A closer look at OPACs: Koha, Evergreen and Voyager compared

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October 5, 2010 by MMIT

The latest issue of Information Technology and Libraries (available via CILIP Proquest subscription) includes a comparative study of the OPACs of Koha, Evergreen, and Voyager which takes an interesting look at what a next-generation library catalogue might light look like and how it compares with what’s currently on offer.

While I didn’t agree with all of their findings (and I’m not the only one: this response from Dan Scott, an Evergreen developer is also well worth a read), I found it an interesting take on what features are considered central to a ‘next-generation’ OPAC.

It’s also a useful comparison of Koha and Evergreen, the two most popular open-source library systems. While Koha use continues to grow in the UK, Evergreen hasn’t had the same impact.  From both the article and Dan Scott’s response, this doesn’t seem to be due to lack of available features.

The ossviab project is taking a closer look at the suitability of Evergreen for the UK HE market. The decision to use Evergreen for this project was largely based on its use in large consortia environments and I can’t help but feel that Evergreen’s association with large academic consortia (namely Georgia PINES)  is one of the reasons it hasn’t been adopted as widely for non-consortium libraries. It certainly *seems* scalable enough for smaller libraries.

Anyway, time (and the outcomes of the ossviab project ) will tell but I’d be interest to hear if any libraries going the open source route have looked closely at Evergreen and what they’ve found.

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The MmIT group is a CILIP special interest group concerned with the organisation, delivery and exploration of information through modern media including graphic forms, video and web based application. This blog contains news from the group and about multimedia information and technology in the library and information. For more information about MmIT see http://www.cilip.org.uk/about/special-interest-groups/multimedia-information-technology-group.

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