UC Gets a Systemwide Integrated Library System

Doe Library and The Bancroft Library on the UC Berkeley campus were photographed on Aug. 9, 2019. (Photo by Violet Carter for the UC Berkeley Library)

By Bala Balakumar. The University of California recently negotiated a systemwide agreement for an integrated library system (SLIS) for all UC campus libraries. The deal is projected to provide a total financial benefit of $815,795 over three years. 

Previously, each UC library had independently licensed integrated library system software. These systems were networked by a patchwork of services and connective systems to ensure campus collections were accessible systemwide to all UC students, faculty, and staff.  

Seeing the Need 

Working together, the UC Libraries determined that deploying a shared, cloud-hosted, systemwide integrated library system (SILS) would fundamentally improve library collections, operations, and services.  

UC Libraries staff partnered with UC IT Strategic Sourcing to: 

  • Review and determine UC’s requirements
  • Develop and conduct an RFP
  • Evaluate supplier RFP responses
  • Identify thesystem andimplementation services best aligned with UC’s needs. 

Ultimately, UC negotiated a systemwide agreement with Ex Libris, a leading market supplier. The agreement aligns with UC’s needs and is compliant with policy and the law. 


In addition to financial benefit, the agreement provides the following:  

  • Streamlined services: Library services will be more efficient on a single system, resulting in an improved patron experience. 
  • Precedent-setting collaboration: The project required collaboration among staff from the libraries at all ten campuses, the California Digital Library, two UC regional library facilities, and UC Procurement. The experience established best practices for future success. 
  • Future-facing services: Resources that had been used to maintain legacy systems now can be focused on future opportunities and enhancements. 

Bala Balakumar, sr. IT commodity manager, Procurement Services, UC Office of the President. Bala Balakumar is sr. IT commodity manager, Procurement Services, UC Office of the President 

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