Maintaining the breadth and depth of UC's collections and services in the face of continuing increases in the volume and cost of scholarly publication is the single greatest challenge confronting UC's libraries today. To meet this challenge, the UC libraries have collaborated closely and pooled their resources to ensure that all UC faculty, students and staff, irrespective of their location, have access to library collections that meet the high research and teaching standards of an eminent research university.
See the UC Libraries’ Collection Development Committee’s The University of California Library Collection: Content for the 21st Century and Beyond (March, 2009) [PDF]
Campus collections have been enhanced by the development of shared digital collections that are held in common and are equally available and accessible to all members of the University community. The development of a shared print collection further optimizes the management of and access to information resources for students and faculty by reducing unnecessary duplication, leveraging shared assets, and expanding the breadth and depth of information resources available systemwide.
The Melvyl catalog integrates the holdings information of the UC libraries as if they were part of a single collection. Related information-access services include Request, which streamlines interlibrary loans, and UC-eLinks, which enables libraries to link from a citation to the full text of an item.
By sharing storage facilities, the UC libraries are able to accommodate low-use print materials at a lower cost and therefore devote a greater portion of their local shelving space to new, current, and high-use items. Current holdings at the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) in Richmond and the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF) at UCLA total around 11 million volumes.
Ask a Librarian is an online reference service offered by the UC libraries to answer research questions 24 hours a day. The service is offered via email, phone, or live chat from the home pages of each campus library.
The library services infrastructure includes campus and Universitywide operations that support the creation, management, manipulation, and presentation of bibliographic information. The infrastructure also includes the support necessary for acquisitions and management of scholarly materials, and services for patrons to use those materials.
Advances in technology that have rapidly expanded the world of information available to library users have also made it possible to design new ways to manage and provide access to those resources. The UC libraries are working on leveraging their collective resources, including staff expertise and shared infrastructure, to:
- More effectively manage and deliver essential ongoing services (e.g., systems and services for bibliographic control, management, discovery and access, for collection acquisition, processing and management in all formats and including shared and campus-based collections where relevant)
- Collaboratively develop, deploy and support advanced user services.
See the Next Generation Technical Services (NGTS) initiative
Scholarly communication, which includes a wide range of published and unpublished literature, datasets, bibliographies, working papers, and pre-published drafts, is at a crossroads. The traditional model of scholarly communication has become expensive, restrictive, and increasingly limited in its ability to make information accessible. These issues affect faculty, students, scholars, and members of the public who use the published information, as well as libraries that acquire and provide access to the materials.
The UC librarians are working collaboratively with faculty, management, the UC Press, information schools, and national associations and bodies to develop and implement a program to provide leadership to change the scholarly communication process so that it is economically sustainable and ensures the widest possible access to the scholarly record. The program includes strategies to inform the University about the dynamics and trends impacting scholarly communication, evolve the library materials selection process so that their cost and value continue to be well-aligned, help faculty manage their copyrights for the works they create, and provide innovative alternatives for scholars to disseminate their work.
Digital Curation and Preservation
To support the extremely important goal of preserving digital information, the UC libraries are working in collaboration with national and international efforts to develop a digital preservation infrastructure that adheres to established standards and open-source practices. The infrastructure may also assist in the preservation or protection of deteriorating print materials and help meet the University's diverse needs for reliable archiving, management, and retrieval of essential digital information of all kinds.
See the services and tools offered by the University of California Curation Center (UC3)
Increasingly, academic researchers in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences employ a broad range of information technology as a basic tool in all phases of their research. The UC libraries play an essential role in meeting the evolving needs of faculty and in positioning the University to support the full range of e-research activities. We are also actively strategizing to identify current and potential e-research collaborations on the local, systemwide, and network levels, including participation in the ARL/DLF E-Science Institute.