The CDL is very pleased to announce the release of the new Melvyl-T production catalog to UC library staff.  The URL for the new web-based version of the catalog is http://melvyl.cdlib.org The telnet address is [telnet://melvyl.cdlib.org]. During this limited release there will be a few brief planned and announced system outages to complete testing of backup and recovery strategies.  The CDL will announce a final public release very shortly.

Because of the delay in releasing Melvyl-T, we will extend the parallel running of legacy Melvyl and Melvyl-T an additional month, until August 1, 2003.

In July 2002, CDL released a prototype of the Melvyl-T catalog containing 630,000 records, or 3% of the full database.  The new 23 million record-plus production catalog, the largest implementation of Ex Libris’ Aleph software on which the Melvyl-T catalog is based, is now being released to library staff.  The purpose of this initial release to UC staff is two fold: first, it allows library staff to become familiar with the catalog before it is released to the public at large, and second, by initially giving the catalog a low profile, the project team will be able to identify any undetected issues and take corrective action before the systemwide announcement, expected later in the spring 2003.  The campus Melvyl Transition Team members are conducting additional systematic testing of Melvyl-T during this period.

The new version of the catalog contains recent campus library snapshots of each catalog’s records and all of the updates received since the snapshots were taken.  Request (interlibrary borrowing) may be used in this version of the catalog, as well as in legacy Melvyl.  The new catalog reflects user interface changes based on two rounds of campus usability testing.

There are some changes in the content of the new catalog and legacy Melvyl.  Melvyl-T contains records from the following collections:

· All University of California library records, including all records equivalent to the UC component of legacy Melvyl’s CAT and PE databases
· Hastings School of Law Library
· Center for Research Libraries (CRL)
· Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL)
· California Academy of Sciences Library
· California Historical Society Library
· Graduate Theological Union (GTU) Library

Records from the California State Library (CSL) are scheduled to be loaded by the end of June, 2003.

Melvyl-T includes all formats of materials including periodicals that were previously in the CAT and PE databases, but does not include records from some non-UC sources that contributed to PE but not to CAT.  These include:

· CULP (Public Library Periodicals)
· SERHOLD (Medical Library Serials Holdings)
· California State University (CSU) Library Holdings
· Stanford University Library
· Getty Research Library
· Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL)

The Library of California will no longer produce CULP.  As part of the review process, UC Medical librarians indicated that they no longer accessed SERHOLD through Melvyl, so this file will no longer be loaded.

Following advice from SOPAG, which has been acting as the policy advisory group for the Melvyl-T project, the CDL is investigating other strategies for directing patrons to the remaining materials (CSU, Stanford, The Getty, and LLNL).  As an interim strategy, Melvyl-T now contains a link to the source catalogs not loaded in the database.  A longer term strategy is also being developed.

A calendar will soon be in place for education and outreach activities aimed at campus library staff.

Guides aimed at beginning and intermediate users and library practitioners are available from the CDL Adaptable Outreach and Instructional Materials Web page (http://www.cdlib.org/services/info_services/instruct/) and also available from the CDL Guides page (http://www.cdlib.org/services/info_services/guides/index.html).

The CDL will develop a schedule of bug fixes and anticipated future releases, receiving input from the appropriate advisory committees.  Releases representing significant changes to database content or functionality will most likely be done on a regular schedule, bearing in mind the academic calendars and teaching and training needs.

Please test Melvyl-T and use the feedback link to send us your comments.

Thanks once again to the many, many campus library staff members who contributed to the building of Melvyl-T.  This enormous and complex project would not have been possible without their many contributions.