UC Library Search will replace Melvyl as the UC-wide library discovery tool on July 27, 2021. It will be directly accessible from the local UCR Library website.
Melvyl debuted in 1981, before most of our current students (and some faculty) were born. Melvyl revolutionized the UC Library system, allowing researchers to find books at other UC campuses through computer terminals on their own campuses.
However, behind the scenes Melvyl relied on a complex and patchwork system across multiple catalogs and databases in order to coordinate interlibrary loans and full text access. As several of these systems approached the end of their life spans, the UC Libraries recognized the technical unsustainability and inherent risks associated with keeping the Melvyl system.
UC Library Search will vastly improve the user experience of faculty, students, and researchers worldwide who need to access collections across the University of California system. Rather than using Melvyl, which linked separate catalogs from different institutions, all of the University of California libraries will now be part of one unified discovery tool.
Previously, researchers at UCR still had to search two places to locate library resources: our local catalog and Melvyl. Some materials, like course reserves, could not be searched in Melvyl. Other resources, notably holdings at other UC campuses, couldn't be found in local catalogs. Furthermore, certain resources had to be located in a separate database, like HathiTrust.
With UC Library Search, patrons will no longer be forced to look in multiple places: it will combine the search power of Melvyl plus the power of UCR’s local catalog, maximizing the value of the UC collections by making resources easier to find and borrow thanks to improved inter-library resource sharing tools and simplified user interface.
As Melvyl approaches retirement, let's celebrate the 40 years of service it has given to the UC system and welcome UC Library Search as Melvyl’s replacement, the discovery tool of our future!
For more information, please see libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/uclibrarysearch, or contact Tiffany Moxham, Associate University Librarian for Content and Discovery.