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Primo (Library Catalog): Primo Tips

Primo is the new Library Catalog

Primo (Library Catalog)

Primo Search

Find Books, E-books, Articles, DVDs, and Streaming Videos

Looking for more Tips and Tricks of what you can do? Check our Primo Guide

A look at how to use Primo, South Florida State College's new Library Catalog.

Do I need to sign in to use Primo?

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

                Not Logged In                             Logged In

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.  Primo is integrated with Panther Central and if you are logged in already, you should be seamlessly logged in. If you’re not logged int, 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 with a Panther Central account, choose the first option, Single Sign-On. If you are a Community Borrower with the ability to login, use the second option labeled Other.

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.

Library Card

How do I get back to the Catalog after finishing with my Library Card?

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

Back to Search

How do I select which records to Search?

You can choose the group of records, or search scope, where you wish to do your search. These options include Everything, Library Catalog, Statewide Catalog, and Articles. 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.

Selecting a Search Scope

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Statewide catalog includes the holdings of all 40 Florida public colleges and universities.
  • Articles includes online articles and other electronic content.

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,Primo will return results that contain all the specified terms.

How do I search for a Book, Video, etc. by Title?

Select “Library Catalog”, enter the title in the basic search box and click the search icon.

search for "jane austen"

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.

Resource Type

You can also choose Browse search. 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.

Browse for Great Gatsby

How do I search for an Author?

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

Search for Virginia Woolf

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.

Browse for Virginia Woolf

Can I Search for a Phrase or an Exact Match?

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

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 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 Primo 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.

Search for Yosemete National Forest - corrected to Yosemite

Search for Cantebury Tales - Canterbury Suggested

Can I get Citations in Primo?

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

How to cite Year of Magical Thinking

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.

Save Query

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.

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. As an SFSC Student or Faculty/Employee, you may request delivery of certain materials held at another Florida state college or university. Those materials are designated with a Uborrow Request link.

UBorrow Request

General Search Tips

  • Start your search in Primo, then look in subject specific databases for more specific results.
  • Boolean Search terms: AND gives you only results with both of your search terms, OR gives you results with either one of your search terms (but not necessarily both of them), NOT excludes results with that search term.
  • Start general, and refine to a specific search.  If you have a general idea of what you would like to focus on, search a broad term, and then refine as you discover what is available. 
  • Look at the subject terms and keywords that the articles you find are using. If they seem relevant, you may wish to incorporate them into your search terms.
  • If your results are too broad, add additional search terms to refine your search.
  • Searching for a specific phrase? Place it in quotation marks to search for those exact works in that order. For example: “To be or not to be” will find that specific phrase, rather than each word individually.
  •  Need to find a word or phrase in an article PDF, an e-book, or on a webpage? Use CTRL and F to open a search box that will search the text within a document.

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