By Ellen Meltzer, CDL Information Services Manager

In January and February, behind the scenes work of a different nature has been occurring for the pilot.  Earlier the ball was primarily in UC’s court to define our requirements within the context of OCLC’s WorldCat Local service.  Now, OCLC is building the pilot catalogs based on these requirements.  The Implementation and Executive Teams, along with the University Librarians continue to make decisions as we progress from the planning to implementation stage of the pilot.

Campus and union catalog configurations
The Implementation Team, in coordination with the Systemwide Operations and Planning Advisory Group (SOPAG) and campus experts, has been filling out detailed OCLC questionnaires that will make the construction of the catalogs possible.  The questionnaires were modified from the original versions to recognize UC’s complexities and idiosyncrasies (e.g., two regional library storage facilities, thousands of records for mass digitized items, use of Z39.50 to extract circulation information; UC’s Request system).

Building the catalogs
Staff at OCLC are now working intensely on building the UC catalogs, beginning with the 4 lead implementer campuses (representing all 10 campus integrated library systems [ILS]): UC Berkeley for GLADIS/Pathfinder; UC Davis for Ex Libris Aleph; UCLA for Ex Libris Endeavor; and UC San Diego representing the Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III) Millennium campuses.  UC Santa Barbara also has an Aleph system, and the remaining campuses have Millennium. 

More decisions make the project real
“Buy it from Amazon”: The University Librarians supported the decision to have links to “Buy it from Amazon” in the pilot catalog.  As a result, the catalog will also contain other Amazon features such as reviews from Amazon and others, and about 2 million cover art images.   (Per Amazon policy, those features will only be available to sites which implement the “Buy It from Amazon” link.) 

UC affirmed our desire to enable links to other bookstores, especially local and campus bookstores.  In the Implementation Team planning, we agreed that expanding link options is a goal for production, and OCLC confirmed that they are still committed to that goal.

Logos: With the help of the End User Communication Task Group, and staff at UCLA, logos have been created for the pilot.  

Web banner links: From the Help & End User Support Task Group report recommendations, there will be 3 links in the web banner: Get Help, Off-Campus Access (proxy or VPN help), and a link to the local catalog.  In addition, there will be a link to a user survey.  New survey questions will be created by the Assessment Task Group (nearly formed).

Get Help: Get Help will be the same for all campuses, and each campus will have a link to ask a librarian, going to their local service.

Feedback links: Feedback links will be sent to CDL and OCLC so that we can evaluate the value of the service to our users and identify any issues that are raised.

Scoping of the catalogs: WCL has added the ability to limit search retrieval by means of a dropdown box, so the user only sees items at the local campus or in the University of California.  The catalog default will still be set to search all of the WorldCat holdings, with local campus and University of California holdings listed first, so we can evaluate the value of this broad retrieval to users and identify any issues that it raises.  Within a session, though, our users will be able to change the setting to limit their retrievals to only the local campus or University of California holdings.

Customized URLs: Customized URLs have been created for each campus catalog and the UC-wide union view of the pilot.

Harvested metadata: Harvested metadata will be included in the pilot from CDL’s eScholarship Repository, the UCLA Archive of Popular Music and more.

Assessment: Two kinds of assessment are being planned.  First is to assess the readiness for UC to move into the pilot (and later, whether to move from pilot to production).  Second, assessment with end users is moving into place with the formation of the End User Assessment Workgroup, and a Joint UC-OCLC Workgroup on User Assessment, Communication & Help/Support.  UC will be working closely with OCLC’s robust and long-established assessment team.

Campus Visits: Round 1 of campus visits by members of the Implementation Team have been completed.

Launch packet: The communication team is creating a “Launch Packet” with suggestions for placement of the catalog on campus web pages, language, and handouts for the launch of the pilot projected for April 2008.

For more information on the pilot, visit http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/about/uc_oclc.html.
Use the Comments? Feedback? link at the bottom of the page for questions or comments.