Omni: Rediscover Discovery

Introducing Omni, the new academic search tool presented by OCUL (Ontario Council of University Libraries). 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 proud to be a part of this group.

How to Find Omni

There's an Omni search bar at the top of every page on the library website.

Enter terms to start a default search immediately, or click "OMNI" to start customizing.

Features of Omni:

  • Wealth of Content: numerous academic and scholarly resources, leveraging broad content coverage, deep expertise, and extensive metadata.
  • Easy to Use: a fresh and intuitive web experience, mobile-friendly for consisten use across devises.
  • Search with Confidence: powerful search tools for discovery and in-depth research of high-quality academic sources across the consortium.
  • Smooth and Seemless: designed to connect to existing library and research tools for a smooth research experience.
  • Collaboration Ready: purpose-built to enable members to share collections and services while also maintaining local autonomy.

TOPCAT Retired!

After almost 30 years of service, TOPCAT (our library catalogue) has retired. He first introduced us to online searching, before the internet was widely known. He's been through a few iterations over the decades, but he was always there to help us find library resources.

TOPCAT is delighted to pass along his knowledge to a younger, more powerful and tech-savy searcher. We wish TOPCAT well, as he canoes down the Otonabee river to meet up with the 13 other retired cat-alogues from the other Omni libraries, in their tropical retreat for boomers.

What does Omni change?


  • Omni searches further than TOPCAT could, through journal articles, book chapters, and many different types of material. It brings all the results to one spot.
  • One quick search finds allitems 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.)
  • Widen your search beyond Trent's resources with a click.
  • 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 12

  • 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.
  • Save your searches to run again later. Or set an alert to have them run regularly; we'll send you any new findings. RSS feeds are also available.
  • Email your results.
  • Grab citations for the items you find - in the style you need.
  • 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.

Services Yet to Come

Summer 2020

As we progress with the implementation of this exciting 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.

Omni Network Members

These university libraries make up the Omni network:

See also: