On September 24th the Bibliomation Board of Directors voted to accept a staff recommendation to establish the Evergreen Open Source Software system as the future migration path for the network. This recommendation was based on fifteen months of investigation. The Bibliomation staff download both the Evergreen and Koha Open Source Software products, loaded identical sets of test records on both systems, then evaluated the two products against over 120 separate functional requirements. This testing provided conclusive evidence that the Evergreen option is the more consortia friendly of the Open Source alternatives currently available.
This decision does not imply an imminent system migration for Bibliomation. There are still a number of enhancements to the Evergreen Software that we feel will be necessary before such a migration is feasible. We will, however, move ahead with the Bibliomation Developmental Partners Project. Four small public libraries have volunteered to work with the network in a pilot project which will allow us to implement and test new enhancements to the Evergreen software. Bibliomation will migrate each of these libraries into a small, fully functional shared Evergreen system, which will, in turn act as a test bed for the software improvements as they are developed. In return for their cooperation in this project Bibliomation has created a very favorable cost structure that will fully reflect the potential financial savings Open Source has to offer libraries.
The four libraries that have agreed to participate in this project are: The Beacon Falls Public Library, The Douglas Library Association of Hebron, The Slater Library in Griswold, and the Windham Free Library Association. We will be scheduling profiling meetings with these libraries in October and hope to have a functioning shared Evergreen cooperative system operational in Connecticut by early 2010.