Together, We Accomplished the Incredible!

Dear Colleagues,

It brings us immense joy to announce that UC Library Search, the first truly unified discovery and borrowing system across our University of California ecosystem, is live!

End users at all 10 campuses and the California Digital Library are now enjoying integrated access to more than 40 million physical volumes across the UC, as well as seamless connections to digitally-available journals, books and library databases. Please read this congratulatory letter from UC President Michael Drake.

What started as a proposal and exploratory group in 2017 and culminated with the largest-ever collaborative initiative across the UC Libraries was only made possible by you, our incredible SILS Phase 4 Cohort and local implementation teams. The open lines of communication, shared decision making, and collective enthusiasm for the project over these past 15 months have been nothing short of remarkable. We even succeeded in launching on time (give or take a day) and under budget, no small feats of their own!

While expressing our deepest gratitude to all of you who contributed to UC Library Search’s launch, we would not have reached this milestone without two individuals who for several years have dedicated all their working hours (and then some) to this endeavor. Project managers Christine Barone and Lena Zentall have dazzled us all with their fastidious attention to detail, keeping the SILS cohort a well-oiled machine.

Our group chairs have truly been the engine driving us all forward, diligent in their commitment to the SILS shared principles of building an integrated and user-centered discovery platform. Finally, local implementation coordinators and teams pushing each campus past the finish line by testing during evening hours and through the weekend needs to be acknowledged and celebrated as well.

We hope your involvement with the SILS project has been rewarding, both professionally and personally. As one cohort member recently said: “I feel so fortunate to have been able to meet and work with so many supremely talented library staff throughout the UC Libraries as a result of this project. The depth and breadth of expertise each individual brought to this project has been an eye opener for me about the impressive talent people have, which when assembled in a systemwide endeavor, can yield amazing results.”

This certainly isn’t farewell, as we have several more months together as the SILS phase 4 cohort. Your continued focus on enhancing UC Library Search’s functionality will ensure a successful transition to ongoing SILS shared governance and operations.

There is nothing left to say except SINCERE CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy this moment and know you have left a legacy on the entire University of California system.

With gratitude, 
Chris Shaffer
Günter Waibel
UC SILS Project Co-Chairs