UC Libraries Become Newest Institutions to Pilot WorldCat Local

The University of California Libraries are working in collaboration with OCLC Online Computer Library Center to pilot a Next Generation Melvyl Catalog supported by OCLC’s WorldCat Local system.  Working with OCLC gives UC the opportunity to provide users a single search and request service that begins with materials held in the University of California Libraries and expands to collections in libraries around the world in the WorldCat system, as well as a selection of article citations—all through one online catalog.  Other features will initially include a single search box, relevancy ranking of search results, result sets that bring multiple versions of a work together, faceted browsing, citation formatting options and cover art.

Scheduled for launch in early 2008, the Next Generation Melvyl Catalog builds on OCLC’s WorldCat.org platform, which allows Web access to the world’s richest database for discovery of materials held in libraries.   The service combines the cooperative power of OCLC member libraries worldwide with the ability to customize WorldCat.org for local discovery and delivery services.  The Melvyl Catalog has been the union catalog of the University of California libraries since 1981. 

The plan to pilot a Next Generation Melvyl Catalog builds on the University of California Libraries’ ongoing effort to improve discovery and delivery of information to users.    According to a report from the University of California Libraries Bibliographic Services Task Force:  “Users want a rich pool from which to search, simplicity, and satisfaction.”

Through a locally branded Melvyl Catalog interface, as well as interfaces for the 10 UC campuses, the service will provide libraries with the ability to search the entire WorldCat database while at the same time giving users the ability to effortlessly narrow down one’s search to the local level.  WorldCat Local interoperates with locally maintained services like circulation, resource sharing and resolution to full text to create a seamless experience for the end user.

“OCLC’s vision for seamlessly integrating discovery of locally held library resources with resources held elsewhere across the international bibliographic network is similar to ours,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor Karen Butter, the University of California San Francisco University Librarian and chair of the UC/OCLC Executive Team.  “The partnership with OCLC offers an opportunity to present the vast UC Library collection in ways that are consistent with the discovery needs of today’s faculty and students.  We expect that OCLC’s research expertise and ability to integrate collection resources—whether purchased, locally digitized, or digitized by third parties—will offer new ways to surface information from UC library collections.”

“This collaboration with the University of California Libraries is a great opportunity for OCLC,” said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development.  “The knowledge we will gain by working with such a large research library system will help enhance our services for all OCLC member libraries.”