This is exactly what we do in Primo. OPAC functionality is built right into the system without the end user needing to jump from the discovery service to the ILS. End users can find, view online, or request resources using one, unified system. End users also manage their personal details and system settings in one, unified account, directly from their Primo interface. Karsten Kryger Hansen, a development consultant from Aalborg University, which uses Primo integrated with Aleph said, “OPAC functionality in Primo gives an integrated experience of working with a single system also when it comes to the user’s personal account.” Having one library account and managing it in one interface is simply much easier for end users.
Customers are pleased with the OPAC functionality offered by Primo. Jack Ammerman, associate university librarian for digital initiatives and open access from Boston University, said that his options have vastly improved thanks to the Primo-Alma integration. He can set different privileges for various user groups, and users can request that items be digitized, options that were not available in Boston University’s previous OPAC. And, after extensive testing, Ammerman found that Primo has superior known item searching—a frequent activity for users coming to the OPAC to access or borrow a specific item—over BU’s previous OPAC.
My Account – Items currently checked out at Boston University
Additionally, thanks to the flexibility and openness of the Primo system, both Aalborg University and Boston University have been able to customize their user interfaces to suit their precise needs. Aalborg University added tooltips to inform users of the particular library in which the item is located, and a “where is the book?” service, which provides a map of each item’s location.
Tooltips at Aalborg University
Searching WorldCat at Boston University
”I want this” tab at the British Library
The library world is heading toward system consolidation. The better we integrate systems, the less librarians have to actively ensure that the systems are coordinated, and the simpler and more intuitive it becomes for end users to find the materials they need. Ex Libris has invested in innovation in library discovery and automation for a long time, and the results show. To date, Ex Libris is the only player that has been able to actually provide an end to end solution that integrates discovery with ILS. The Primo integrated OPAC experience is already a reality today.
July 9, 2013