By Ellen Meltzer, CDL Information Services Manager

Ongoing work
The early Next Generation Melvyl Pilot (supported by the WorldCat Local [WCL] Service) task groups focused on back-end services, such as how records, holdings and circulation information will be displayed in WCL, as well as Request (interlibrary loan), linking via UC-eLinks (the SFX service) and how to handle the mass digitized content from UC’s collections.  Intense planning with the OCLC teams is ongoing.  Several OCLC staff members flew out to Oakland from Ohio in late October for a packed series of meetings with task group members from several UC campuses and the California Digital Library (CDL).  These face-to face meetings moved the project on considerably.

New task groups formed
Two recently formed task groups have begun to focus on public service directions.  A Help and End User Support Task Group is tackling questions having to do with onscreen links, help, and feedback issues in the new environment.  Work the task group has already completed is available on UC-OCLC Implementation Web site.  As with other groups, their work has been fast and furious.  In addition, an End User Communication Task Group has been charged and has begun its work.  Coming soon — an Assessment Task Group.

You can see charges and reports under Task Groups Charges and Reports on the UC-OCLC Pilot Implementation Web page:

The Implementation Team asked you how you’d like to be kept informed    
The Implementation Team realized it wanted some concrete feedback from the campuses about how you’d like to be kept informed about this important pilot project.  We conducted a brief survey from November 1-30 that provided us with information about how to most effectively reach you, what kind of information you’d like to receive about the pilot, and how often you’d like to hear from us. 323 people responded from all 10 campuses and the CDL. Briefly, the top 4 desired methods of hearing from us are via

(RSS feeds, staff meetings with campus senior library management, online videos and presentations, blogs, social networking sites followed.)

The top 4 types of information you’d like to receive are

  • Overviews with a focus on potential impact
  • Digest of reports
  • General overviews of all topics
  • Links to full, detailed reports. 

Dropping lower in the responses are “in-depth information one topic at a time”, and “news about only milestones and deadlines”.

Desired frequency of receiving reports was divided equally between “monthly” and “when milestones are reached”, and “immediately as information happens” following after.

A number of submitted comments are still to be analyzed, and a full survey report will appear in CDLINFO.

The Implementation Team made visits
Campus visits by Implementation Team members describing the pilot have been completed or are planned on the following dates:

  • UCB – TBD
  • UCD – June 18, 2007
  • UCI – December 3, 2007
  • UCLA – December 17, 2007
  • UCM – November 16, 2007 LAUC Assembly
  • UCR – December 14, 2007
  • UCSD – November 30, 2007
  • UCSF – September 17, 2007
  • UCSB – October 4, 2007
  • UCSC – TBD
  • CDL – November 1, 2007

Detailed workplans and timelines
There are a number of actions that each campus will need to take in preparing for the pilot.  The Lead Implementers (UCB, UCD, UCLA, and UCSD) have the heaviest commitment but every campus will need to invest some time and effort.  The Implementation Team and its Task Groups will be working with each campus to complete these tasks between now and April 2008.  For each campus, a workplan (under Updates on the Web site) gives more detail about the tasks to be completed before the pilot.  Related documents can be found here:

Again, thanks
UC librarians and staff participating on the task groups have displayed hard work above and beyond the call of duty, dedication, creativity, and flexibility in moving this Next Generation Melvyl search and discovery tool forward.  As one survey respondent said, “Go, team, go!”