Meeting on the ledge

(or why I don't get out much…..)

Ex Libris announces Primo Central

Late to the party as usual, I’ve just come across Primo Central. According to Ex Libris press release this is “a centralized, hosted Primo® index that covers data harvested from primary and  secondary publishers and aggregators”. In other words, when your users do a Primo search they get to search not only all the resources you’ve added yourself, but also many more which are selected by Ex Libris, to give a merged de-duped results set of both local and remote materials of good quality.  Ex Libris are doing the job most libraries don’t have the staff to do, of harvesting remote resources. The effect of course is that your users then get better results, which benefits them and gains kudos for the library!

This is of course only an extension to what Ex Libris already do – the SFX and Metalib knowledge bases have long provided a set of free resources, but extending this to publishers like EBSCO, IOPP, etc and  tying it in with Primo is I think a big step in making information retrieval easier for our users. My library doesn’t have the funds to purchase federated or vertical search products at the moment, but if we did it makes us more likely to choose the Ex Libris offerings (which is of course Ex Libris ultimate aim!). There is an added cost of  course, and I haven’t seen any indicative prices in the literature I’ve seen, but little comes for free these days.

To some extent it seems like a library reaction to initiatives like Google Scholar: although Google Scholar is a great tool it has never involved the library community as fully as it might, while Primo Central brings things much more under library control and branding. I wonder if other suppliers will react to compete with it?

August 13, 2009 - Posted by | Libraries | ,

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