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Evergreen Update

As you may know, the Pollard Library will be changing to a new catalog on May 31st, as part of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. The new catalog, called Evergreen, will still contain all the books, movies, music, and other items in the libraries of the Merrimack Valley.

Answers to some common questions are listed below, and we’ll keep posting more information as things develop. If you have additional questions, please contact the Reference Desk at or 978-970-4121.

Why change – can’t we keep the old catalog?
The Chelmsford Library is part of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium, and we share our catalog with the other 35 MVLC libraries. The catalog we had been using, Horizon, was discontinued by SirsiDynix. After evaluating many options, MVLC chose to migrate to Evergreen as the catalog for all MVLC libraries.

When is this change happening?
Migration to the new system is planned for the Memorial Day weekend. The current system will be taken down at the end of business on Friday, May 27th, and the new system will go live on Tuesday, May 31.

Will Service be Disrupted?
Yes, there will be some interruption in our normal services. Libraries will be able to check materials in and out, but we won’t be able to search the catalog or place holds. Many databases and most electronic content, including Overdrive e-books and audiobooks, will also be unavailable. We will provide more specific information as the time draws closer.

What happens to all my holds and requests?
MVLC staff have been working hard to make sure all patron data (names, contact info, requests, etc) is carried over to the new system. If you notice anything missing, please contact Brian Herzog, Head of Reference, at or 978-256-5521 x211.
What about the booklists I’ve created in My List?
Evergreen has a similar feature called the Bookbag. All My List information will be migrated to your Evergreen Bookbag.

Should I print out copies of My Lists, My Holds and My Searches?
No, you shouldn’t need to. We’re confident that all this data will migrate to Evergreen just fine. But if it would make you feel more comfortable, then go ahead and print the information that is most important to you, such as items checked out, your holds list, My List titles, etc. in order to ensure that you have a backup of that information.
Why did you spend money on a new catalog during these tough economic times?
Since our old catalog was no longer supported, a change had to be made. MVLC and other library networks in Massachusetts formed MassLNC, and together we are all adopting the Evergreen catalog. The new open source software allows us to do that at significantly lower costs – it eliminates the costs of yearly software license renewals, distributes development costs amongst multiple library systems, and also puts us more in control of future developments. Which, in fact, is one of our primary concerns: Horizon was old and outdated, and Evergreen provides us with the ability to expand and update the catalog to meet patrons’ needs for many years to come.
Evergreen is “open source” – what does that mean?
“Open source” refers to software with code that is freely available. Instead of buying “closed source” software from a company and using that program within its defined parameters (for instance, Microsoft Word), open source software can be modified and developed by anyone with programming knowledge. Evergreen is a flexible system that will do everything our current system does, and gives MVLC (and the larger Evergreen development community) the ability to change and improve the system in the future. Read more about the Evergreen software or about open source software.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Reference Desk at or 978-256-5521 x211.

Stay tuned for further updates!