Primo Discovery and Delivery-Beyond the OPAC: A Unified Interface for Finding and Getting All Library Resources

Article excerpt

Heather strides quickly into her usual haunt, looking around anxiously to ensure that her favorite seat is still vacant before pulling out her laptop and getting down to writing her report. There are only two days left to complete this challenging assignment. All around her, fellow students hunker over their laptops, feverishly gathering research material. Heather draws a deep breath and savors the reassuring aromas: coffee, cinnamon rolls, croissants. What happened to the smell of print and leather book bindings? The university library is still there, but Heather and her peers are accessing its collections from their favorite coffee shop via their library's Primo[R] discovery and delivery system, which can be accessed from the browser search box, iGoogle home page, and college portal.

Primo offers Heather a single, intuitive interface for finding all the information she needs from diverse resources such as books, e-books, print and electronic articles, Web pages, and digital media from both local and remote collections. The findings are enriched by a mashup of additional data, such as abstracts, tables of contents, and book jacket images, so Heather is spared a search in multiple systems. Primo groups search results by facets, enabling Heather to tag and comment on them for her own benefit and for that of other users.

Local library data, such as the library catalog, digital collections, and course management systems, is harvested and indexed through the Primo publishing platform. Remote resources, seamlessly discovered via the Ex Libris[TM] MetaLib[R]! premier metasearch solution, complement local data. Integrated with Primo, MetaLib provides a coherent, one-stop information environment. MetaLib also runs as a standalone product with its own user interface.

Just as she finishes the first section of her paper, Heather's older brother, Justin, stops by. He graduated from the same college five years ago and is in awe of the changes that have taken place in library services in such a short time. Justin remembers his freshman year in college. He and his classmates used on-campus workstations to search for research material from the library catalog and other information sources. …