Evergreen (software)

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Developer(s)Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES) and the Evergreen Community
Initial releaseSeptember 2006; 17 years ago (2006-09)
Stable release
3.12.0[1] / 13 December 2023; 5 months ago (13 December 2023)
Written inC, Perl, XUL, JS
Operating systemLinux
Available inEnglish
TypeIntegrated library system

Evergreen is an open-source integrated library system (ILS), initially developed by the Georgia Public Library Service for Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES), a statewide resource-sharing consortium with over 270 member libraries.[2]

Beyond PINES, the Evergreen ILS is deployed worldwide in approximately 1,800 libraries, and is used to power a number of statewide consortial catalogs.[3][4][5][6][7]

In 2007,[8] 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. Equinox Software was later supplanted by the Equinox Open Library Initiative, a non-profit. As of 2014, several more companies and groups also provide support and related services for Evergreen.[9]


Evergreen was developed by the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) to support 252 public libraries in the Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES) consortium.[10] 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.[11] Programmers in the GPLS developed the project for two years, and PINES successfully completed the transition to Evergreen on 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.

The software started receiving contributions from other libraries and developers in 2007.[12] 2009 saw the first Evergreen International Conference.[13] In 2012, the community joined the Software Freedom Conservancy and formed an oversight board.[14] In 2019 the Evergreen Community elected an Evergreen Project board as part of their transition to a stand-alone non-profit organization.[15]

Other Evergreen implementations in North America:[16]


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. Evergreen is known for an extremely flexible indexing system that allows for a high level of customization and by default uses Library of Congress MODS[20] as its standard.
  • Online public access catalog: a public catalog, or discovery interface, for patrons to find and request books, view their account information, and save book information in Evergreen lists. There is also an optional Children's catalog. Various patron services such as paying bills by PayPal and Stripe, optional retaining of circulation history, book lists and more.
  • Self Service - Evergreen comes with self checkout and registration options that can be activated by the libraries.
  • The public catalog exposes structured web data by schema.org standards to aid discovery by major search engines.
  • Acquisitions: for staff to keep track of those materials purchased; invoices, purchase orders, selection lists, etc.
  • Authorities
  • Serials
  • Web based staff client that is OS independent
  • Added Content services Chillifresh, Content Cafe, Novelist, OpenLibrary and Syndetics natively supported with others supportable.
  • Native APIs for writing custom clients.
  • 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.[21]


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. The staff client user interface is written in Mozilla's XUL (XML + JavaScript) before 3.0 and is a web based staff client built using AngularJS and related technologies as of 3.0. Python is used for the internationalization build infrastructure. EDI functionality for the acquisitions system prior to 3.0 depended upon Ruby but no longer does.[22] AngularJS interfaces are now being transitioned to Angular and all new interface work is being done in Angular.[23]


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. As of version 3.0 the web based staff client was promoted to production use and the XUL based staff client that required local machine installation began being phased out.[24]

Other open-source integrated library systems[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  2. ^ Weber, J (2006), "Evergreen: Your Homegrown ILS", Library Journal, vol. 131, no. 20, archived from the original on 2014-12-15, retrieved 2014-12-15.
  3. ^ "List of known sites running Evergreen", Evergreen ILS.
  4. ^ Michigan Evergreen, MLC net. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2019-08-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Evergreen", Library, Indiana.
  6. ^ Sitka, British Columbia libraries, archived from the original on 2008-04-18, retrieved 2008-04-23. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-04-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link).
  7. ^ SCLENDS. Retrieved on 2017-04-14.
  8. ^ "About Equinox", Who we are, ESI library.
  9. ^ "Companies", Evergreen.
  10. ^ Breeding, M. (2007). Next-generation flavor in integrated online catalogs. Library Technology Reports, 43(4) 38-41.
  11. ^ Breeding, M. (2008). Major open source ILS products. Library Technology Reports, 44(8) 16-31.
  12. ^ Rylander, Mike. "Evergreen 2007". Equinox Software. Archived from the original on 19 November 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Hamby, Rogan. "Evergreen 2009: Not Just Code". Equinox Software. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. ^ Charlton, Galen (26 August 2016). "Evergreen 2012: ownership and interdependence". ESI library. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2023.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. ^ "EOB minutes", Governance, Evergreen ILS, 2019-04-24
  16. ^ Open Source ILS Continues to Expand. ALA TechSource. Retrieved on 2013-08-29.
  17. ^ [1] Retrieved on 2022-11-16
  18. ^ PAILS, retrieved June 10, 2019.
  19. ^ "List of Member Libraries". Retrieved on 2022-08-18.
  20. ^ "Mods", Standards, LoC.
  21. ^ "Frequently anticipated questions", Evergreen ILS.
  22. ^ "EG developer overview", Evergreen ILS.
  23. ^ "Angular JS to Angular migration", Evergreen ILS.
  24. ^ "3.0 development update 1", Evergreen ILS.
  25. ^ About BiblioteQ. Source forge. Retrieved on 2015-02-13.
  26. ^ About Opals. Opals NA. Retrieved on 2013-08-29.
  27. ^ FOLIO. Retrieved on 2020-03-03.

External links[edit]