In 2003, the UC campus libraries launched a new version of the Melvyl Catalog based on software from Ex Libris, running on the IBM AIX platform.  Both Web and Telnet versions of the catalog were maintained.  Now, in 2007, the catalog is being upgraded to a newer version of the Ex Libris software, running on a Sun Solaris platform.  Maintaining the Telnet interface to Melvyl, which is little used by UC students, faculty and staff, is prohibitively expensive, due to the change from IBM to Sun hardware.  The Telnet software version CDL runs does not support the Sun platform and would require a significant investment in staff time and resources to set up and maintain.

With input from the UC Heads of Public Services (HOPS), Heads of Technical Services (HOTS) and Collection Development Committee (CDC), and in consultation with library staff, it has been decided to cease production of the Telnet version of Melvyl in mid-August 2007 because of the technical difficulty and expense of maintaining it.

CDL and campus library staffs recognize that some users will regret the loss of the Telnet version of the Melvyl Catalog.  However, most manufacturers of the Telnet software no longer support it or provide upgrades.  At the same time, the graphical user interface provided by the web is now the norm.  In addition,      

  • There is a growing disparity between the content that is available from the Web vs. the Telnet interface.
  • The Telnet protocol cannot support direct access to the electronic journals, electronic books and other electronic resources that UC libraries provide for their users.
  • Enhanced features such as Request are only available through the web interface.
  • Telnet software creators (e.g., NCSA) are no longer supporting it and are not investing in development.
  • The Telnet protocol presents a potential security breach that poses an increased risk for the host system.

Users who have difficulty in using the mouse or other accessories should consult with their local campus accessibility experts who can help with accommodations such as speech recognition software or other mitigations. The CDL is working with UCLA’s accessibility team to make sure the Melvyl Catalog remains ADA compliant.

The CDL has placed messages on the current Telnet and Web versions of the Melvyl Catalog informing users of the retirement of the Telnet version in mid-August.