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Evergreen (software)

Developer(s) Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES) and the Evergreen Community
Initial release September 2006
Stable release 2.6.0 / April 15, 2014 (2014-04-15)
Written in C, Perl, XUL, JS
Operating system Linux
Platform Cross-platform
Available in English
Type Integrated library system
License GNU General Public License

Evergreen is an Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES), a statewide resource-sharing consortium with over 270 member libraries.[1]

Beyond PINES, the Evergreen ILS is deployed worldwide in hundreds of libraries, and is used to power a number of statewide consortial catalogs.[2][3][4][5][6]

In 2007, the original Evergreen development team formed a commercial company around the software, Equinox Software, which provides custom support, development, migration, training, and consultation for Evergreen. As of 2014, several more companies and groups also provide support and related services for Evergreen.[7]


  • History 1
  • Features 2
  • Languages 3
  • Requirements 4
  • Other Open Source Integrated Library Systems (ILS) 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Evergreen was developed by the Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES) consortium.[8] Development began in June 2004 when state librarian Lamar Veatch announced in an open letter that after reviewing options available, GPLS decided to develop its own library automation system. GPLS believed it could develop a system customized to fit its needs better at a lower cost than the fees currently being paid.[9] Programmers in the GPLS developed the project for two years, and PINES successfully completed the transition to Evergreen in September 5, 2006. In the next two years, the PINES consortium increased to over 270 libraries and five other systems in the United States and Canada implemented Evergreen.

Other Evergreen implementations in North America:[10]

  • Beauregard Parish Library (Louisiana, 6 branches)
  • British Columbia SITKA (69 libraries, including branches)
  • Consortium Of Ohio Libraries COOL (8 libraries)
  • C/W MARS (Massachusetts, 155 libraries)
  • Indiana Evergreen (112 libraries)
  • Kenton County Public Library (Kentucky, 3 libraries)
  • Library of Virginia (7 Pilot Libraries, 5 systems live as of 5/01/2013)
  • Maine Balsom (10 libraries)
  • Merrimack Valley (Massachusetts, 39 libraries all went live over Memorial Day Weekend 5/31/2011)[11]
  • Michigan Evergreen (6 libraries)
  • Mohawk College Library (3 libraries)
  • NC Cardinal (North Carolina, 93 libraries and growing)[12]
  • Niagara Libraries (Ontario, 11 libraries),
  • North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE) (Massachusetts, 28 libraries)
  • North Texas Library Consortium (rural area outside Dallas, 13 libraries),
  • Pioneer Library System (Upstate New York between Rochester and Syracuse, 42 libraries),
  • Project Conifer (Ontario, 20 libraries)[1]
  • Sage Library System (Northeast Oregon, 60 libraries)
  • SCLENDS (South Carolina, 19 counties plus the State Library of SC)
  • SPRUCE (Manitoba, Canada, 8 libraries)
  • Traverse Area District Library (Michigan, 6 libraries)


Development priorities for Evergreen are that it be stable, robust, flexible, secure, and user-friendly.

Evergreen's features include:

  • Circulation: for staff to check items in and out to patrons
  • Cataloging: to add items to the library’s collection and input information, classifying and indexing those items.
  • Online public access catalog (OPAC): a public catalog, or discovery interface, for patrons to find and request books, view their account information, and save book information in Evergreen "bookbags." The OPAC received a makeover in early 2009 with the new, optional skin, Craftsman.
  • Acquisitions: for staff to keep track of those materials purchased; invoices, purchase orders, selection lists, etc.
  • Statistical Reporting: flexible, powerful reporting for retrieval of any statistical information stored in the database.
  • SIP 2.0 support: for interaction with computer management software, self-check machines, and other applications.
  • Search/Retrieve via URL and Z39.50 servers

Evergreen also features the Open Scalable Request Framework (OpenSRF, pronounced 'open surf'), a stateful, decentralized service architecture that allows developers to create applications for Evergreen with a minimum of knowledge of its structure.


The business logic of Evergreen is written primarily in Perl and PostgreSQL, with a few optimized sections rewritten in C. The catalog interface is primarily constructed using Template Toolkit with some JavaScript, and the staff client user interface is written in Mozilla's XUL (XML + JavaScript). The user interface for most new staff client functionality is being built with the Dojo Toolkit JavaScript framework. Python is used for the internationalization build infrastructure. EDI functionality for the acquisitions system depends upon Ruby support.


Evergreen runs on Linux servers and uses PostgreSQL for its backend database. The staff client used in day-to-day operations by library staff runs on Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computers and is built on XULRunner, a Mozilla-based runtime that uses the same technology stack as Firefox and allows for a browser-independent offline mode. The online public access catalog (OPAC) used by library patrons is accessed in a web browser.

Other Open Source Integrated Library Systems (ILS)


  1. ^ Weber, J (2006). "Evergreen: Your Homegrown ILS", "Library Journal", 131(20).
  2. ^ List of known sites running Evergreen
  3. ^ Michigan Evergreen
  4. ^ Evergreen Indiana
  5. ^ British Columbia Sitka
  6. ^ Sc Lends. Sc Lends. Retrieved on 2013-08-29.
  7. ^ Evergreen Companies
  8. ^ Breeding, M. (2007). Next-generation flavor in integrated online catalogs. Library Technology Reports, 43(4) 38-41.
  9. ^ Breeding, M. (2008). Major open source ILS products. Library Technology Reports, 44(8) 16-31.
  10. ^ Open Source ILS Continues to Expand. ALA TechSource. Retrieved on 2013-08-29.
  11. ^ MVLC Is Now Live On Evergreen | MassLNC Development Site. (2011-05-31). Retrieved on 2013-08-29.
  12. ^ "NC Cardinal: sharing library resources and expanding opportunities". (2013-08-16). Retrieved on 2014-03-22.
  13. ^ About Opals - Opals. Retrieved on 2013-08-29.

External links

  • Official Evergreen project website
  • Evergreen source code repositories
  • Evergreen at Freecode
  • "Evergreen: Your Homegrown ILS - An in-house team successfully competes with commercial vendors in the library automation sphere" Library Journal article
  • "Librarians stake their future on open source"
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