University of California, San Diego


April 10, 2001


SUBJECT:  Changes ahead in CDL Melvyl catalog and A&I databases

The UCSD Libraries want to let you know about changes coming in the Melvyl Union Catalog and in a variety of journal article databases searchable through the California Digital Library (CDL). How will these changes affect you? By the end of 2002, the CDL will have moved the Melvyl Catalog and all locally loaded CDL databases (e.g., Current Contents, BIOSIS, and PsycInfo) to new platforms, changing the way they will look to you and the way you will search them. The CDL s goal is to have new systems that are intuitive and user-friendly and will make searching easy. The UCSD Libraries are committed to providing user support for the transition, so that all of you can take full advantage of the capabilities of these new systems. The changes will be introduced first, by January 2002, for Medline and Georef. All changes should be complete by the end of 2002.

The message below provides further details on these developments. Additional background information and regular updates on progress are available at http://www.cdlib.org/news/whatsnew.html

Why is CDL making these changes?

The original programming for the Melvyl Union Catalog was done in the early 1980 s. There have been many advances and improvements in information technology during the last twenty years. To take advantage of these developments, CDL needs to introduce new software and hardware. Faculty, students and library staff have participated in the planning process from the outset, and project planners continue to seek advice from Academic Senate Committees on Libraries and other Systemwide Senate officers.

Changes in the Melvyl Union Catalog:

The CDL will implement new software from Ex Libris (http://www.aleph.co.il/). The Ex Libris ALEPH system was selected after a rigorous evaluation process involving staff and library users from all UC campuses. The ALEPH system is currently in use by 3 million users at 540 sites in 43 countries. For most of 2002, the new catalog and the current version of the Melvyl Catalog will both be available. This will give Melvyl Catalog users substantial time to explore the new system with the old one still available. The conversion to the new catalog will be complete in January 2003.

Changes in CDL abstracting and indexing (A&I) databases:

The CDL has convened an A & I Databases Transition Task Force to coordinate an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of different database vendors. The Task Force will be seeking faculty input at various points in the selection process. Users of Medline and Georef will see the changes first; these two databases are scheduled to migrate to new vendors by January 2002. Changes for all databases should be complete by the end of 2002.

We invite you to review the background information and regular updates at http://www.cdlib.org/news/whatsnew.html. Questions may also be sent to Peter Brueggeman, Head of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library and the UCSD Libraries representative to the CDL A&I Database Transition Task Force.

                                                Brian E. C. Schottlaender
                                                University Librarian