SILS News – Jan. 06, 2020

Date: Jan. 06, 2020
Title: UC selects Ex Libris for Systemwide ILS

Dear colleagues,

The University of California (UC) Libraries have selected the Ex Libris Alma and Primo services to deploy the Systemwide Integrated Library System (SILS). The Council of University Librarians (CoUL) made this decision following the SILS Request for Proposal and careful consideration of the libraries’ goals and requirements for a shared solution. We have reached this important project milestone thanks to the hard work and expertise of many; phase 3 involved over sixty project cohort members and extensive, systemwide consultation and review. 

SILS co-chairs Chris Shaffer (UCSF) and Günter Waibel (CDL) congratulated the Contract & Negotiation Task Force, led by John Bono (UCSC) and Erik Mitchell (UCSD), on the successful deal with Ex Libris. “Even in its formative stage, the SILS project has brought about deep collaboration among the UC Libraries. Striking this contract allows us to build on that foundation, and re-imagine how we serve our communities, and how we go about our work,” they said. 

As you know, the selection of a vendor is only one element of implementing and migrating to a SILS. This year, we will embark on a phase of work that will focus on implementation and deciding both when and how the libraries should harmonize our policies and practices. The work and decisions made in phase 4 will: enable us to improve faculty and student end user experience for discovery and access to UC’s vast physical and electronic collections; equip the libraries with improved business intelligence that feeds a data-driven approach to library management and development; and exemplify the operational efficiencies and transformative opportunities enjoyed when a systemwide approach is taken.

The SILS Project also represents a great opportunity for employees. “To date and moving forward, the SILS Project provides professional development opportunities for library staff as we all learn what this collaboration means to the UC Libraries and the variety of expertise needed to ensure its success,” notes CoUL Chair M. Elizabeth Cowell (UCSC).

The SILS Shared Governance Task Force, co-chaired by Ginny Steel (UCLA) and Aislinn Sotelo (UCSD), is finalizing the charges and work practices for phase 4, all of which will be reviewed and endorsed by CoUL. Calls for participation and cohort membership will go out in February, and phase 4 will commence in March. Recruitment for the SILS Service Manager, based at the California Digital Library, will begin mid-January.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your SILS campus liaison, CoUL member or


UC Council of University Librarians

M. Elizabeth Cowell, CoUL Chair
Richard L. Press University Librarian
UC Santa Cruz

Haipeng Li, CoUL Vice Chair
University Librarian
UC Merced

Kristin Antelman
University Librarian
UC Santa Barbara 

Jeffrey MacKie-Mason
University Librarian and Chief Digital Scholarship Officer
UC Berkeley 

Steven Mandeville-Gamble
University Librarian
UC Riverside 

Erik Mitchell
The Audrey Geisel University Librarian
UC San Diego 

Chris Shaffer
University Librarian and Assistant Vice Chancellor
UC San Francisco 

MacKenzie Smith
University Librarian and Vice Provost for Digital Scholarship
UC Davis

Virginia Steel
Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian

Lorelei Tanji
University Librarian
UC Irvine 

Günter Waibel
Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director California Digital Library