Sirsi Unicorn to Evergreen Migration on Steroids
This is going to be an interesting series of posts for me for a few reasons, including the fact that some of them will be written and not posted for a couple of days/weeks (I started this on on the 22nd of May), rather than my normal write and post immediately style. This series is about the University of PEI Library's decision to move from the proprietary Sirsi Unicorn system to the open source Evergreen ILS in a very aggressive 1 month timeline...without a net :-)
While this is my 1st post on the topic, it is not the 1st day of the process, we actually started that in earnest about 3 weeks ago by loading Evergreen on a test server and starting the process of migrating our bib records from Sirsi to Evergreen.
I started writing the series a week ago because that is the day we had a Library staff meeting and decided to go live with Evergreen by Thursday June 5, after 1 month of preparation - hence the steroidal reference. All I can say after the staff meeting is WOW - what an incredible team here at Robertson Library. There were a number of critical issues identified, the key one being the quality and integrity of the data (bib, patron and transaction data) based on the assumption that we would not have access to the Sirsi database after the end of our maintenance agreement (hence the "without a net" reference above). What was so incredible for me was the determination and immediate sense of purpose that the staff had after the meeting last week. I saw a few staff hunkered down installing the Evergreen staff client and looking at the issues we had indentified as soon as they got back to their areas. I also sensed a high degree of positive anticipation that we would actually pull this one off :-) I had an image of one of those coroporate boot camps where people get together in the bush for 1 week and climb ropes and all that jazz - the only difference here is that our course is the Library and the ILS, but the team spirit is there in spades. GO TEAM GO!!
I will do my best to post on our progress and issues we encounter and will also encourage some of the staff here to post and/or comment at the same time. If you want to track where we are you can check out our Wiki Migration Page. More on the people in subsequent posts, but I should say up front that in addition to a great team here at UPEU we have the uber-awesome Dan Scott and Equinox team helping us out - couldn't even think about it without them...