The Evergreen open source library system reflects the labor of thousands of library systems using it and improving it. Appropriately, each month the Evergreen community recognizes one of its contributors as Contributor of the Month.
The range of recent honorees highlights the community members contributing their time and expertise to improve the software for all Evergreen users, reflecting all types and positions in libraries, and types of libraries, and not only workers in libraries.
Remington Steed, Electronic Resources Specialist for Hekman Library at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has contributed both code and documentation over the past decade, with a particular interest in documentation and is a member of the Documentation Interest Group. "I'm also intrigued by user's expectations and perceptions of the software. I often talk with our users and try to understand their needs. Sometimes this results in us improving the software, but other times the simplest solution is better documentation."
Chauncey Montgomery, Director and Fiscal Officer of the Sunbury Community Library in Ohio, was instrumental in forming COOL, the Consortium of Ohio Libraries and encouraging Ohio libraries to adopt Evergreen. "It started as a financial decision, but as I got more into [Evergreen], the other benefits of open source became more apparent. Working in a public library, [open source] aligns so much with our views and philosophies, I feel like we have a responsibility to support open source initiatives." Chauney served on the Evergreen Oversight Board for three years and is also a past chair of the COOL Oversight Board.
Mary Llewellyn, Database Manager at Bibliomation, a consortium of Evergreen libraries in Connecticut, supports cataloging, acquisitions and serials workflows for member libraries. She notes that this kind of work is much easier to perform in an open source system, since one can access and manipulate system-level data. Mary stresses the resources available in the community of users and contributes to the information-sharing. "I like to go to the community to compare notes before I go file a bug – the listserv is a great point of entry, since there are others who may have the same issue."
Lynn Floyd, MIS Supervisor at the Indiana State Library, formerly head of Information Technology at the Anderson County Library in South Carolina, took a leadership role in the larger SC LENDS consortium. "Teaching and sharing with each other is how this community works." As a trainer, "I knew that I could put my skills to use documenting the functions of Evergreen," says Floyd, who is active in Evergreen Documentation Interest Group and this year presented a half-day session on receipt templates as a preconference to the annual Evergreen International Conference in April.
Jason Stephenson, ILS Manager for CW MARS in Massachusetts, has been a key contributor to the Evergreen project for over a decade. In addition to maintaining the CW MARS system, Jason also provides independent consultation via his firm Siglio. He is number 13 in the all-time list of code contributors and is one of the longest continuous contributors to the Evergreen project. Jason is also a core committer, one that approves software contributions for inclusion in upcoming releases. Like all of our honorees, Jason encourages participation in the community's online forums. "If you can add a comment or even just click the link that the bug also affects your organization, that's valuable information."
Sylvia Orner, Head of Technical Services at the Scranton Public Library, part of the Pennsylvania Integrated Library System (PaILS) consortium, currently serves as Chair of PaILS Cataloging Committee, and her local and state-level work have brought benefits for all Evergreen users. PaILS and Evergreen Indiana funded improvements to Patron Requests in Release 3.2, and Sylvia explains, "It was great to see how something we wanted for a long time took shape and came together." PaILS is a growing consortium and Sylvia has helped to train new members. "Migrations can be stressful – and I can ease their worries about the Cataloging side of the process," she says.
Ken Cox is a software engineer and library patron who created the Evergreen app Hemlock. Ken's contribution is a classic example of the power of open source. Unhappy with the mobile experience that was available at the time, "I set out to scratch my own itch" he says. Ken had been wanting to learn how to develop an Android app for a while, and Ken's wife, a librarian who has worked in public and school libraries, some of which used Evergreen, had much positive influence on the design and features available in the app. Ken has worked with several Evergreen consortia to develop their own branded version of Hemlock and branched out to an iOS version as well, all also open source and available in the Google Play and Apple stores.
Anna Goben, Evergreen Indiana Program Director and Associate Database Analyst for the Indiana State Library has been involved with Evergreen for a dozen years and oversees daily operations of the Evergreen Indiana consortium. Anna is current President of the Evergreen Project Board, which is establishing Evergreen as its own nonprofit corporation. She has simultaneously coordinated the creation of the Evergreen Community Development Initiative which serves to coordinate software development for a group of contributing consortia to benefit the community at large. Anna and the ISL have hosted the developers annual community Hack-a-way in 2016, 2017 and 2019. "I would suggest that any meeting that involves members of multiple Evergreen communities will get you excited," she says, "as you learn that they have the same enthusiasms, frustrations and experiences that you deal with regularly."
Kate Coleman, Technical Services Specialist, Jefferson County Library, part of the Missouri Evergreen Consortium, has just started her tenure as chair of Missouri Evergreen's Cataloging Committee. "Working with catalogers all over the state is very fun," Kate says, "and helping libraries of all sizes with their cataloging issues is rewarding. I've seen how important it is for the Evergreen community at large to be cognizant of the different levels of knowledge." She encourages participation in the community, "I really appreciate how welcoming the Evergreen community is to new people, and always willing to help not only with ideas and issues, but to teach with an open mind."
Evergreen is highly-scalable software for libraries that helps library patrons find library materials and helps libraries manage, catalog, and circulate those materials, no matter how large or complex the libraries. Evergreen continues to be the leading ILS for consortia and delivers local flexibility and granularity of policies that no other software can match.
Evergreen 3.4 continues to deliver the most interoperability for libraries via its truly open APIs. More than 2,000 libraries around the world use Evergreen. Evergreen 3.4 is available to all for download at no cost from the Evergreen web site at https://evergreen-ils.org/Evergreen is open-source software, licensed under the GNU GPL, version 2 or later.
The Evergreen community is made up of individuals, libraries, companies, and other organizations that support the Evergreen Integrated Library System. Honorees were selected by the Evergreen Outreach Committee from community nominations.