CDL and other UC staff are eagerly anticipating the “opening” of the CDL via the release of its web site in January 1999.  Despite the many activities of the CDL and its partners — such as establishing shared collections principles and structures, licensing new resources for the UC system, opening the Environmental Information Project website, enhancing the Web version of Melvyl, and planning for its Request service (also known as PIR), to name a few — an integrated web site is needed to serve as the gateway to the co-library.  The availability of a pre-release of the CDL web site and the opportunity for comments and suggestions from UC Library staff and others brings the California Digital Library a step closer to opening.  The pre-release is available at [http://www2.cdlib.org/]

The current web site at http://www.cdlib.org, which opened in July 1998, contains background and descriptive information about the CDL and its recent activities.  The pre-release reorganizes and updates that information.  More importantly it provides a preview version of the browsable and searchable Directory of Collections and Services.  The Directory was developed based on broad-ranging discussions with Library staff.  It provides unified access to electronic journals, databases, and finding aids in the Online Archive of California, as well as descriptions of services.  It complements the Melvyl Catalog and the many abstracting and indexing databases by directing people to those resources and to electronic journals and other resources as well.  The Directory is designed to be collaboratively maintained and to allow a “campus view” of available digital resources at the user’s choice. (See the Directory’s User Guide at the pre-release site for more information.)  Specific views, including subject-based views, can also be created for a particular library’s “entrance” to the CDL.

From November through December you are encouraged to review this web site and to send comments and questions to the CDL via the online feedback form available from every page on the site.  Comments will help the CDL adjust the site for the January public release and prepare for upgrades and changes in future releases.  Major changes to the CDL are expected to be announced on a six-month (January and July) cycle.  There will also be many additional review and evaluation activities, including user focus groups and surveys, analysis of usage statistics, and prioritizing by CDL workgroups.

We encourage you to browse the site and to send us your comments!