Systemwide ILS Project (SILS)

SILS Project Overview

Mission Statement: Transform library services and operations through innovation and collaboration.

Slogan: Shaping the future together

Read the SILS principles and shared assumptions here.

The University of California (UC) Libraries continually strive for an integrated, user-centric collection that supports and enhances the mission of the UC, deriving its strength from the diverse nature of the individual campus library collections. Currently, each campus independently licenses an Integrated Library System (ILS) to manage the acquisition and use of print and electronic library resources; a patchwork of services and connective systems ensures the campus collections are accessible systemwide to all UC students, faculty and staff.

As systems age and vendors decommission and replace tools, UC’s patchwork of intricately connected library and resource sharing systems provide diminishing returns. If the current configuration of systems is maintained, higher staff and system resource investments will be required just to maintain the status quo. Even still, intercampus resource sharing (making a book from any given UC campus available on any other UC campus) risks becoming fragmented and no longer viable. Vendors no longer support patchwork integrations of many products - instead, the marketplace now offers comprehensive systems for consortia such as the UC.

To ensure continued and future collaboration involving library collections and collection-based operations and services, the Council of University Librarians (CoUL) has charged a working group to investigate how the UC Libraries might license a single, shared, systemwide ILS.

Read CoUL’s all-staff announcement about the project:

Project Timing

Phase 1: June - Nov. 2017

Phase 2: Jan. - June 2018

Phase 3: July 2018 - Feb. 2020 (revised October 2019)

  • Expertise groups develop SILS requirements which are reviewed by campus groups (October 2018 - March 2019)
  • Assemble RFP and make public (April 2019 - June 2019)
  • Receive supplier responses, conduct demonstrations, and evaluate (July 2019 - August 2019)
  • Report, decision to move forward, contract negotiation and authorizing implementation (August 30, 2019 onwards)
    • Aug 30 to Oct 4, 2019: SILS Working Group applies completed scoring to develop a report of the RFP outcome with planning and cost implications for review by CoUL.
    • Oct 4, 2019 to CoUL Action: CoUL reviews the RFP report and determines ability to move forward with the SILS based on the apparent awardee proposal parameters.
    • After CoUL Action: UC Procurement Services initiates contract negotiations with the apparent awardee while SILS team contributes to the development of a detailed statement of work.
    • After Contract Execution: CoUL issues public announcement and authorizes implementation activities to proceed.

Phase 4: March 2020 - September/December 2021 (end date to be confirmed at a later date)

  • SILS go-live summer 2021 (in advance of the start of the term)

Please note: These dates are estimates and subject to change. 

Subscribe to SILS News

We are pleased to launch an email list to communicate with all UC Libraries staff about the Systemwide Integrated Library System (SILS) project. We invite you to self-subscribe to this list to get project news sent directly to you. Our goal is to provide timely news and updates to all staff interested in the project. We do not have plans at this time for a discussion list, so subscribers do not have the ability to reply or send messages to the list. The SILS project team aims to send updates to the SILS-NEWS-L email list at least once a month and at important project milestones.

To subscribe to the SILS-News-L email list, fill out this form.


Document owner: Danielle Westbrook
Last updated: March 24, 2020