New Library Catalog System—and What It Means for You

For over a year, CUNY’s library faculty and staff have been toiling tirelessly to transition CUNY libraries to a new catalog system (i.e., the system in which we catalog materials, check items out to patrons, manage e-resources, and more). This new system is scheduled to go live across CUNY on Monday, August 3. It will bring many changes, most of which will be invisible to library users, but there are a few that everyone in the Graduate Center community should be aware of:

1) Goodbye, Classic Catalog! When we say hello to the new system, we will also say goodbye to our old system, including the “classic catalog” (known by some as CUNY+). The old system has served us well for a whopping 18 years, but it simply doesn’t offer what a library needs now. (Undoubtedly, many of you have noted the very dated appearance of the classic catalog!)

Screenshot of classic catalog with red X through it

As of August 3, CUNY’s classic catalog will no longer be available. It’s served us well since 2002, but it’s time to move on.


2) Hello (Again), OneSearch!
When the classic catalog is decommissioned, all searches for books held by CUNY libraries must be performed in CUNY OneSearch, a powerful tool that searches across books, e-books, journal articles, dissertations, encyclopedia entries, news articles, and more. When the new system goes live, a new version of OneSearch will be unveiled as well. Most of the changes will be imperceptible to users, but you may detect some subtle differences on the front end. These changes are intended to improve the user experience, and we hope they will indeed improve yours. Please bear with us as we iron out any issues that arise, and let us know if you experience any persistent problems.

Screenshot of OneSearch

As of August 3, searches for GC and CUNY books will need to be performed in OneSearch (which may look ever-so-slightly different than it does now).


3) CUNYfirst Login for OneSearch:
Login credentials for OneSearch are also changing. You will no longer log in with your library barcode number. Rather, you will log in with your CUNYfirst username and password. (Forgot your CUNYfirst credentials? Retrieve your username, or reset your password.) Barcodes aren’t going away, though: when CUNY libraries resume in-person services, you will still use your barcode to check out books.

4) Changes to Permalinks: When the new system goes live, permalinks to individual records in OneSearch will change—and, unfortunately, old permalinks will break. We’d hoped this problem could be avoided, but it regrettably can’t be, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience it causes in your teaching, learning, or research. You will be able to find an item’s new permalink by performing a search for the item in OneSearch after August 3.

Screenshot showing permalink in OneSearch record

Every OneSearch record includes a permalink. When the new library system goes live on August 3, all permalinks will change.


5) Evergreen Reminder:
OneSearch does not include all items from all library databases, or all search features found in other databases. Therefore, when you need to dive deep into disciplinary literature or carefully craft an advanced search, you may favor our individual databases. Also, consult WorldCat to find books not held by CUNY libraries.

Acknowledgments: This migration is made up of many pieces, and is managed by many among our staff. Ongoing appreciation is due to those whose work is usually hidden on the back end of our systems, and who have applied themselves to learning new interfaces and updating our data for a smooth transition. Great thanks to:

  • In Circulation: Curtis Matthew (Head of Circulation and Reserves), Nancy Seda (Library Coordinator), Davonne White (Circulation Assistant), and all of our Circulation College Assistants.
  • In Collections: Suzanne Bernard (Adjunct Cataloger), Mike Handis (Collection Management Specialist), Dan Jacobson (Collections College Assistant), Melissa Longhi (Serials and Reserves Acquisitions Manager), Rose Ochoa (Acquisitions Assistant), Margaret O’Garro (Library Assistant), Adriana Palmer (E-Resources Librarian), Alycia Sellie (Associate Librarian for Collections & project lead for the transition), and Joel Singer (Cataloging Assistant).
  • In Interlibary Loan: Silvia Cho (ILL Supervisor), Beth Posner (Head of Library Resource Sharing), and our ILL College Assistants.
  • In Scholarly Communication & Digital Scholarship: Steve Zweibel (Digital Scholarship Librarian).

About the Author

Jill Cirasella is the Associate Librarian for Scholarly Communication and Digital Scholarship at the Graduate Center, CUNY.