Wednesday, July 25, 2007

WiLS and Pines

Lamar Veatch, state librarian of Georgia is about to/beginning to talk about PINES, the open source catalog created for the state of Georgia. Richard Grobschmidt from the state library agency here in Wisconsin gave a humorous introduction, look for a Flickr photo soon. Lamar is wearing the traditional WiLS World garb -- Rob is not. They are both active in COSLA, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies.

Lamar Veatch as the car salesman selling the features, brought Jason ... who is one of the team of four who wrote/assembled the software.

Pines = Pines Information Network for Electronic Services and is the single patron/catalog ILS for all 159 counties in Georgia. Provides the single, almost state-wide library card. 46 public library systems including 265 facilities and bookmobiles.

Started as a Y2K project which included providing services for even the smallest libraries. They also were having discussion about creating a single state-wide card. The leaders in state government endorsed the idea, and found sources for software.

High speed internet connection to all libraries. Backbone funded 25% by state money and 75% by E-Rate funds. That makes Pines possible.

Funding per capita is different. Ranked 45th in local funding per capita, but #5 in state funding per capita. This means that public libraries are much more dependent on state funding. State grants even provide funding for staffing in individual libraries.

Consistent policies across the state because of the needs of the software. Including fines and fees. Money stays where it was paid except for lost items whose funds go back to the owning library.

Pines Governance includes a board of 9 representatives elected by members with committees by specific task areas.

Goal is a "non-sucky" easy to use interface and better customer service.

System is funded and paid for by the state, so the local money stays local, and it not required in the local budget. This includes training, and planned system replacement. Cost estimate in install stand-alone system would be $15 million plus $5 million for maintenance including staff. Current budget is $1.6 million or about $1.00 per registered user or about 1/10 of the cost of free-standing systems.

Users don't care about jurisdictions any more. Don't care about boundaries.

[I was called out of the meeting, and got back just in time to collect the info below]

Evergreen Development Page

And the PINES home page

Key point and quote from Lamar Veatch: "We can control our own destiny, since it was designed for our libraries. It could run on a laptop for one library, but it also runs for a large consortium with sophisticated needs."

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