The University of Texas Libraries launched a new library services platform from vendor Ex Libris this January that will make organizing and accessing library resources easier than ever before.
The system is distinguished by a unified suite of tools featuring a user discovery component – Primo, which serves as the front end interface – and a resource management component – Alma – that will enhance user experience while optimizing workflows for back end processes at the Libraries. The Primo/Alma integration has already been adopted by other peer institutions and Association of Research Libraries (ARL) institutions with great success.
Alma is designed to handle all resource types (electronic, print and digital), and incorporates back end library operations (acquisitions, cataloging, electronic resource management, circulation, etc.) in a unified and comprehensive way. It is browser-based, oriented to modern web standards and technologies and capable of robust functionality. It also provides the Libraries with a modern, next-generation solution that creates efficiencies by streamlining processes and workflows, enabling seamless and timely data exchange across various systems, facilitating greater resource sharing and providing robust analytics.
Primo, the discovery interface for Alma, is the premier discovery solution from ExLibris. It works seamlessly with Alma to optimize real-time discovery and delivery of library resources with an advanced user interface, serendipitous discovery via virtual browsing and advanced integration to include a wealth of library resources.
The transition to the system was necessitated by the exponential growth of resources and the expanding breadth of digital publications in tandem with the development of new technologies in the intervening decade since the Libraries launched its previous services platform.
A comprehensive two-year investigation of options for a new system established the predominance of the ExLibris product, which is used by library systems at Harvard and in the University of California System. Coordination and implementation efforts for the new library services platform began in 2019, and the system will continue to be enhanced to improve functionality and user experience based on community feedback and changes in library services, resources and processes.
For more information and a user guide, see https://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/library-service-platform.