University of Nebraska online libraries incorporate new catalog and discovery tool

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Zach Gilbert
NEWS EDITOR

A new interface for identifying and locating research materials on online libraries in the University of Nebraska system will soon aid students in their studies. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications.

Students and staff who make use of online libraries in the University of Nebraska system will now be able to access a next-generation library catalog and discovery tool when searching for books, databases and other research resources.

The most notable update to the online libraries in the University of Nebraska system will be the inclusion of a new interface for identifying and locating research materials. Search results will now be ranked by “relevancy,” and an innovative resource called “Primo Central” will provide “easy access to over a billion citations to scholarly materials obtained from various publishers and open access repositories.”

“Students and faculty will appreciate the new system for finding and utilizing the UNO Libraries’ vast collection of databases, journals, and books,” said Dave Richards, dean of library services. “The success of this program is a testament to the UNCL libraries’ commitment to collaboration and in support of the vision of One University, Four Campuses and Five Libraries.”

In addition, library users will be able to save records, searches and search histories; add records and searches to a “favorites” cache; save records to various citation managers; create permanent links to records; request materials via delivery/interlibrary loan; and virtually browse books on the shelf around materials in your search results.

Despite this overhaul, many features will still remain the same. For example, the search box itself will still be available in its normal form for any who access the UNO Libraries home page to search for print and electronic materials, including books, videos and journal articles. Meanwhile, user accounts for students and staff will be automatically updated to each individual’s UNO Net ID – the username and password for online services that are specific to UNO (such as Canvas, Office 365, gMav and more).

Charlene Maxey-Harris, interim associate dean and institutional lead for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, was very optimistic about the possibilities of this new addition to all University of Nebraska online libraries.

“I am really excited about the increased access to articles, open access materials, and other digital resources that are available in our local library collections and scholarly community resources,” Maxey-Harris said. “I know our students, faculty, and staff will enjoy customizing their search results with the new tools in Primo VE.”

Librarians and library staff are equally enthusiastic about these changes, as they “[unify] library services and [allow] University of Nebraska libraries to share resources and expertise across all campuses.” Shelley Witte – a project manager from the University of Nebraska’s ITS’ office of project management – has served as the project manager of this migration effort, and she was also hopeful for the new abilities for inter-campus communication. 

“Ex Libris’ Alma/Primo library services platform will support University of Nebraska libraries in such a way to allow us to provide better services to the respective campuses and improve academic and research outcomes,” said Witte.

More than 85 staff members from across the University of Nebraska system participated in this project, and despite potential delays from the pandemic, it was able to finish on time. 

For more information about the updates to University of Nebraska online libraries, contact Joyce Neujahr, assistant dean of library services, at jneujahr@unomaha.edu or 402-554-3607.

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