UC Library Search Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is the Library updating to a new discovery tool?

We are updating to a new discovery tool to make finding and borrowing resources from libraries across the University of California (UC) system easier for all library users. Our current systems are not designed for 21st century user behavior and require a patchwork system to connect the holdings of all 10 campuses. UC Library Search will enable efficient management and sharing of collections allowing for a more streamlined access to library resources for users.

What is UC Library Search?

UC Library Search is the new discovery tool which allows you to search for materials from your own campus collection and also across all UC locations. Powered by ExLibris Alma/Primo, currently in use at the UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz Libraries, UC Library Search is built upon the principle of a single, integrated, shareable and user-centric UC Library Collection.

Which campuses are participating in UC Library Search?

The libraries of all 10 University of California campuses plus the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF), the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF) and the California Digital Library collections are part of UC Library Search.

How will UC Library Search change the library experience for patrons?

There will be a single search interface for seeking materials, whether from your own campus or from the broader UC collection. Some features:

  • Search for materials across the whole UC collection
  • Use your campus single sign account on to check out and renew materials
  • Locate millions of online books, journal articles, and other digital content
  • Tools for saving searches, creating bibliographies, and creating alerts

When will UC Library Search be available?

UC Library Search will launch on Tuesday July 27, 2021.

What will happen to Melvyl, the UC union catalog?

UC Library Search will replace Melvyl and become the discovery tool to find and borrow materials from across all UC locations, as well as from your own campus.

Will UC Library Search replace my own library catalog?

Yes. Individual campus catalogs will be consolidated into UC Library Search, so that all UC Libraries will be on the same system.

What types of resources will be available in UC Library Search?

You will be able to locate millions of print and online books, journal articles, and other content and borrow materials from any library in the UC system.

Will Library services be impacted during the transition?

Some services may be paused during the transition to UC Library Search. Please contact your local campus for more information.

What happens to items that I already have checked out?

Any checked-out items will automatically be transferred to your new UC Library Search account on the launch date of July 27, 2021.

Who can use UC Library Search?

UC Library Search will be available to students, faculty, staff and members of the public to search for materials. Check out of physical materials and full text access to online materials depends upon the policies of your individual campus.

Will I need to create a new library account?

No, as a result of the switch to UC Library Search, students, faculty and staff will be able to use their Single Sign On username and password to log in to their library account in order to view checked out materials, place holds and renew items.

Will I be able to access UC Library Search from off campus?

Yes, but just like with databases, you will need to authenticate (via VPN or proxy server) to access the full text of materials found in UC Library Search.

Will I now have access to articles and databases that my campus does not subscribe to but another UC does? 

No, UC Library Search will not change the database and journal subscriptions for each campus.  It will make it much easier for you to discover and request digital materials available at other campuses via interlibrary loan.

Will I be able to physically go to another UC campus to checkout and pick up library materials?

Yes, as a result of the enhanced inter-library borrowing features of UC Library Search, you will be able to request items from other UCs to be sent to any campus for pickup. You will also be able to travel to any UC Library and check out items using your campus library card.

What should I do to prepare for the retirement of Melvyl, the UC union catalog?  

As UC Library Search will replace Melvyl and become the discovery tool to find and borrow materials from across all UC locations, you can take some steps to make this transition easier:

  • To keep personal saved lists, sign into your Melvyl account before July 27 and select “My Personal Lists” from the drop down menu.  Email your lists to yourself or export them into citation management software.
  • To capture saved searched, click on the “Saved Searches” link in the gray menu bar and make a note of your search terms.
  • If you have links to Melvyl records in your browser bookmarks, courses or elsewhere, you can log in to Melvyl and save them as a list to export.  Current permalinks in Melvyl are not guaranteed to function post go live.

How will UC Library Search impact borrowing and access to materials for non-UC library users?

Non-UC library users (e.g. members of the local community, extension students, high school students, Alumni Association members, etc. who may have a “community user” library card) should contact their UC campus library about what changes UC Library Search will bring, as each campus may have different policies.

Will I now have access to eBooks available at other campuses?

No, eBooks are licensed by individual campuses and licenses cannot be transferred to users at another campus. Users should request the print version of the item through interlibrary loan.