Discovery Services – General Information - General Information

New Primo Library Catalog to debut on June 24, 2020

The University Library will transition to the Primo Library Catalog, a new online catalog system vendored by Ex Libris, on June 24, 2020. The new Primo Library Catalog will combine the best features of what Library patrons have become accustomed to in the current catalog system; however, the new catalog system will provide these features through an enhanced single search interface. The current Library catalogs (officially called the Voyager Classic Catalog and the newer VuFind Library catalogs) will be retired in Summer 2020. Also, in late June 2020, the Library’s SFX Electronic Resource Discovery service will be retired. Library users can discover and access full-text resources, including e-serials, e-books, online streaming audio and video sources, digitized collections, and more in the new Primo Library Catalog.

The new Primo Library Catalog will offer the discovery (or, ability to search) and delivery of a wide variety of the Library’s collection of scholarly resources including books, e-journals, conference literature, technical reports, and other digital and print content. In addition, the new system supports Single Sign-on, so university patrons will be able to use their NetID and NetID password to access their account and request materials instead of a separate password.

Primo Catalog’s Enhanced Search and Discovery features

The new Primo Library Catalog will allow better access and management of the Library’s print, electronic, and digital collections, improve efficiency through shared services across the
I-Share Libraries Consortium and expand the Library’s assessment capabilities across the Consortium of Academic Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). Other enhanced features will include:

  • Quick searching based on Title, Subject, Author, etc.
  • Better integration of the Library’s electronic and digital collections
  • Advanced searching with Boolean operators and limits for more precise results, as well as a Refine My Results feature to hone in on what patrons are looking for
  • A single, unified catalog to search for items in the university’s Library Catalog or across all of the I-Share Libraries collections
  • A Virtual Browse feature for print books to see what’s related to the book by subject area
  • Single Sign-on, so university patrons can use their NetID and NetID password (instead of a separate login) to log in to My Account, request books from any I-Share Library, review what’s checked out, and save favorites

Primo Library Catalog sample search:

Easy Search Bento will Remain

Currently, the University Library’s primary discovery (searching) tool is called Easy Search (Easy Search Bento). This allows patrons to search a variety of sources for books, ebooks, media, articles, journals, subject databases, and websites, while simultaneously eliminating overlapping results. Easy Search will be integrated with the new Primo Library Catalog so that patrons can continue to search from a single search box on the Library’s homepage.

Why is the Library Catalog Transitioning?

The Library’s current online system was installed 18 years ago and has become outdated. The new system better integrates electronic resources and cloud-based technology to allow new items in the collection to be more quickly indexed into the catalog for patrons to search and request. The Library’s transition to the new system is in concert with all 91 I-Share libraries in the Consortium of Academic Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), to ensure the whole I-Share catalog remains available to member libraries, including the university. Throughout the spring semester and into the summer, the Library has prepared patron data and library resources to be migrated into the new Library Catalog to help provide the best possible catalog.

All I-Share Libraries Consortium Primo Catalog sample search:

You can read more about the implementation process on our ILS Coordination Team page.

For more information, connect with Michael Norman (Discovery Services Librarian and ILS Coordinator) at