BookPoints is an open source web application developed by The Galecia Group to help public libraries bring their paper-based summer reading programs online. Librarians can easily customize the application’s game logic and design template to match their existing paper-based program -- as well as take advantage of unique online features such as achievement badges, book reviews, online raffle drawings, and more.
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The Galecia Group was hired by the California Library Association (CLA) to support implementation of the Great Reading Adventure (GRA) summer reading program software in Summer 2015. CLA had received a grant that would allow them to offer the program to approximately 25 California libraries to use for free but they needed help with the technical aspects of doing so. After that first year of supporting libraries on the GRA softrware,we advised CLA to rebuild the software on a non-Windows platform (Linux, Apache, PHP, Drupal). Using the GRA software as a model, we recreated the program (with some exceptions) in time to offer it to the libraries to use again the next summer. We named the new software Bookpoints. Most of the libraries stayed with the pilot project of Bookpoints and worked with us throughout the development and testing. They used the software successfully and have been excellent development partners. Throughout this time we have been working with the Library of Virginia who also used GRA and then moved with us to Bookpoints,providing critical development funding for our development efforts.They also hosted another group of libraries on their own VA server.
After summer 2017, we worked closely with the libraries that had used the software to identify the high priority features that they wanted us to focus upon. We also brought in additional development resources from BitSource and DevCollaborative to supplement our Galecia team led by Jim Craner. The 2017 version is being released in April, 2017 and libraries will be going live on their customized versions starting in May, 2017.
As soon as the 2017 season of summer reading is launched we will begin working on the 2018 version. We will continue to partner with the Library of Virginia, however, California libraries libraries have lost their grant funding and CLA will no longer be involved in the project. The Galecia Group will continue to work with Virginia and our development partners, and hopefully most of our California libraries to host and support them in 2018 but the service will be fee-based. We will also be seeking additional support to keep the development going.
My pals at ByWater Solutions invited me to talk about our open source summer reading software, Bookpoints. Jessamyn West has been working with us as we complete our 2017 version of the software so I invited her to join me so we could all have an open source love fest. Listen to the podcast here: https://bywatersolutions.com/podcast.
And if you've never heard of Bookpoints....well! It's the summer reading program software we created in partnership with California Library Association and Library of Virginia. It is inspired by the good work of Maricopa County's Great Reading Adventure (GRA). We are hosting around 25 libraries in California who will be using Bookpoints for the second year. Library of Virginia hosting another cohort that has also been working with us since the early GRA days. Our project page is readingbydesign.org.
PaILS is a consortium in Pennsylvania which provides a shared Evergreen system for 37 library systems across the state. The engagement included:
- assessing existing services and operations
- re-evaluating the PaILS Mission Statement
- reformulating the PaILS Vision Statement
- identifying strategic priorities and developing activities to support them
- developing a plan to address challenges related to the need for stable funding for the disparate needs of a diverse group of libraries
- developing cost share formula that more accurately reflects current environment and supports sustainability
This work was led by Lori Bowen Ayre with Galecia Associates Lucien Kress and Sam McBane Mulford. The final deliverables included a recommendations document which served as the basis for a Strategic Plan which the consortium adopted. We then worked with them to develop a formal Strategic Plan used to guide the organization over the next 3-5 years.
The Galecia Group has been working with NC Cardinal since May 2016. NC Cardinal is a consortium in North Carolina which provides a shared Evergreen system for 31 library systems across the state. The engagement includes:
- assessing existing services and operations
- identifying emerging needs and aspirations of shareholders, and
- creating a 5-year strategic plan to grow the system, enhance the services, and define a sustainable funding model
The final deliverable was a recommendations document and a planning document that was developed during a one-day workshop with the NC Cardinal Board. It included a calendar of prioritized activities to pursue over the next 3-5 years with assigned owners for each activity.
This engagement was led by Lori Bowen Ayre with Galecia Associates Lucien Kress and Sam McBane Mulford.
One of my former clients, the Vermont Dept of Libraries, recently developed their five-year plans for LSTA, and as part of that process, they identified how the needs of their library users are changing. After conducting surveys and focus groups, they identified Vermont's "most important community needs." State Librarian, Martha Reid, puts it this way:
"The first [need is] that citizens have access to library materials, resources, and programs to support educational achievement, lifelong learning, personal enrichment, and economic wellbeing. This speaks to providing electronic resources and statewide databases and also supporting resource sharing and expanded electronic linkages. We offer our databases to libraries statewide through the Vermont Online Library, and we’ve added some great products in the last couple of years that focus on lifelong learning and workforce development. Access to resources also means interlibrary loan, where our Vermont Automated Library System (VALS) is key."
I'm pleased to announce that there is now a demo version of the new Evergreen web-based staff client. Check it out here:
login: admin password: demo123
It's not done yet but it already looks pretty darn good! Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to this new development including:
Atlanta, GA - May 13, 2014 - LYRASIS and The Galecia Group announce that LYRASIS will be managing and hosting the Open Source ILS Feature Comparison Tool under the LYRASIS FOSS4LIB project, beginning immediately. The move is part of the Open Source Decision Support Tools project, funded in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Open Source ILS Feature Comparison Tool, previously on galecia.com, is now available at https://ils.foss4lib.org/
The Open Source ILS Feature Comparison tool compares more than 1,000 features between the Koha and Evergreen open source integrated library systems, and was designed to help libraries navigate open source software options and determine the best fit for their needs. The tool was created in 2012 by The Galecia Group with help from dozens of content contributors from the Koha and Evergreen communities. The project was funded through the Empowering Libraries with Open Source project, part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant awarded to the King County Library System (WA). This move is part of a wider enhancement effort on the FOSS4LIB site, with integration of the ILS feature comparison site with the main FOSS4LIB site, including unified logins and links between the two sites coming soon. The ability to compare other types of software packages in addition to integrated library systems will also be added in the coming months. After completing a registration process, librarians can create custom reports of just the features they need for their libraries. Those who have already registered can still use their login. New users can register athttps://ils.foss4lib.org/user/register.
Grand Rapids Public Library is breaking new ground again! They've implemented Smart Float in their Evergreen system. They've written the code and its working. Now they are working to get that code into the next release of Evergreen.
Attached is a nice little article from CIO magazine about King County Library System's move from Innovative to Evergreen, their challenges, and the solutions they've employed. Here's the article.
Catalyst is interested in doing more work with libraries and now that they have some experience with Evergreen doing development and support, I imagine they'd like to get more customers on that platform.