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Information on our New Library Catalog, Primo

What is the new search?

Primo is the new University of Idaho search tool for finding materials in both University of Idaho Libraries and in Summit Libraries. It is similar to other library catalogs including our previous catalog, WorldCat Local. You can choose different search options to best meet your own needs:

  • UI Only (No Articles) searches books, DVDs, CDs, musical scores, maps, and special collections located at the University of Idaho
  • UI and Summit (No Articles) searches for the same types of materials at the University of Idaho and the 36 other libraries of the Orbis Cascade Alliance. Most Summit materials can be requested by UI patrons (3-5 days).
  • WorldCat is a worldwide library cataloging that helps you find resources not held by UI and Summit libraries. (This will probably not be a first choice for most beginning users.)
  • An Articles search retrieves journal articles from some of our largest and most popular article databases including JSTOR, Science Direct, Web of Science, Sage, Project Muse, and the Directory of Open Access Journals. *EBSCO databases are not included in Primo. To search for articles in an EBSCO database, select the database you want from the Databases by Title drop-down menu on the main page.*

Why did we change to Primo?

The switch to Primo is part of a major cooperative effort on behalf of the Orbis Cascade Alliance (Summit) to consolidate all 37 institutions' holdings into one single, shared library system. This move will allow for collaborative collection development and more cooperative workflows between Alliance libraries. Since it is managed "in the cloud," libraries will no longer need to maintain their own servers and manage the system.

Can I still access the same materials?

Yes, the same excellent collections are available to you, including books, articles, and more from the collections of the University of Idaho Libraries, Summit, and Interlibrary Loan, although the way you find these things will be a bit different.

What do the colored dots next to my results mean?

These color coded indicators let you know at a glance the availability of an item in our library. In general they denote the following:

Green - Available to you immediately either through electronic access or as a physical item on the shelf at the noted location.

Yellow - Held by at least one Summit library. Follow the link on the "Find It" tab to get more info on the item and to submit a request. If the item is available and it circulates via Summit, you can have a copy in your hands within 3-5 business days. Once all Summit libraries have moved to the new system, we expect that information regarding item availability and "borrowability" will be much more intuitive.

Grey - For books and other physical items, this indicates that our local copy is currently unavailable. Using the "Find It" tab, you can place a hold on our copy or submit a request via Summit/Interlibrary Loan. The grey dot next to an article means that it is not available via full-text online, and you will be able to request these items via Interlibrary Loan.

If I can't find what I'm looking for in the new catalog, what should I do?

In the early stages of the transition, search results may be difficult to interpret. If you can't find what you are looking for in Primo, contact the Reference Desk via any of the methods listed at for help locating and finding your item.

How do I place a Summit request?

The new system, Primo, makes it easy to request an item from Summit. Items with a yellow dot are held in Summit. Use the "Find it" tab under each title, then click "Request Item (about 5 days)". Summit searches will be even simpler once all Summit libraries transition to the new system (early 2015.)

What about Interlibrary Loan requests?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests will be placed through your ILL account as normal and all of the same materials will still be available to you via Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Why should I log in?

Logging in as a student, staff, or faculty member will allow premium access to our University of Idaho subscriptions, and will allow our catalog to customize services for you based on your account. Your user name and password will be the same as what you use to log on to your email or to lab computers; if you don't have a University of Idaho account, or just want to do a quick book search, you can easily access Primo as a guest user.

Try logging in here

Can I still view my library account?

Yes, you can still view your library account online. After signing-in you will be able to see all of your checked-out items, due dates, holds and renewal options.

Can I still access WorldCat Local?

WorldCat Local at will be available on a limited basis throughout the spring semester but will be no longer functional as of summer 2014.

Can I still access the classic catalog (Voyager)?

Voyager is no longer available.

Will the new catalog work on my mobile device?

Yes. Primo's mobile interface allows you to search the entire collection directly from your mobile device.

Does Primo work with citation management tools?

Yes, you can export results to various tools, although things may work a little differently than in WorldCat.

What if I had email alerts set up for new additions?

Library staff are working on ways for new books notifications to work with Primo. More information will be forthcoming as this functionality develops.

Can I still request items and have them delivered to my office?

Yes, you can still request inter-campus delivery. You can also place holds on available items and pick them up at the University of Idaho Library Circulation Desk-please allow 24 hours for requests to be processed.

Can I still request items and have them mailed to my location outside of Moscow?

Yes, distance students, staff, and faculty are still able to request item delivery. Use the "Request Item" feature under the "Find It" tab to have materials delivered by mail to your home or sent by courier to the Idaho State Law Library in Boise.

I have feedback on Primo. Who can I talk to?

We're still committed to providing excellent service, so feel free to contact us with any questions you have along the way. Please contact Ben Hunter directly via email at, or via phone at (208)885-5858.

Many thanks to the Lewis & Clark Watzek Library for providing the FAQ template