HSLC Evergreen News
January 18, 2011
Evergreen 2.0 and Authority Control

Catalogers use authority records to create and maintain consistent headings so that, for example, all works by the same author or all versions of a given title will be gathered to display together in response to a patron’s search. Subject headings perform a similar role in organizing items that deal with the same subject matter. Both name authority records and subject headings provide a controlled language to facilitate this function. The Library of Congress maintains a thesaurus of subject headings (LCSH) for use in bibliographic records and sponsors the name authority component of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, NACO. Through this program participants contribute authority records for names, uniform titles, and series to the LC Name Authority File. Library of Congress authority records, including Library of Congress Subject Headings, are available to view and to download in MARC 21 Format for Authority Data free of charge.

Evergreen 2.0 maintains a separate index of authority records which relates to and governs the headings used in the bibliographic records. When a field in the bibliographic record is controlled by an authority record, changes to the authority record are then automatically reproduced in the linked bibliographic records. Initially the HSLC Evergreen authority file will consist of records brought in during the load but will subsequently grow by importing MARC authority records using the MARC Batch Import/Export interface.

While cataloging in the MARC editor, authority records can be displayed from controlled fields of a bibliographic record. By highlighting the controlled field (such as a 100, 500, or 650 field) a context menu displays values from the 1xx, 4xx and 5xx fields of the authority record to verify see from and see also references.

In the following screenshot, you can see that the displayed list of authority records also displays the see from value for the given authority record. 


For more information on authority-oriented features in Evergreen 2.0 go to: http://www.open-ils.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=authorities:2.0#authorities_in_evergreen_2.0.

The Making of Evergreen 2.0

The phrase "Evergreen 2.0" has appeared frequently of late: in HSLC Evergreen announcements; at the PaLA conference session on Evergreen; and in discussions of current open source library systems in journals such as Information Technology and Libraries. What is it, why is it, and what does it mean for the HSLC Evergreen system?

When Evergreen was first developed, it was designed to the specifications of the Georgia Public Library System and the source code was made free and available to anyone. Since then, an Evergreen community of users (see HSLC Evergreen News, Dec. 21, 2010) has grown and many of these users want new or different features or functionality. Code has been written and tweaked by various developers to accommodate these wishes. That’s good and the way open-source software can work to benefit all users. The Evergreen Development Roadmap provides the highlights of each version, from the 2006 GPLS-only 1.0 version to the current stable version, 1.6, which was released in November 2009. HSLC has been trained on and the HSLC Evergreen System libraries will migrate to the newest version, 2.0, which is still in the beta testing phase. Evergreen 2.0 includes some major developments that warrant the leap from being simply another 1.x version of the software to the 2.x tier.

Version 2.0 was developed for two reasons. A large library system wanted to move to an open source library system (OSLS) but didn’t find exactly what they wanted in any of the OSLS’s currently available and that library had a lot of money to develop what they wanted. The King County Library System (KCLS) includes 42 libraries surrounding the greater Seattle area and is consistently ranked as one of the busiest library systems in the country. The money is from an almost-$1 million dollar federal grant ($998,556) awarded from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (ILMS) in 2009. The award is to “create and develop the critical infrastructure components that have traditionally been provided by ILS vendors and will establish a peer-to-peer support model for open source libraries. The project will stimulate a growing community of libraries moving to an OSLS that will benefit from and contribute to software applications as well as the support infrastructure.” KCLS chose to use the grant money to further develop the Evergreen OSLS and to share that work with the Evergreen community as required in the grant. To do the latter, they created the Resource Sharing Cooperative for Evergreen Libraries (RSCEL). (Yes, they do call themselves “rascals”!)

The transition to Evergreen 2.0 has had an impact on the HSLC Evergreen System. One option would have been to migrate data and train library staff on a system that would soon be upgraded, and go through another learning curve when Evergreen 2.0 was ready. KCLS had a firm September 2010 date for all of its libraries to go live on Evergreen, so it was decided to wait for them to start with the earliest 2.0 version, get the bugs worked out (there are always bugs!) and wait for a stable version before beginning the HSLC Millennium-to-Evergreen transition. The new features and functionality in version 2.0, as listed in the development roadmap, warranted waiting. These include acquisitions, serials, a more user-friendly patron registration form, and several changes to the cataloging interface. This timing has allowed HSLC staff more time to prepare the major changes occurring on the server side and to work out any kinks before any libraries move to Evergreen.

Although Evergreen 2.0 is available to download, it is considered an “early testing release” and is not recommended for use by live sites (although KCLS is using it and fixing those bugs). It is expected that a stable version of Evergreen 2.0 (probably 2.1 by then) will be released in the first quarter of 2011.  



That's it for this issue. The HSLC Evergreen News is published on the first and third Tuesday of the month to keep you informed about the progress of the HSLC Evergreen project.

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