On July 27, a sweeping new project will unify Berkeley’s vast collections (physical and digital) and bring together the collections of libraries across UC’s 10 campuses under one virtual roof.

UC Library Search, a new system for discovering and using library resources, will allow students, faculty, and others to:

  • Search the UC Berkeley Library collection and, at the same time, the collections of libraries across the state of California and the world. Using one unified system, patrons will be able to access materials from all 10 UC libraries, UC’s two off-campus storage complexes (the Northern Regional Library Facility, NRLF, and the Southern Regional Library Facility, SRLF), and collections worldwide.
  • Locate millions of print and online books, journal articles, databases, media, and other content.
  • Borrow and renew materials from any library in the UC system.

Understandably, you might have questions. But we’re here to help you navigate the upcoming change.


Why the change?
As one of the largest public university systems in the world, UC holds a vast collection of resources in its libraries. However, each campus library currently uses its own catalog, making it difficult for patrons to find items held at other campuses without using separate search tools.

UC Library Search will bring all UC campus libraries together into the same system, just as a public library system uses one catalog for its many branches. UC Library Search will allow you to find resources from any campus quickly and simply, saving time and effort.

What will UC Library Search replace?
At Berkeley, researchers currently turn to our online catalog, OskiCat, to search the Library’s collections. To find materials in other UC libraries’ collections, they use Melvyl, a complicated patchwork of catalogs and databases. (Melvyl made its debut in 1981 — 40 years ago — before most of Berkeley’s students, and some faculty members, were born.)

UC Library Search will replace OskiCat and Melvyl, and will include up-to-date tools for customizing your searches and filtering your search results, along with improved citation tools. You will easily be able to see what you have borrowed, request extensions, and manage your account — all with a single login.

In addition to OskiCat and Melvyl, services that UC Library Search will replace include UC-eLinks, Start Your Search, and eJournals search.

How will I learn how to use UC Library Search?
UC Library Search is user-friendly, but librarians will make training materials available after July 27. Faculty: Reach out here or contact your department’s library liaison to request a workshop for you and your students during class time.

What does UC Library Search mean for interlibrary sharing?
UC Library Search will not only have a simpler, more elegant look and feel, it will also streamline interlibrary sharing, making the most out of UC libraries’ expansive collections. You’ll be able to pick up UC Libraries’ materials from any campus: If you work at one UC campus but live closer to another, you can have library materials sent to the campus nearest to your home. As an added bonus, UC Library Search will let you find and request materials from outside the UC system using interlibrary loan.

What happens to the books I’ve borrowed through Interlibrary Loan? Do I need to return them?
If you are able to return items borrowed before the COVID-19 closure, please do so, and we will remove them from your library record.  If you are unable to return them, please contact the Interlibrary Services department (cuy@library.berkeley.edu) and we will ask the owning institutions to extend their loan periods.

What will happen to my library account? Do I need to do anything? Do I need to return books?
Your OskiCat account will become a UC Library Search account. You don’t have to take any action unless you have saved lists, saved searches, or bookmarks to OskiCat records. (More on that below.)

You will be able go to UC Library Search after July 27 to view a list of materials you have checked out and their due dates.

What do I do with my saved lists in OskiCat?
Saved lists in OskiCat will not migrate to UC Library Search. Please export your saved list before July 27. Log in to My OskiCat (upper right corner of the OskiCat screen) with your CalNet ID and passphrase. Click on the “My Lists” link. Click on the name of the list you wish to export, then click on the “Export List” button. You will be able to email the list to yourself, display it to the screen, or export it into citation management software.

What do I do with my preferred searches in OskiCat?
Preferred searches in OskiCat (saved searches that run on a regular basis) will not migrate to UC Library Search. Please make a note of your preferred searches before July 27 if you wish to be able to re-create them in UC Library Search. Log in to My OskiCat (upper right corner of the OskiCat screen) with your CalNet ID and passphrase. Click on the “Preferred Searches” link to find your list.

What do I do about links or bookmarks to OskiCat records?
OskiCat links will not redirect to UC Library Search. If you have links to OskiCat records in your browser bookmarks, bCourses, or elsewhere, you can log in to My OskiCat and save the records to a list, which you can then email to yourself or export into citation management software. (See instructions above, under “What do I do with my saved lists in OskiCat?”).

I have personal saved lists saved in Melvyl. What should I do to keep them?
Saved lists in Melvyl will not be moved to UC Library Search. Before July 27, log in to Melvyl by clicking “Sign In.” Enter your username and password. Click on your account name, and select “My Personal Lists” from the dropdown menu. From there, you can access your saved lists. You can email your lists to yourself, or you can click on the “Cite” button and export them into citation management software.

What do I do with my saved searches in Melvyl?
Saved searches in Melvyl will not be moved to UC Library Search. Before July 27, log in to Melvyl by clicking “Sign In.” Enter your username and password. Click on the “Saved Searches” link in the gray menu bar. Make a note of your search terms if you wish to reproduce them in UC Library Search.

What do I do about links or bookmarks to Melvyl records?
Melvyl links will not redirect to UC Library Search. If you have links to Melvyl records in your browser bookmarks, bCourses, or elsewhere, you can log in to Melvyl and save them to a list, which you can then email to yourself or export into citation management software.

What other libraries use a system like this?
UC Library Search is powered by ExLibris’ Alma/Primo, the same system currently used by five UC campuses, the State University of New York and Cal State systems, and libraries at Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, the University of Washington, and many more research libraries across the country. UC Library Search is the next step in the evolution of a unified UC discovery tool, and will enable greater collaboration between campuses in research and collections management.

Want to learn more? Read an FAQ about UC Library Search and check out an FAQ for UC Berkeley Library users . Still have questions? Email ucbsils@lists.berkeley.edu.


Categories: Campus Announcements, May 2021