By Ellen Meltzer, CDL Information Services Manager

The University Librarians have made the decision to move forward with the Next Generation Melvyl Pilot supported by WorldCat Local as a replacement for the current Melvyl Catalog.  Pre-production will now begin with an aim of moving toward replacing Melvyl some time in 2009.

The Next Generation Melvyl Pilot Implementation Team presented a document outlining the current status of the pilot to the Executive Team which in turn was shared with the University Librarians and SOPAG (Systemwide Operations and Planning Advisory Group) on November 20, 2008.  The document analyzes progress so far, as well as pre-production work necessary on the part of OCLC, CDL and the UC campus libraries to move the project to the next phase.

The document is available at http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/about/oclc_docs/Nov_2008_Update.doc.

Slides [PPT] presented to the University Librarians.  These outline “campus tasks” that must be undertaken as we move toward production.  The Implementation Team willbe issuing guidelines and advice for campuses on the upcoming campus tasks; however, more planning and policy decisions are necessary before we can issue clear guidelines for the campuses to begin work.  Once these are finalized, work by the campuses can begin.

Following is the Executive Summary of the report cited above:

In the six months that the Next Generation Melvyl Pilot has been live, we have gathered information on the user experience, identified the strengths and remaining challenges of the system, and compared the pilot with UC’s goals as outlined in the 2005 Bibliographic Services Task Force (BSTF) Report.  Users value the breadth of the service, the integration of journal articles, and the ease of use.  Users find challenging the lack of Request integration, difficulties in emailing and printing, and problems in accessing materials, all of which are on OCLC’s roadmap for improvements in the coming year.  The pilot is meeting many of the goals outlined in the BSTF report and OCLC has demonstrated the ability to make rapid improvements to the system.

Based on these data, we believe that the pilot shows sufficient promise that we should transition the project into a pre-production phase, in which both UC and OCLC will engage in the planning and preparation needed to position us for going to production in mid-2009 if we continue to see successful progress.  In this pre-production phase, UC will use the results of the pilot to make policy decisions, complete the work needed to move records into OCLC, and implement sustainable planning and operations processes.  We will also continue to work with OCLC as they implement the remaining pre-production development projects needed, including implementing Request integration, improving access to electronic resources, improving response time, allowing the integration of RLF and affiliated library holdings into campus WCL sites, and continuing negotiations to represent our highest priority MARC records from vendors in WorldCat Local.  During this period, the Executive Team will also work with OCLC and the ULs to finalize UC’s agreements with OCLC.

The next major goal for the project will be moving to full production if we continue to see successful progress.  The target for full production is mid-2009.  We continue to see the promise for other strategic advantages to continuing a partnership with OCLC.