UC Library Search: A new library catalog for the entire UC system

The 10 UC campus libraries will consolidate their online catalogs into a single system called UC Library Search in summer 2021. (Composite image includes photos of Doe Library at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara Library, McHenry Library at UC Santa Cruz, Geisel Library at UC San Diego, all via Wikimedia Commons, and Shields Library at UC Davis)

The 10 UC campus libraries will consolidate their online catalogs into a single system called UC Library Search in summer 2021. (Composite image includes photos of Doe Library at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara Library, McHenry Library at UC Santa Cruz, Geisel Library at UC San Diego, all via Wikimedia Commons, and Shields Library at UC Davis)

As one of the largest public university systems in the world, the University of California holds a vast collection of resources in its libraries. However, until now each campus library used its own catalog, which had to be searched separately using Melvyl to find items held at other campuses.

Beginning July 27, 2021, the new UC Library Search will bring all UC campus libraries together into the same online catalog, just as a public library system uses one catalog for its many branches. UC Library Search will allow you to: 

  • Search the library holdings of the entire UC system at once
  • Check out materials owned by any UC library and pick them up from the UC library location closest to you
  • Find and request materials from outside the UC system using interlibrary loan
  • See what you have borrowed, request extensions and manage your account with a single login; you will no longer need to login to the UC Davis Library catalog, Melvyl and interlibrary loan separately.

Since the UC-wide system will be powered by the same software the UC Davis Library catalog uses now, the main difference will be that you will no longer have to go through a separate system — Melvyl — to find and request items from outside UC Davis. There will be no interruption of library services due to the transition to the new system this summer.

Melvyl: 40 years of service

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. Behind the scenes however, Melvyl relied on a complex patchwork system to connect multiple catalogs and databases from each campus. 

UC Library Search will improve the experience of faculty, students, and researchers worldwide who need to access collections across the UC system. In the past, some materials, like course reserves, could not be searched in Melvyl. Other resources, notably those held by other UC campus libraries, could not be found in local catalogs. With UC Library Search, materials from all of the UC libraries will now be part of one unified discovery tool.

For more information, please see the UC Library Search FAQ or contact the UC Davis Library with any other questions at uclibrarysearch@ucdavis.edu.