Minerva Version of the Catalog to be Retired

Why is the library catalog changing from Minerva to WorldCat Local?

You may have noticed that the Minerva search box disappeared from the new University Libraries’ webpage. WorldCat Local has been chosen as our new catalog. It offers far more resources to our users than the Minerva catalog does. Minerva's catalog offers information only on the materials held at the University of Louisville Libraries, while WorldCat Local accesses books, articles, videos, and other items from all over the world. With its intuitive interface researchers can then narrow results by location, format and full-text availability.

Book records in WorldCat Local include an image of the book as well as the standard information that Minerva provided: call number, availability, subject headings, citation and description. WorldCat Local will also indicate libraries nearby that have the item if we don’t have it here at UofL. Articles, which Minerva does not search at all, can be limited to peer-reviewed and/or full-text availability. Overall, the functionality of the WorldCat Local tool far exceeds the functionality of the Minerva catalog.

FunctionalityMinervaWorldCat Local
musical scoresYesYes
UofL archival materialYesNo
other material from UofL LibrariesYesYes
materials from nearby librariesNoYes
materials from libraries around the worldNoYes
free e-resourcesNoYes
UofL's Digital CollectionsNoNo

Why now?

It comes down to time and money. Reductions in budget and staff have made us look for ways to provide the same level of service with less hours of staff time. For the last few years our staff has been doing double duty updating both versions of the catalog. This has meant many staff hours creating and updating records in the two systems and managing changes to the Minerva interface. Officially going with WorldCat Local as our library catalog will eliminate the duplication of effort and help provide our patrons with a single interface for finding the up-to-date information they need.

Why didn’t we do this sooner?

We introduced WorldCat Local on a pilot basis a few years ago. We wanted to make sure that it would meet the needs of our researchers as well as fulfill the University Libraries’ needs for a catalog. We have materials that are available through Minerva, such as University records and archival manuscripts, that have been problematic to access through WorldCat Local. The benefits of moving to WorldCat Local outweigh these difficulties. During the changeover our staff will work out methods to keep these materials available and make the system work with other library systems.

How long will Minerva be available?

Minerva will be available until May 1, 2014 when it is officially retired.