Omni: Rediscover Discovery

Coming December 10, 2019

Introducing Omni, the new academic search tool presented by OCUL (Ontario Council of University Libraries). See the OCUL Omni page.

An outcome of OCUL’s Collaborative Futures initiative, Omni is powered by a collaborative system of team members and resources from 14 of Ontario’s university libraries.  Trent is part of this group.

Omni users experience fast and easy access to a vast collection of diverse, high-quality, academic material, empowering them to confidently develop new insights in their research goals.

With Omni, you get an easy and mobile-friendly user experience providing quick access to resources from 14 Ontario university libraries.

See the press release.

What will Omni change?


One quick search finds ALL items owned by our library, whether they're online or physical; books, journals, articles or maps; on Reserve or in the stacks. You no longer have to choose WHERE to search for WHAT you want to find - it's all here.

Powerful filters help you narrow down the results to those you really want to see.

Use simple language to search; no complex knowledge of boolean operators required. (But there's still an Advanced Search for those who want more control.)

All your favourite databases continue to be available for targeted searching, but Omni offers a broad search and quick access directly to resources.


The new system brings new borrowing policies that allow you to keep books in your hands longer. Longer loan periods and multiple renewals are part of the Omni network package.

Stay tuned for details.

New services starting December 10

REQUEST items that are in the stacks (on the shelves) in the library, so you know they'll be available for you to pick up at the Service Desk. Search the catalogue from anywhere, click REQUEST, and you'll receive an email when it's available for pickup.

Because you login to Omni, it knows who you are and what we provide to you, so you have a customized search environment.

Easily expand your search beyond Trent's walls, into the vast resources of 13 other Ontario university libraries - just click "Search beyond Trent". Request items using the ILL form that's automatically filled out for you.

Coming Later

Summer 2020

As we progress with the implementation of this vast new system, we'll open options to expand your access to other Ontario University Libraries.  From the Omni network, you'll be able to request physical items:

  • FROM any location
  • to be PICKED UP at any location
  • and RETURNED to any location.

You'll be able to walk into any of the participating libraries and use their resources as a member.

In the meantime, Interlibrary Loan continues to provide access to resources available beyond our library. Searching the other networked Omni libraries is as simple as a click, and a pre-populated ILL form is offered for any items not available at Trent.


Adoption of a new platform to manage all library services and resources is a significant move. It’s why libraries generally only make the transition every 20-25 years. The participating Omni libraries have been working behind the scenes for over a year to implement and configure this new system. Most of the changes are staff-related, and you won't see them, but they affect our everyday work with efficiencies and workflow improvements that will allow us to offer new services.  Over the coming year, you'll see more of these role out.

As with any transition of this scale, we anticipate there will be a few bumps and we will be ready to manage and resolve issues as they are identified. Please contact to report any issues.

Service Impacts

As we move into the current implementation stage, the following services are affected:

  • November 1: Current Catalogue Freeze
    • From November until our new Omni system is stable, no new items can be added to our catalogue. 
      • This affects our ability to purchase resources or make changes to existing resources.
      • A full month is required to format and transfer accurate data from our current system to the new Omni system, as well as to integrate it with the other 13 libraries.
    • All requests for Reserves, new purchases, or any items in the library will be kept until we can add them to the new Omni system.  We expect this to be shortly after the December 10 go-live date.
    • We expect to have all Reserves in place for January courses.
    • ILL services should continue as normal.
  • December 5 (end of day): Current Circulation System Freeze
    • This time allows us to transfer all our information around loans, due dates, messages, and fines.
    • At this point we will continue to loan material and accept returns, but it will not record in the system.  Instead, we'll keep track using a temporary off-line system that will upload to the new system by December 10.
    • There may be limitations on what services we can offer during this time.

Omni Network Members

These university libraries make up the Omni network: