Pelham Public Library is proud to be part of a new and exciting partnership with Lincoln, Fort Erie, and Niagara-On-The-Lake Public Libraries and Niagara College. This college and public library automated system partnership is the first in Ontario and second in Canada. The new Niagara Evergreen Consortium is proud to announce that its five libraries will be switching to Evergreen, an open-source library system, between August and November 2010. Two factors are truly innovative in this consortium: the use of Evergreen open-source software and the college and public library partnership.
In 2009, the Libraries received a grant from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to do a study on the feasibility of forming a consortium to deliver library automation services. The study demonstrated that a partnership was possible and would give each library long-term cost savings. Niagara College, a key partner, has generously agreed to house the system servers, so libraries can access the new system via the Internet.
Evergreen is "open-source" technology which means it is not owned by a software development company or vendor. Well-known examples of open-source non-proprietary software are Apache, which runs over 70% of Internet sites and the Internet browser Firefox. The software itself can be downloaded and installed for free. Evergreen software is presently used by many public libraries in British Columbia, many public libraries in the U.S. and Ontario universities and colleges such as Laurentian, Windsor and Mohawk.
This fall, the five Niagara libraries in the consortium are going live. Pelham Public Library’ scheduled date is October 12. Your library card and all services will remain the same – you will just see a new automated catalogue screen. In order to use a new service – e-mail overdue notices – simply give us your e-mail address. This will go into effect with the Evergreen system. We at Pelham Public Library are proud to be part of this unique consortium, made possible through the dedication and skills of our library staff and the consortium’s commitment to improving services and decreasing costs for all library users.