SirsiDynix to build Rome OPAC on Evergreen

Finally some proof that the new management at SirsiDynix are listening to their customers! I really shouldn’t post this until SirsiDynix make the official announcement on Thursday, but I just have to spill the beans because I’m so excited about the news…
Since the announcement of Rome, many Dynix and Horizon sites have been discussing a move to open source systems (such as Koha and Evergreen) and it looks like the top brass at SirsiDynix have realised that “if you can’t beat them, join them” — on Thursday they’ll be announcing a partnership with the people at Georgia Public Library Service who develop the Evergreen system.
How did I find out about this? Well, a couple of years ago I was given access to the Dynix development website and I regularly check it to see what the company has in the software pipeline. Imagine my surprise when I spotted a link titled “Evergreen Partnership OPAC” this morning — what could I do but click to see what is was!
I honestly thought that SD staff might have put it on there as some kind of joke, but a quick phone call to the press office at Huntsville confirmed the news and also that the formal announcement would come before the end of the week. They did ask me to swear that I wouldn’t leak the news, but I had my fingers crossed at the time so it doesn’t count!!! 😀
This is really great news as the Evergreen OPAC has a host of features not currently available in most ILS vendor OPAC products (including facets and lots of cool AJAX stuff).

9 thoughts on “SirsiDynix to build Rome OPAC on Evergreen”

  1. Cool — just received an email to say that the French language version of the new OPAC will be codenamed “Poisson d’Avril” and the Italian version will be codenamed “Aprile Pazzo”.

  2. Just in case I did get anyone’s hopes up, sorry — this was just an April Fool’s joke.
    If the bit about “SirsiDynix are listening to their customers” didn’t give it away, the choice of search keywords in the screenshot should have done 😉
    Having said that, if they do actually announce it on Thursday, I’ll retract this comment and proclaim myself the “UK’s top ILS trend spotting guru”!

  3. Congrats on the best April 1 library blog story of the year!
    Although I seriously suggested something like this earlier this year. Oh well, you know what they say:
    “If wishes were horses, beggars would have better OPACs”.

  4. I visited the Polaris site and it does the did you mean, faceted searches, uses what I think would be called ajax (when the screen expands instead of using pop ups) but I really like the large text and languge module. A person can also search outside sources…now i need to compare it to the evergreen sites. Too bad I could not see what the patron account looked like.

  5. I was curious about Polaris doing self check out without SIP2?
    I’m sure there’s a good reason for not using the standards, but doesn’t that lock the customer into buying hardware that only works with one system?

  6. Any Polaris people out there wanting to answer this? Is the Polaris self-check non SIP2 compliant and what about NCIP? Will other companies self check solutions work with Polaris and are there examples…

  7. We are a Polaris 3.3 library. We initiated the SIP-less self-check out system with Polaris back in 2004. For detailed description of the project and its rationale see our articles in LJ’s Netconnect Fall 2004 and Computers in Libraries, January 2005. Here’s why we went SIP-less and why it works so well…
    We began a formal review and study of RFID and self-check technologies from 2000 forward in anticipation of opening our new 88,000 sq ft library in late 2004. We needed technologies that would allow us to operate the new library with minimal staff additions. However, our budget exceeded the cost of the RFID and self-check offerings at the time. Back then self-check stations were $20-$25,000 each. We began to question why they needed to cost so much given they were just a hunk of metal. We noticed the airlines moving to self-ticketing and we knew they were probably not paying $25,000 for a self-ticketing kiosk. We also noticed they were using generic touch screen kiosks that are available at a far lower cost than the $25,000 that the library vendors were charging. In fact, the the generic touch screen stations were only a few thousand dollars. Now this is when I get a bit heated because I do question why libraries tend not to question the high cost of library solutions and blindly pay large sums for things that don’t really need to cost so much. We also realized that RFID systems would eventually be interoperable and that at that point if a third-party RFID system was purchased we’d be locked into it for a very long time at very high cost. We also noticed that some systems were slow and while I don’t know for sure it’s because of SIP, some information I collected at the time indicated it was a SIP issue. We had only a few months to convert a couple hundred thousand items and we needed conversion speeds of 1-3 seconds per item. At any rate, at the same time we were switching to Polaris (from a shared Innovative system) and asked Bill Schickling why self-check couldn’t just be a module in an ILS and have the self-check simply be a retrofitted off-the shelf kiosk. He said no problem. So instead of paying $25,000 per self-check kiosk, we paid about a third of that for each kiosk and had a system that is fast and easy to use. Just as importantly we had a system that did not require an overlay or skin on top of the Polaris when performing staff checkouts, as some vendors have. Therefore, we lost no ILS functionality at the check out desk. So for a fraction of what the third party RFID/self-check vendors were charging, we have a fast, reliable, easy to use system that increases our ILS value to us and our community.

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