2. Why chose Balsam? The Balsam consortium is a collection of small public and school libraries, as well as academic and medical across Maine. Together they combine resources for technical, financial and instructional support for all members.
“My mentor stayed with me every step of the way. Even now I can call about setting up new Evergreen features.” Elementary Library Ed Tech.
“The cost fact alone made the switch to Evergreen easy on the budget” Public librarian.
“The group of experienced librarians supported us in learning the software features that make our patrons happier!” Academic librarian.
- COSTS: A one-time joining fee of $500. Annual membership fees based on number of individual items. The yearly fee charged by the consortium provides technical support and updates to the system.
- Member support: Using the mentor model the consortium provides service to its members. A list-serve for members is used as well.
- Support: Free training, online help videos and written instructions
- Joining: Support when automating your library
- Catalog includes both an OPAC and a KPAC (Kids Public Access Catalog)
- Endorsed by the Maine State Library
- Uses the Evergreen Open Source software
- Ease of adding materials
- Clerical work reduced
- Ease of tracking circulation
- Shared collections for your patrons
- Over dues easier to handle
- As simple or as in-depth as you want it to be
Balsam is a self supported member of the Maine InfoNet family of systems.
In 2007, a small group of central Maine librarians (TriCounty Librarians) began to search for a replacement software system for their aging and no longer supported system/s. They chose Evergreen, a non-proprietary, open source system, easy to use software system that is constantly being updated and improved by librarians and other technical people around the globe. As of July 2018, Balsam has 24 library buildings using the Evergreen system.
Maine Balsam Libraries Consortium Fee Structure
One-time joining fee $500
Annual membership fees based on number of individual items
10,000 or less = $400
10,000-17,500 = $500
17,500-24,999 = $600
25,000-37,500 = $700
37,500-49,999 = $800
50,000-62,500 = $900
62,500-74,999 = $1000
75,000-99,999 = $1200
100,000-124,999 = $1400
125,000-149,999 = $1600
150,000 and up = $1800
Billing in June, for July payment, based on May 31 numbers.
Balsam is a Maine 501(c)3 non-profit organization.