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The Primo Open Discovery Framework: Examples from the Primo Community


June 08, 2017 | 3 min read |

Miri Botzer, Product Manager Discovery & Delivery, Ex Libris

The Ex Libris team devoted careful consideration to the technology and design of the Primo Open Discovery Framework. As we have seen, the result is a customizable application in which essentially every element can be adapted to meet user needs while ensuring consistency and stable product upgrades.

Primo customers have been quick to build on the Primo Open Discovery Framework, leveraging it to create novel features for their individual library environments. While the solution has obtained significant traction since its launch, we have been even more pleased to see a great deal of code sharing and engagement within the Primo community.

Some of the more noteworthy examples of Primo adaptations, shared via GitHub, have come from the Royal Danish Library, Leeward Community College Library, Boston University, and KU Leuven in Belgium. The enriching collaborative environment and customer feedback of the Primo community also generated some innovative additions shared by our own Primo developers.

The Royal Danish Library uses the Primo Open Discovery Framework to help library patrons search for resources more effectively and then evaluate those resources more intelligently. The library enhanced the discovery process by adding search tips, and has also embedded an Altmetrics widget in the displayed record pages to provide information on the impact of the sought item. The customization code is available on GitHub.


Altmetrics embedded in a Primo record page by the Royal Danish Library

The Leeward Community College Library in Pearl City, Hawaii, added the ability for users to directly communicate with the college’s librarians. They pinned an “Ask a Question” widget to the side of the search page that allows users to start a live chat, or to text or send an email to a librarian from within the Primo discovery interface.

Ask a Question Widget

Ask a Question widget by Leeward Community College Library

Boston University customized its new Primo user interface to reflect the university’s priorities and brand.

The customization code is available on GitHub.

Boston University customizations

Boston University customizations

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), located in Belgium, is one of the top universities in Europe and provides library-related services to many Belgian government and academic institutions. The university therefore chose to provide streamlined access to the client-side elements of Primo discovery. The library team was able to use built-in Ex Libris integration profile functionality to ensure the systems worked together. The customization code is available on GitHub.

Simple Domain Object Model

Simple Domain Object Model by KU Leuven

Ex Libris developers have shared several features with the Primo community that any library can adapt using the Primo Open Discovery Framework. One of these developments is a widget that facilitates the addition of information to Primo record metadata using linked open data. The customization code is available on GitHub.

Linked Data in Primo

Adding related subject terms through Linked Open Data by Ex Libris Developers

We expect the new Primo Open Discovery Framework to increasingly accelerate the introduction of innovations like these, which will continue to benefit the entire Primo community well into the future.

Click here to download “Driving Innovation through Collaboration,” our full paper on the Primo Open Discovery Framework.