On June 24, 2011, the current Melvyl database will be retired, as the University of California Libraries move to the Next Generation Melvyl (NGM) search tool, powered by OCLC’s WorldCat Local. NGM was released as a pilot in April 2008 and has proven to be an invaluable search tool for all researchers: students, faculty, staff, and the public.
NGM supports research by allowing one-stop searching of UC Libraries’ holdings, selected full-text articles, ebooks, digital content, archival information, and much more. In addition to the UC libraries’ 33 million records, it includes over 800 million items from research institutions throughout the world. Easy-to-use links to ebooks and Request allow users to retrieve some titles immediately or order them via interlibrary loan. NGM also offers embedded tools for citing and exporting citations and creating and sharing lists.
Users can also ask reference questions via the “Chat with a Librarian” interface or see descriptive information, editorial reviews, and cover art. In-depth author information helps to place works in context and provides useful information when doing research about a writer.
The UC Libraries have moved to NGM because of the promise of continual improvement and the seamless connection to the larger research world. Web searching is not limited to a user’s local surroundings, so why limit library research?
The UC Libraries have a history of continuous improvement of the Melvyl service. Developed in 1977, the first shared UC catalog was available on microfiche, followed in late 1979 by a pre-web online prototype. Since then there have been many different interfaces, with the most recent permanent database upgrade in 2002. NGM will make possible continual growth and improved research results. After the older Melvyl database is discontinued, NGM will be referred to as Melvyl.
OskiCat, the catalog of the UC Berkeley Libraries, will remain after this transition.
For more information, see our Guide to library catalogs.
Originally posted on the What’s New in the Library blog.