Melvyl is Retiring, but UC Library Search Will Do More

UC Library Search will replace Melvyl and UCI Library Search as the UC-wide library discover tool on July 27, 2021. It will be directly accessible from the UCI Libraries website.

Melvyl has been used by the UC Library system since before most of our current students (and some faculty) were born. When it debuted in 1981, Melvyl revolutionized the UC Library system, allowing researchers to find books at other UC campuses through computer terminals on their own campuses.

Behind the scenes, however, Melvyl relied on a complex patchwork system that connected multiple catalogs and databases in order to coordinate interlibrary loan(s) and full-text access. As several of these outdated systems approached the end of their life spans, the UC Libraries recognized the technical unsustainability and inherent risks associated with keeping the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 experiences 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 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 those held by other UC campus libraries, couldn’t be found in local catalogs. And yet other resources had to be located in separate databases like HathiTrust.

UC Library Search will maximize the value of the UC collections by making resources much easier to find and borrow thanks to its improved inter-library resource sharing tools and simplified user interface.

As Melvyl retires, let's celebrate the 40 years of service it has given to UC Library users, and welcome UC Library Search - the discovery tool of our future.

UC Library Search features the following enhancements:

  • Search UCI’s local library collection as well as the collections of all 10 UC libraries in the same system;
  • Locate millions of print and online books, journal articles, and other content;
  • Borrow and renew materials from any library in the UC system without retyping your library card number

The enhanced features of UC Library Search will replace Melvyl as the UC-wide library catalog search tool. As a single, unified system, UC Library Search offers powerful tools to help the UC Libraries make data-informed decisions around collections development and new services for library users.

Stay tuned to find out more information about UC Library Search in the coming months. In the meantime, check out https://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/uclibrarysearch for additional information about the project, including the project timeline for this new release. 

Questions or comments? Please contact John Renaud, Associate University Librarian for Research Resources at jrenaud@uci.edu.