The East Central Regional Library, which is based in Cambridge and serves Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties, will soon become the first Minnesota public library system to migrate to an open source integrated library system, Evergreen.
The migration is also a first for the PALS office in Mankato, which is hosting East Central Regional’s new Evergreen-based catalog. Barbara Misselt, Director of East Central Regional Library, said migration from the library’s SirsiDynix-ILS is going well, and staff are doing testing and training on a test server.
Plans call for a “go-live” date of May 24. East Central’s libraries will be closed May 17-23 to complete implementation of the new Evergreen system. Steve Elfstrand, Executive Director of PALS, agreed that the East Central migration is going well. Working with East Central has been a good first test for the PALS staff of moving a library catalog to Evergreen. Support for Evergreen systems continues PALS’ exploration of open source software, and hosting Evergreen systems is another service offered by the PALS office.
PALS has a support contract with Equinox for problems for which they need assistance, but Elfstrand says the PALS staff has found Evergreen intuitive and, generally, easy to work with. Evergreen, developed in Georgia for the Pines consortium of public libraries, was launched in Sept. 2006. Currently, Evergreen is used by over 544 libraries of every type-- public, academic, special, school, and even tribal and home libraries -- in over a dozen countries worldwide.