There is a lot of buzz around Evergreen: there is excitement about an open source integrated library system. There is another aspect of it that is interesting, which I haven’t seen so much discussion about.
Evergreen was developed to support PINES in Georgia. It was designed to support consortial working. (And yes, I understand that individual institutions are looking at it also.) I think that this is interesting as we will probably see more consortial activity over time as the benefits of shared working and aggregate access become clearer. In this context, for example, it will be interesting to see what the impact on library use the availability of ‘one big library on the web’ in Georgia will be ….
PINES experienced a whopping 40 percent increase in lending during the past year. A statewide consortium that has grown to include more than 275 public libraries and affiliated service outlets in 137 counties, the Public Information Network for Electronic Services — PINES, for short — offers Georgia citizens a shared catalog of more than 9.3 million items, with a single library card that is welcomed in all member libraries. PINES now boasts more than 1.7 million registered cardholders — just under 19 percent of the state’s population but more than 35 percent of the citizens living in a county served by the system. [Use of Georgia’s public libraries continues to rise in Internet Age]
As part of this trend to consortial working, I believe that we will see more collaborative sourcing of shared systems. This results in a concentration of technical capacity, which may make those groups more willing to consider open source solutions like Evergreen.