Roger and Melvyl are Retiring, but UC Library Search Will Do More

UC Library Search will replace Melvyl and Roger as a single, University of California-wide library discovery tool on July 27, 2021. It will vastly improve the user experience of faculty, students and researchers worldwide who need to access the collections across the University of California system.

Melvyl debuted in 1981 and revolutionized the UC Library system, allowing researchers to find books at other UC campuses through computer terminals on their own campuses. Behind the scenes, however, Melvyl relies on a complex patchwork system that connects multiple catalogs and databases to coordinate interlibrary loan(s) and full-text access. As several of these systems approach the end of their life spans, the UC Libraries recognize the technical unsustainability and inherent risks associated with keeping the Melvyl system.

In 1990, Roger debuted as UC San Diego’s online library catalog, allowing patrons to view the Library’s holdings from off campus for the first time. By merging the card catalog and the circulation system, Roger combined the holdings of the entire UC San Diego Library in a single tool. Over time, however, the library collection has become more digital and users now search library systems from mobile phones, tablets and other devices that Roger was not initially designed for.

With these two systems in place, UC San Diego researchers have had to search two places to locate library resources. Some materials, like course reserves, cannot be searched in Melvyl. Other resources, notably those held by other UC campus libraries, cannot be found in Roger. And yet other resources have to be located in separate databases like HathiTrust. So began the project of making UC Library Search a reality.

UC Library Search will maximize the value of the UC collections by making resources much easier to find and borrow thanks to its improved inter-library resource sharing tools and simplified user interface.

As Roger and Melvyl approach retirement, let’s celebrate the decades of service they have given to UC Library users and welcome UC Library Search – the discovery tool of our future.

For more information, please see our website, or contact Dani Cook, Associate University Librarian, Learning and User Experience.