University Libraries unveils ‘Primo’

Founders Memorial LibraryNIU Libraries will introduce a new service this semester called “Primo.”

Primo incorporates the most advanced developments in search engine technology with the aim of furnishing an easier and more intuitive process for locating academic literature.

In effect, the database combines all NIU books, full-text articles and digital resources into a single search index and point of entry.

Information retrieved from Primo comprehends a mosaic that is broader than anything that can be accomplished via an individual database or even suite of databases. The depth and speed of the search is remarkable and the juxtaposition of resources can be intriguing and enlightening.

Search results can be filtered by a method called faceting. The latter appear on the left side of the page and can be sorted by articles versus books, peer reviewed journals, dates, language, individual database or publisher. Moreover, the facets can suggest refinements of a subject or topical area.

In line with Web 2.0 conventions, Primo can be highly personalized wherein patrons can elect to build their own bookshelves, initiate RSS feeds and the like.

Although Primo affords a unique and convenient way of canvassing NIU library materials, it is no substitute for discipline specific database: PsycInfo, MLA, EconLit, BIOSIS, etc. The latter possess unique indexing systems which allow for a high degree of search precision. Primo sacrifices a certain degree of precision in exchange for a very rapid and robust search experience.

Experiment with Primo and see how it works with your own research and teaching agenda. Library administrators would deeply value any feedback concerning users’ personal experiences with Primo.

For more information, contact TJ Lusher at tlusher@niu.edu or (815) 753-0521.

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