transactions that occur throughout the course of the day. Also, if we 
remove the alerts that are unnecessary, staff are more likely to pay 
closer attention to the alerts that provide important information.

MassLNC needs just $5,000 to proceed with this development project.

The Message Center project will provide a central area where patrons can 
view library messages. An Evergreen site can configure which notices 
will appear in the message center (e.g. overdues, cancelled holds, 
pre-due notices). The center will also display any public notes added to 
the patron record. These notes now display in the account summary area, 
but can easily be missed if the patron isn't looking for them. Logged-in 
users will get a visual cue, similar to those used in many other web 
sites, that lets them know when they have a new message (see mock-ups at 

Our libraries believe this project is important because users have come 
to expect web sites to provide important information, not just through 
e-mail, but also through the user account area of the web site. E-mail 
communication for notices is not always reliable, and the message center 
provides another means for communicating important information to the 
patron. This project also takes a piece of information currently 
available in the patron account area (public patron notes) and provides 
a needed visual cue that lets patrons know the note is available.

MassLNC just needs $2,900 to proceed with this development project.

If your library is interested in either of these projects, but cannot 
contribute the full amount required, please let me know. If we get 
enough libraries that can only contribute a portion of the funds 
required, those funds will quickly add up.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions on either of these 

Thank you!

Kathy Lussier
Project Coordinator
Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative
(508) 343-0128
klussier at masslnc.org
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kmlussier

On 7/25/2014 5:32 PM, Kathy Lussier wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm pleased to announce that Georgia PINES has joined MassLNC to help 
> to fund the Enhancements to Evergreen Alerts and Message Center 
> projects. Thank you Georgia PINES!
> We have also received some interest from Evergreen sites on the 
> activity metric project.
> MassLNC would really love to see all three of these projects 
> implemented in a future release of Evergreen. If anyone is interested 
> in the projects and can contribute some funds, even if it's only a 
> small amount of money, please feel free to contact me at 
> klussier at masslnc.org with your questions.
> What do you get out of being a partner on one of these development 
> projects? Putting funds to a development project is your opportunity 
> to make a contribution to the future direction of Evergreen. It's a 
> great feeling to see a new feature in Evergreen and to say to yourself 
> "I helped to make that new feature happen." Budgets are tight 
> everywhere, but by pooling our funds together, we can see some great 
> new functionality at a lower cost for each partner. The recent MVC/CRA 
> project (aka icon project)  is a great example of a development 
> project where many small development contributions, combined with a 
> couple of contributions from some larger sites, resulted in some nice 
> improvements for the whole Evergreen community. Being a development 
> partner also ensures that  you will be part of spec discussions and 
> testing, allowing you to watch out for the needs of your users while 
> the project is being shaped.
> But, wait, there's more! If you participate in a MassLNC development 
> project, your organization will be added to the MassLNC Wall of Fame 
> where we acknowledge and thank all of the sites that have worked with 
> us on development projects over the years - 
> http://masslnc.cwmars.org/node/3067. The large number of libraries and 
> consortia listed there is a testament to the great community we have 
> and the fact that there are so many sites out there that want to 
> contribute what they can to help make Evergreen better for everyone.
> But that's not all! For a limited time only, if your organization 
> decides to help fund one of these projects, you will receive a batch 
> of cookies made by MassLNC coordinator Kathy Lussier (that's me). The 
> cookies will be hand-delivered to you at the next Evergreen conference 
> (or, if we're both there, at the next Evergreen hack-a-way).
> Please take some time to look over these projects and let me know if 
> you're interested.
> Have a nice weekend everyone!
> Kathy
> Kathy Lussier
> Project Coordinator
> Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative
> (508) 343-0128
> klussier at masslnc.org
> Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kmlussier
> On 7/1/2014 2:45 PM, Kathy Lussier wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Today marks the first day of the new fiscal year for MassLNC, and our 
>> development committee has identified a few new enhancements we are 
>> hoping to sponsor over the next year.
>> We have received proposals from Equinox for all three projects, but 
>> MassLNC needs help to fund these projects. I am sending out this 
>> e-mail to see if there are other Evergreen sites interested in 
>> helping us fund any of these projects. For more details, you can 
>> e-mail me directly at klussier at masslnc.org.
>> Also, if you are already working on a similar project or just want to 
>> provide some feedback for our proposed projects, please feel to share 
>> your feedback on the list.
>> These three projects are listed on the new Proposed Development 
>> Projects wiki page at:
>> http://wiki.evergreen-ils.org/doku.php?id=evergreen_features:proposed_development_projects 
>> The goal of this project is for a title's activity (circulations, 
>> number of holds, etc.) to affect the relevance of that title when 
>> retrieving search results. Google and Amazon use popularity with much 
>> success when ranking search results. I think Evergreen would see 
>> similar success if it were to incorporate activity into its relevance 
>> algorithm.
>> As an example, if a user were conducting a keyword search on "abraham 
>> lincoln,"  there are many books, movies, etc. in most US libraries 
>> where the words "abraham lincoln" show up in the title. There would 
>> be no way to tease out the titles that are getting the most attention 
>> by readers. In fact, a title like "Team of Rivals" ranks very low in 
>> our search results even though there is a fairly high likelihood it 
>> is the title the patron is seeking.  By applying a metric based on 
>> activity, we might be able to see those more-recently popular titles 
>> floating higher in the search results list.
>> The current proposal is to make factors like circulation and hold 
>> activity, record and item age, and item ownership counts available as 
>> an activity metric. Each factor will embody a "popularity badge" that 
>> a bib record can earn, and each badge will have a five-point scale, 
>> where more points indicate a more popular record.
>> The average of the badge points earned by each record will constitute 
>> a "popularity star rating". The number and types of badges will break 
>> ties for average popularity.
>> A new sort axis of popularity will be created to sort first on the 
>> cumulative popularity of each record, followed by the query-specific 
>> relevance available today.
>> I mentioned this project in the recent thread on problems with items 
>> not checking in properly - http://markmail.org/message/rnm5s7wdxjgy3tym.
>> This project would give Evergreen sites more control over which 
>> alerts appear during check-in and check-out. The project has three 
>> components:
>> - Separate checkin and checkout copy alerts
>> - The ability to add temporary copy alerts from the checkin, 
>> checkout, and item status screen
>> - A library setting that allows sites to determine if some system 
>> alerts should appear at checkin and checkout.
>> MassLNC's full project requirements are available at 
>> http://masslnc.cwmars.org/node/2764.
>> This project is not slated to begin until Fall 2014 after sprint 1 of 
>> the web client project is complete.
>> This project would create a message center that communicates 
>> important messages to patrons. Public patron notes will display here, 
>> and sites will have the ability to configure any action/trigger 
>> notice to also deliver a notice to the message center.
>> MassLNC's full project requirements are available at 
>> http://masslnc.cwmars.org/node/2927.
>> Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!
>> Kathy

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