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Primo FAQs and Hints: Home

Primo FAQs and Hints


Do I need to sign in to use the catalog/discovery tool?

You can search the catalog/discovery tool without signing. However, before you login, you will only see that an item is loanable.  After you login, the system does a check in real time to see how long you will be able to check it out.  

Some features such as placing a request, placing an interlibrary loan request through the statewide UBorrow service, accessing your Library Card, and accessing online articles/eBooks/videos require you to log in.  The catalog/discovery tool is integrated with each institution’s single sign on system and if you are logged in already, you should be seamlessly logged in to the discovery tool. If you’re not logged into the discovery tool, use the Sign in link in the top right.

An option to sign in also appears under the search box and on the full record page of each search result.


Which option do I choose on the login window?

If you are faculty, staff or a student at your institution, use the first field, labeled SSO. Some institutions have re-labeled this such as GatorLink, UCF NID, MySJRstate, etc. If you are a guest user with the ability to login, use the second option labeled Alma. Some institutions have re-labeled this second link as Guest or Library Staff.


What’s in my Library Card and how do I access it?

Click the Menu link in the top right of the catalog/discovery tool to sign into your Library Card. The Library Card includes information about materials you have checked out or have obtained on interlibrary loan, fines/fees, any blocks on your account, messages from the library, and your personal information such as address. Your institution might have customized the options you can view in the Library Card.


How do I get back to the catalog to search after I finish looking in my Library Card?

Click the icon to the left of the My Library Card header.


Selecting the group of records that you want to search.

Most institutions will have similar options for the group of record, or search scope, that they offer for searching. These options include Library Catalog, Everything, Statewide Catalog, Articles and more, and Course Reserves. These can be seen as you begin to type search word(s) and they can be seen to the right of your search in a drop-down menu.

  • Library Catalog includes materials your library owns. This search will include books, journals, other physical items that are in the library, and selected electronic materials.
  • Everything includes the complete collection of library materials including physical books and journals, media, other physical items, eBooks and eJournals, streaming video, other electronic materials, and articles.
  • Articles and more includes online articles and other electronic content.
  • Statewide catalog includes the holdings of all 40 Florida public colleges and universities.
  • Course reserves includes everything your institution has placed on course reserves.


How do I enter search words?

Type one or more words that you are looking for into the basic search box and click the Search button. If you enter multiple words, the discovery tool will return results that contain all the specified terms. You can also use the following techniques to improve a search.


How do I search for a book, video, etc. by title?

Select “Library Catalog” or your institution’s equivalent if it’s been renamed, enter the title in the basic search box and click the search icon.

On the results list, look to the left side of the screen and select the resource type you’re looking for to narrow your search results to only that format.

You can also choose Browse search if your library offers it. Click the Browse search link in the Main Menu, choose Title from the drop down and enter your search term. When using this option, don’t include initial articles such as “a”, “an”, or “the” in your search.


How do I search for an Author?

Enter the author’s name in the basic search box.

You can also choose Browse search if your library offers it. Click the Browse search link in the Main Menu, choose Author from the drop down and enter the author’s name, with the last name entered first.


How do I search by ISBN or Call number?

Enter the number in the basic search box and click Search.

You can also use the Advanced search and choose the ISBN and Call number options or you can use the Browse search and choose call number.


Can I search for a phrase or an exact match?

Yes. Use quotation marks to search a phrase as one term. An example is: “global warming”


Can I use Boolean search options (AND, OR, NOT)?

Yes. Use AND, OR, and NOT to join search terms or exclude certain terms. Capitalize AND, OR, and NOT when used in a search. Examples include:

  • global AND warming
  • global OR warming
  • global NOT warming
  • Shakespeare AND (tragedy OR sonnet)

Can I use wildcards in a search?

Yes. If you want to search for alternate spellings of a word or search for multiple words with the same base, or if you aren't sure of the correct spelling, you can use either a question mark or an asterisk.

  • Enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the strings woman, women.
  • Enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culture, cultural, and culturally.


Will the system provide alternate spelling suggestions?

Yes. If you misspell a word or if there are similar search terms, the system will generally provide an alternate spelling suggestion or it will search phrases it knows to be correct, offering the option to search the misspelled phrase instead.


What is UBorrow?

UBorrow is a statewide interlibrary loan system in which you can borrow materials from any of the 40 public colleges and universities in Florida. If you have a valid student ID at a Florida college or university, you may request delivery of certain materials held at another Florida state college or university. Those materials are designated with a Uborrow Request link.


Can I get citations in the discovery tool?

Yes. Choose the quotation marks I the record actions list. A window will expand. Choose the desired citation style. The citation styles are updated by the vendor when they become available. Please check your citations carefully.


Can I save items while I try a different search?

Yes. Look for the pin icon and click on it. Your selections will be saved until you end your session or close the browser window. To view saved items, click the pin icon in the top right. If you are logged in when you pin items, the system will retain them.


Can I save a search?

Yes.  Signed-in users can save searches between sessions and receive email alerts when there is an update to the saved search query. Click the pin icon (My Favorites) to view your saved search and set the email alert. To delete a saved query, click the unpin button in My Favorites.


How do I use the citation trail?

The citation trail icons display on the brief record.  This is an exploration tool that helps users find related articles and explore the topic further. You will not always see citation trails, but if citations are available, you can view related citations that are either cited in the record   in your results list or which cite the record  in your results list.