The Next Generation Melvyl Executive Team (Karen Butter, UCSF [Chair]; Luc Declerck, UCSD [Implementation Team], Laine Farley, CDL; Patricia Martin, CDL [Chair, Implementation Team] and Gary Strong, UCLA) and Implementation Team (Sara Davidson, UCM; Luc Declerck, UCSD [Member of the Executive Team]; Amy Kautzman, UCD; Patricia Martin, CDL [Chair and member of the Executive Team]; Ellen Meltzer, CDL; John Riemer, UCLA; Charlotte Rubens, UCB; Leslie Wolf, CDL) made the following announcement today, April 18, 2011:

With the endorsement of the University Librarians, UCLA purchasing is now processing the paperwork to procure WorldCat Local (WCL) as the infrastructure for Next Generation Melvyl; once finished, Melvyl @ University of California will become UC’s official Melvyl discovery and access service.  The decision was made after an initial pilot launch in April 2008 and an extensive evaluation phase beginning in August of 2009 that included input from UC students, faculty, staff, librarians, and from those outside the UC system.  In addition, three rounds of usability testing were conducted with UC students and faculty, and with users at other WCL institutions.  OCLC has brought in improvements and enhancements based on our bug reports, usability tests and feedbacks on a monthly and quarterly basis.

Timelines will be developed for a plan for discontinuing the current Melvyl catalog, after a short overlap period that will extend for two weeks past the end of finals on all campuses.  Additionally, campus visits are being planned to further discuss how to optimize use and gather any recommendations the campuses may have for improving Next Generation Melvyl as we move forward.

Using WorldCat Local moves discovery beyond the local level to the network level. While limiting the scope of discovery to local catalogs made sense in the analog library in order to meet timely delivery expectations, this technique makes less sense in the digital library environment, where the delivery of information to users depends less on a user’s location than on her credentials.  Partnering with OCLC gives us the opportunity to take discovery out of the single library, UC union, or regional “silo” environments and place it at the international network level. This partnership will allow our users to expand discovery beyond the resources available within our own libraries (which are considerable, yet limited on a world-scale) while at the same time giving users the ability to seamlessly scope down to the local level, be it at the single library level, the UC-wide level, or the regional level, when it makes sense. 

Other reasons for following this path can be found at http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/about/uc_oclc_faq.html

Rollout plan details will be released within the next weeks.