About UC Library Search

UC Library Search is powered by Ex Libris Alma/Primo, a centralized library management and discovery system that unites the collections and digital resources for the entire UC system. Prior to the launch of UC Library Search, each UC campus library used different systems to manage its print and electronic resources, alongside separate systems to manage inter-campus borrowing. UC Library Search brings together all ten UC campus libraries, the California Digital Library, and two regional storage facilities in one system. The benefit to the UC Libraries is the means to streamline workflows and enable greater collaboration between campuses in collections management. The users of UC Libraries benefit as well with a centralized location and means to engage with the UC Libraries’ collections. Additional benefits include:

  • Improved Service:
    • UC Library Search will allow faster and easier access to the entire UC Libraries collection: 40+ million physical items, plus digital collections
    • UC Library Search will integrate additional collections databases that are currently only offered to patrons as stand-alone services (e.g. HathiTrust Digital Library, open access journals, etc.)
    • Streamlines data-gathering processes used to make informed and responsible collection development decisions in tandem with new services
  • Improved Infrastructure:
    • Current configuration of ten separate campus systems (some of which are aging) creates fragmentation and integration challenges that puts essential library services at risk
    • Enables library staff to innovate and create new services that were not possible when each campus had a separate catalog
    • Creates opportunities for integration with a variety of other library services and related products, such as learning-management systems, potentially improving workflows and reducing redundancies
  • Financial benefits:
    • Shared system costs 40% less than 10 campuses carrying out infrastructure improvements separately
    • With the implementation of UC Library Search, UC Libraries will have greater ability to analyze how the collections are used. The new system will aggregate data that is critical for making collection development decisions and guide vendor negotiations
    • Opportunities to improve workflows and reduce redundancies through integration with other products like student information systems or financial systems


  • 2017: Initial discussions and investigations to pursue a systemwide Integrated Library System
  • 2018: Inventory of existing systems completed, plus requirements for a shared system determined
  • 2019: Formal RFP (Request for Proposal) made; Ex Libris Alma/Primo selected to provide the services for UC Library Search
  • March 2020 – July 2021: Implementation carried out by representative groups from all 10 campuses + CDL
  • July 27, 2021: Go-Live