Join Us

“We love Balsam and I have not had any problems cataloguing or getting reports or using it at all. The patrons seem to like it as well. I am so glad we made the switch! ”    – A small town library

1. Why automate your card catalog?

2. Why chose Balsam?

Balsam is a self supported member of the Maine InfoNet family of systems

The Balsam consortium is a collection of small public, school, academic and medical libraries across Maine. Together we 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 include 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
  • We use 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 History

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 May, 2019, Balsam has 27 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.

The Balsam Membership Agreement

Preparing for the Migration 

Balsam is a Maine 501(c)3 non-profit organization.