What’s So Great About Primo? : A Primo Primer

Primo is the future. You may not know what it is today, but eventually you will gravitate towards Primo the same way we all gravitated towards Google. It will just be there being the best way to find what you’re looking for.

Primo is an example of a discovery layer which is software that both contains its own vast full-text and citation resources (the Central Index), and ingests other electronic resources like library catalogs, standalone databases, and internet based resources. All of these layers of information are then accessed (discovered) through a single search interface (Primo).

Sounds a little like Google doesn’t it? The big difference between Google and a discovery layer like Primo is that where Google scours the internet for free information, Primo scours layers of electronic information, some of which is free, but much of which is licensed by a library for use by a select group of users: the library patrons.   Licensing for use usually means that a library pays an annual fee which allows internet access to a specific database or electronic resource from a particular area like a building or a campus.

Today libraries subscribe to thousands of electronic resources. The more licensed resources that a library can access through Primo, the better because it allows a single search as opposed to preforming the same search over and over again in different databases. It takes the tedium out and provides better, quicker search results that can be sorted, divided, expanded, jumped from, added to, and manipulated in other ways. Preforming the same search on Google and again in Primo will yield quite different results because Google can only return free information and Primo returns free information and licensed information. Primo seeks to be to library collections what Google is to the internet.

Sounds great, right? Can’t wait to try it? Like any new software it takes a little getting used to. Visit the Mansfield Library home page to start learning how to navigate Primo.

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About Phil Cousineau

Librarian
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