Evergreen 2016: Symbiosis


Photo by Erica Rohlfs

When I hear the term “Evergreen,” it immediately invokes images of nature’s symbiotic relationships – Bald eagles nesting in coniferous trees, lady slipper orchids thriving in soil nutrients typically found beneath conifers and hemlocks, pollinators and mammals relying on evergreens for food and, in return, help to redistribute seeds. There is also a complex network of dialogues being exchanged throughout these evergreen forests.

During the past decade, I have been very blessed to hold multiple discussions with people about Evergreen, and it’s not surprising that the continued theme from my fellow coworkers’ blog posts is the emphasis on community. Community grants opportunities and a feeling of personal ownership (how awesome is it that non-proprietary software helps to promote a sense of ownership). Community also helps to foster symbiotic and sustainable relationships. Relationships that are rooted in dialog.

In February 2007, as a reference and genealogy librarian at a rural public library, I held my first conversations with both librarians and patrons about their Evergreen user experiences. Fast forwarding to August 2016, I still treasure every conversation that I have with librarians about their needs, expectations, and experiences. With each library migration, it is with honor and humbleness to hear about the librarians’ current workflows and needs. These user needs are constantly being met with each passing version of Evergreen.

For some, those needs may appear simple. I was so excited by the Update Expire Date button! Or, more complex, like the intricate gears that make meta-record level holds possible. One of the strongest examples of community dialog and symbiosis is the continued refinement of the Acquisitions module.

I couldn’t possible describe all of the awesomeness that I have observed over the past 10 years or single it down to a special moment; there’s just too much. Each patron, library staff member, consortia member, volunteer, contributor, developer, support, data analyst (did I forget anyone?) contributes to Evergreen’s complex web of communication and overall sustainability. I can say that I know how fortunate I am, as a Project Manager, to see the forest for the trees and to know that the Evergreen Community’s roots are growing stronger with each passing year.

This is the eleventh in our series of posts leading up to Evergreen’s Tenth birthday.