Is it Time for Melvyl to Retire?
Librarians Seek Public Comment on Replacing the System
By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs
Melvyl is aging, and it may be time to put its software and hardware out to pasture.
The electronic library catalog -- named for Dewey Decimal System-creator Melvil Dewey -- desperately needs upgrades and enhancements, but the computer languages it employs are severely out of date.
The catalog contains citations for the holdings of the nine UC campuses, the California State Library and other state libraries.
"Melvyl is a critical component of the California Digital Library and will require new, stable technologies to ensure it continues over time," said Michael Levy, a Boalt Hall librarian. "The current system needs to be replaced, but the question is: when and by what?"
But before any decisions are made, Levy and a team of Berkeley librarians are hoping users of the system will help them find answers.
The campus community is encouraged to share thoughts on Melvyl during a public comment period, which continues through the month of February. Participants can forward their suggestions using a Web form, located at websurveyor.net/wsb.dll/ 2734/cdlhosted.htm, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some possible new features include merging the Melvyl catalog with the periodicals database; power searches; unicode support to display, index and search non-Roman vernacular characters, especially Chinese, Japanese and Korean; and the ability to search all UC campuses by call number.
The team also is looking for volunteers for a focus group, which will meet later this spring. Those interested in volunteering may use the above-mentioned Web form or e-mail address.