The John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library Launches Ex Libris Alma/Primo as New Library Services System


The John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library launched a new integrated library system (ILS) from Ex Libris this semester to make discovering, organizing, and accessing library resources easier than ever before for students, faculty, and staff.

Primo, which serves as the front-end interface, delivers more than just known-item search results. It consolidates, matches, and correlates data from multiple sources – Primo exposes students to relationships between resources and further identifies relevant materials for their discovery. According to Dean of the Library, Dr. Brandon A. Owens, Sr., “The new library system finally provides students, faculty, and staff with a simple, one-stop search for print books, e-books, videos, journal articles, newspapers, digital media, and more.” Primo also displays recommended articles related to topics of interest, lets students follow a chain of articles that cite each other, and even allows students to copy and paste citations according to different style guides and manuals (i.e., Chicago-Turabian, MLA, APA, Harvard). Additionally, it features a unique visual style to differentiate content from scholarly journals, newspapers, and print books in the search results.

Alma, which serves as the back-end library operations, gives the Franklin Library staff a unified and comprehensive way to handle all resource types, including print books, electronic books, online journals, newspapers, and other digital content. It also provides a letter system to send highly customizable email messages to students, faculty, and staff. These messages include warnings, confirmations, notifications, summary information, fulfillment requests, and more. For example, Alma automatically sends a letter to the patron after an item is checked out, after an item is returned, and after an item borrowed is marked as overdue.

The John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library transitioned to the new system over a nine-month period and launched it this July in response to the sudden and rapid addition of digital resources and online databases to the library’s collection. It now boasts access to more than 725,000 online electronic books and 130,000 online electronic journals. If you have not used the new library catalog, you should give it a try!