Information Access Seminar

Goodbye Melvyl. Hello UC Library Search.

Friday, October 29, 2021
3:10 pm to 5:00 pm PDT
Günter Waibel, Sarah Houghton, and Salwa Ismail

On July 28, 2021, ​University of California’s ten campuses, two regional library facilities ​(RLFs), ​and the California Digital Library ​(CDL) migrated to Ex Libris’s Alma/Primo​ VE​ ​to transform library services and resource discoverability through innovation and collaboration. The aim of this migration was to make the collective UC resources accessible at both the local and systemwide levels via a modern discovery platform, UC Library Search, which replaced Melvyl, local campus library catalogs (OskiCat at UC Berkeley, for example), and discovery platforms.

This session will focus on ​the various aspects ​of the migration, including how the UC libraries found the will and funding to tackle this massive technological and cultural change project. It will outline ​UC’s collaborative approach, ​including how we empowered decision-making at the appropriate staff level and​ ​our commitment to improving the patron user experience by keeping user-centered design in the forefront. It will discuss how we considered all of our users in their disciplinary and geographic diversity, and our focus on continuously improving interface design in ways that support user tasks and goals​. It will also discuss successes, challenges, and the importance of ​clear and regular ​communication and collaboration.

Join the seminar

Online participants must have a Zoom account and be logged in. Sign up for your free account here. If this is your first time using Zoom, please allow a few extra minutes to download and install the browser plugin or mobile app.

Günter Waibel is associate vice provost & executive director of the California Digital Library. He has extensive experience in the digital library and broader cultural heritage communities and is well-known for his work in promoting cross-domain collaboration. In his previous position he oversaw the strategic plan for creating a digital Smithsonian out of the institution’s 19 museums and 9 research centers.

Sarah Houghton is the director of discovery and delivery at the California Digital Library, where she oversees UC Library Search , AGUA, resource sharing, and Zephir. She previously served seven years as the director for the San Rafael Public Library, where she oversaw all library services at two library locations and the digital library branch. Sarah has worked in libraries for over two decades, including a decade as an emerging technology librarian, and is an experienced leader in a consortial context.

Salwa Ismail is UC Berkeley’s associate university librarian for digital initiatives and information technology and associate CIO for UC Berkeley Library. She leads the Library’s reimagined and rapidly expanding Digital Lifecycle Program (DLP), the library IT department, and interlibrary services.

University of California - California Digital Library
Günter Waibel
Günter Waibel
Sarah Houghton
Sarah Houghton
Salwa Ismail
Salwa Ismail


If you have questions about this event, please contact Michael Buckland.

Profile profile for buckland

Michael Buckland
Michael Buckland
Professor Emeritus

Last updated:

October 18, 2021