The power of collaborative development

The best part of sponsoring Evergreen development projects is that moment when we share an idea that came from our users with the rest of the Evergreen community and discover that, not only do other sites want to see the same feature in Evergreen, but they are also willing to put their financial and staff resources toward the project.

MassLNC's first foray into development was an opportunity to join Bibliomation on a 2010 project they were leading to bring hard due dates and end-of-semester due dates to Evergreen. Within a few months, MassLNC was putting out its first call for development partners to help fund cataloging and batch import enhancements.

Over the years, we've worked with libraries and consortia of all sizes on development projects related to cataloging, acquisitions, holds, and the public catalog. Those libraries have not only allocated money to fund the project, but have also dedicated staff time to review specifications and test the final code to ensure that the final improvement will meet the needs of our Evergreen users.

Our philosophy is that if the improvement is valuable to the libraries in our three consortia, then other Evergreen sites are likely to benefit from the improvement too. Yes, part of the reason we seek development partners is to free up our own development funds to use for other projects. However, we also value the input we receive from partner sites that may have different workflows than ours. More partners also bring more eyes to the testing of final code and reduces the number of bugs we ultimately see in the new feature. With more Evergreen sites involved in the initial development project, we are more likely to end up with a final project that is going to be useful for a variety of Evergreen sites, not just our own.

It always warms my heart whenever Evergreen sites step forward to pledge funds to a development project that started with MassLNC. In some cases, the contributors actually thank us for giving them the opportunity to help fund a project, reminding me of the fact that there are so many sites out there that want to contribute to Evergreen's future, but just don't have the budget that allows them to fund a full development project on their own.

Today, MassLNC would like to thank all of those Evergreen sites out there that have worked with us on our development projects over the years by acknowledging their contributions on the MassLNC Wall of Fame. The contributions from these organizations, no matter how big or how small, have made it possible to bring great new features to Evergreen. 

MassLNC has just started its FY15 development cycle and is very excited about three new projects that we hope to see in a future Evergreen release. We're also looking forward to another opportunity to work with other Evergreen sites to make these projects become a reality. Anyone who wants more information about these development projects can e-mail Kathy Lussier directly at klussier@masslnc.org.