MassLNC Requested Search Enhancements

The Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative (MassLNC) is seeking development services to improve the retrieval of search results in Evergreen. 

Below is a list of issues MassLNC hopes to address with this work. Any search improvements that result from this work cannot negatively impact search performance. MassLNC will  perform timed tests both before and after any configurations are made or new code is added to verify that performance is not diminished. 

Any development must be made available under the GNU General Public License version 2 or later and the code must be shared in a public git repository.

Search projects

Synonym list for search terms



The system should have a global, locally-defined synonym list where system administrators can identify synonyms and alternate spellings for search terms.


Ability to Browse by Author, Title and Subject



The catalog should offer an alphabetical author browse, title browse and subject browse.


Staff-Friendly Call Number Browse



The catalog needs a linear call number browse that is friendlier for staff.


Traditional Operators for Boolean Searches



A new Boolean search option that supports using the traditional and, or and not operators in a Boolean search.


Simple method for excluding electronic resources from search results



The catalog should have a checkbox to exclude electronic resources that can be placed on the basic search page and/or the advanced search page.


Instructions for Developers

MassLNC invites developers and vendors to submit quotes for one or any number of the requested search enhancements.

  1. When submitting a quote, please include an estimated cost of service, a projected timeline and a description of the proposed development. All quotes are due by 5 p.m. EST Monday, November 26.
  2. If you have questions about the scope or approach for any project, please send them to MassLNC Project Coordinator Kathy Lussier at by 5 p.m. EST November 16. MassLNC will respond to these questions as they are received via e-mail and will also post the responses to the MassLNC site so that all developers can benefit from the same information.
  3. If MassLNC contracts with a developer, MassLNC expects the developer to share plans and communicate with the Evergreen developer community to help ensure the code is acceptable to the community. In particular, developers should be aware of current ongoing work to the Evergreen query parser code, outlined at, and communicate with developers working on the query parser code to ensure that it doesn't conflict with code done as a part of this project.
  4.  Prior to coding, MassLNC expects the developer to do one of the following to communicate their plans:
    1. Submit a detailed report to Launchpad ( to share details about the proposed development. Preferred
    2. Post formal specs to a place that is easily accessible to the developer community.
    3. Send a message to the Evergreen developer’s list ( to share details of the proposed development.
  5. MassLNC plans to finalize decisions by December 7, 2012.


Re: MassLNC Requested Search Enhancements


Question submitted by developer:
Are you willing to use a separate search engine for this functionality or are you specifically asking for evergreen to be changed internally for your needs?

MassLNC Response:
I've talked this idea over with my team, and, at this time, we are not interested in a separate search engine. We have a few reasons for wanting to focus on the core Evergreen search.

One of our local developers is actively working on changes to the Evergreen query parser, as outlined at, and we are hoping to benefit from this work.

We also strongly believe that other Evergreen libraries should benefit from the development work sponsored by MassLNC. If we were using a separate search engine, even if it were shared through a public git repository, it would be more difficult for other Evergreen systems to implement.

Also, if we did move in the direction of using a third-party search service, I think we would start by exploring existing discovery systems (VuFind, BiblioCommons, etc.) so that we wouldn't need to build something from the ground up.

Having said that, if you think you can present something that alleviates those concerns, we would be willing to look at the proposal. However, I just want you to be aware that we are unlikely to go in that direction. You should also know that we would expect a separate search engine to be made available under the GNU General Public License version 2 or later and the code to be shared in a public git repository.

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