By Ellen Meltzer, CDL Information Services Manager

Projected release date of Next Generation Melvyl Pilot – April 2008
The projected release date for the Next Generation Melvyl Pilot, supported by OCLC’s WorldCat Local (WCL) service is April 2008.  The decision to roll out the service in April is the culmination of the analysis and design phase of the pilot planning and is based on input from the Implementation Team, campus experts from the first 15 UC Task Groups, the 3 current UC-OCLC Joint Workgroups, and in collaboration with OCLC leadership.  UC (that means many of you!) and OCLC staff are working intensively to ensure the success of the pilot by building integration between WCL and UC systems such as UC-eLinks and local ILS systems.  The Executive Team now has enough information about the integration development timeline to lay out a release schedule.

What will be in the April release?
The April release will include OCLC records with existing campus holdings symbols.  In addition, there will be sample records for the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF), Shared Cataloging Program (SCP), and from the Mass Digitization projects.  UC will add the new symbol for SRLF monographic records with an OCLC number to test the effect on resource sharing and discovery.  Digital Object Metadata from sample campus digital collections, the eScholarship Repository, as well as digital content from the Online Archive of California (OAC) will also be added to the pilot to experiment with non-MARC metadata.

What will be added after the April release?
Because of the complexity of the project, and to test functionality for holds and recalls, only records from the main ILS on each campus will be highlighted as UC holdings in the pilot.  As a result, some sources in the current Melvyl Catalog will only be represented as part of WorldCat in the pilot, including records from the California State Library, Hastings College of the Law, the California Academy of Sciences, the California Historical Society, the Center for Research Libraries, the Graduate Theological Union, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and some campus affiliated libraries.

This April release will not have a fully operational Request service; the full integration with Request will follow 2 months after the initial release of the pilot, in June 2008.  Because of the complexity of UC’s interlibrary loan service, developed over a period of many years, this portion of the pilot will take longer to implement.  The Executive Team has approved releasing the pilot in stages so that we can begin evaluation of the “discovery” features in the spring, while the majority of faculty and students are available to help us test the service.  When tighter integration with Request is added in the summer, we will focus on evaluating the “delivery” suite of services.

Releasing the pilot functionality in stages also allows us to model the “continuous improvement” nature of today’s systems and our ability to be nimble.  We expect that the WCL system will continue to add features and services throughout the pilot and beyond, based on user experience, formal user evaluations and OCLC product releases.  Request integration will be the first such important improvement.

What are the next steps?
The next phase of planning will lay out specific action steps leading up to the pilot release.  As part of that plan, three new task groups have recently begun or will begin work (Help and End User Support, End User Communication, and Assessment).  The Implementation Team will provide information to campuses for the pilot, including suggested dates for campus record clean-up, any needed local system configuration changes, and recommendations and best practices for the reclamation projects that some campuses are already planning.  For example, we now know that it will be critical for campuses to load OCLC numbers back into their records when completing reclamation projects in order to link their records to WCL during the pilot.

How can I find out more about the project?
Explore the website at http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/about/uc_oclc.html.