MassLNC Evergreen Development Initiative FAQ

What is the MassLNC Evergreen Development Initiative?

The MassLNC Evergreen Development Initiative is an opportunity for Evergreen sites to pool funds together in order to bring exciting new features and important bug fixes to Evergreen. Every Evergreen site that contributes to this pool gets a voice in deciding which development projects are funded by the pool. 

Is the MassLNC Evergreen Development Initiative a new project?

Yes, the Development Initiative launched on July 1, 2016. However, MassLNC has been working for years with multiple partners to fund Evergreen development projects. The three founding MassLNC partners - C/W MARS, MVLC, and NOBLE - started working together in 2010 to fund a variety of enhancements and bug fixes in Evergreen. During that time, MassLNC has developed a consensus-driven process for directing development funds that incorporates staff input while also evaluating good strategic directions for the Evergreen project. MassLNC is now extending involvement in this process to others in the Evergreen community in the hopes that we will represent a larger segment of the community in the development we fund.

Who is participating in the Development Initiative?

See the About MassLNC page for a current list of MassLNC Evergreen Development Initiative.

What are the membership levels?

Evergreen sites have the option to participate at the collaborator level or the idea generator level.

  • Collaborators can appoint representatives to the MassLNC Development Committee, which has final decision-making authority for the expenditure of MassLNC development funds. They can also appoint functional experts to various working groups that serve as a resource for identifying development needs in a specific functional area. Collaborators can also submit and like ideas on the MassLNC Ideas Site.
  • Idea Generators can have a voice for development projects with less time commitment. Evergreen sites participating at this level can submit and like ideas on the MassLNC Ideas Site.

What type of development projects are funded by the pool?

Our goal is to fund a variety of development projects that include:

  • multiple functional areas of the system, including ones that may not yet be available in Evergreen;
  • a mix of large, strategic projects along with small, quality-of-life improvements;
  • a combination of new enhancements and bug fixes, with an initial annual earmark of 10% of the pool's funds going towards bug fix projects.

Some of the development projects MassLNC previously funded include:

  • billing improvements, including the ability to prohibit negative balances;
  • support for texting hold notices and call numbers;
  • enhanced formats, providing flexibility in the formats used for icons and search filters;
  • support for monographic parts, allowing users to place holds on a specific disc or volume;
  • the ability to incorporate an activity metric in the ranking of search results.

View a full list of MassLNC-funded development projects.

Who makes decisions on how the development funds are spent?

Final authority for selecting development projects and authorizing expenditures lies with the MassLNC development committee. The committee uses a consensus-driven process to identify projects that should receive funding. The development committee comprises the following voting members:

  • Each full MassLNC partner appoints four representatives.
  • Each medium / large consortium participating at the collaborator level appoints three representatives.
  • Each single library / small consortium participating at the collaborator level appoints one representative.

Once a development project is selected for funding, the MassLNC coordinator has the authority to authorize change orders that fall within 10% of the total project cost, but will only do so after consulting with Development Initiative partners. 

What does the MassLNC Evergreen Development Initiative fee cover?

  • Most of the fee (85%) directly funds the development projects that are procured through MassLNC.
  • The remaining 15% supports project management services, including the work to create details project requirements, secure qualified vendors/developers to perform the work, negotiate contracts, review technical specifications, and test the completed project.

My library is participating at the Collaborator level. Who should represent our organization on the Development Committee?

Each development partner has total discretion over whom to select as representatives. Historically, the full MassLNC partners have appointed a representative who works in the central consortium office along with representatives who work at member libraries.

Generally, the most effective development committee reps are people who are knowledgeable about the system's functionality, have a good understanding of staff and end user needs, and are comfortable voicing their own preferences while also keeping the good of the whole group in mind. 

My library wants to participate at the Idea Generator level. How much influence do we have in the development process?

Library staff working at an Evergreen site participating at the Idea Generator level can create accounts on the MassLNC web site for the purpose of submitting development ideas and liking ideas submitted by others. Activity on the MassLNC Ideas site is one of many components used in the MassLNC Development Committee's decision-making process and provides a window on those ideas that are important to users. 

At times, the Development Committee will also issue surveys as part of the development process, usually as a way to prioritize a few ideas that have been identified as potential projects. Idea Generators will have an opportunity to participate in those surveys as well.

Who can participate on MassLNC Development Ideas Site?

Once a library/consortium becomes a member of the MassLNC Evergreen Development Initiative, anyone who works at the central consortium office or at a member library can sign up for an account on the MassLNC web site for the purpose of submitting and liking ideas on the MassLNC Ideas Site

We believe this level of access is important for library staff to feel that they are involved in the development process and to feel ownership of the Evergreen system. If a front-line staff person is frustrated with an Evergreen workflow issue, giving them a place to suggest an improvement is a productive way to voice that frustration. If others show support for the idea and the improvement eventually makes its way into Evergreen, the front-line staff person can take credit for having made a valuable contribution to the software. 

Where can I find more information about the program?

More information is available at http://masslnc.org/eg-dev. You can also contact the MassLNC Coordinator, Kathy Lussier, at klussier@masslnc.org.