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NOSM and Partners Receive Awards from Ontario Library Association

Posted on March 8, 2010

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is pleased to announce that the School’s Health Sciences Library (HSL) and several partner organizations collaborating on an initiative entitled “Project Conifer” were the recipients of the 2010 Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Divisional Awards held in Toronto on February 27, 2010.

Project Conifer received two awards from distinct branches of the OLA. The Ontario College and University Library Association (OCULA) granted Project Conifer the Award for Special Achievement for planning and implementing a library program which serves as a model to other institutions. The Ontario Library Information Technology Association (OLITA) recognized Project Conifer for its innovative and collaborative approach to adopting an open source library system. Evergreen, which is considered an excellent match for academic libraries, was adopted and modified by NOSM and its Conifer partners.

NOSM’s Health Sciences Library Director, Patty Fink, highlighted the benefits resulting from the adoption of the Evergreen library system, a model that was originally developed by the Georgia Public Library Service.

“This is an enhanced system both from an operational and user standpoint. The library will benefit from the ability to determine its own priorities for systems development, and our clients will benefit from expanded functions that provide enhanced user autonomy,” she said.

Evergreen also enables NOSM to extend its collaboration with community hospitals by encouraging participation in, and adoption of, this integrated library system.

Project Conifer is the shared implementation of a single system that supports 24 different libraries among the five project partners – the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Laurentian University, Algoma University, McMaster University, and the University of Windsor.

Laurentian University’s Systems Librarian, Dan Scott, who has been the lead developer for the partners since July 2007, and Project Manager until August 2009, noted the significance of the awards. “These two awards recognize Project Conifer for its innovative and collaborative approach in adopting an open source library system, and highlights the project as an example that others can follow,” he said

Dr. Cathy Maskell of the Leddy Library at the University of Windsor accepted the OLA awards on behalf of the Conifer Consortium at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

This is the first academic consortium to implement Evergreen.