Primo is the name of the UCF Libraries' Catalog. Use Primo to locate books, eBooks, videos, journals, and other resources owned by the Libraries. To begin, click the Primo tab in the center of the Libraries' homepage:
Enter a keyword, title, or author in the search bar. You can select books, videos, articles, or journals is you want to limit your results to a specific format.
Search Scope: Also note the "Pick search scope" option next to the search bar. There are fours options with this:
The options are important:
Everything in Primo: This will search beyond the UCF catalog and retrieve results for resources not owned by UCF but that can be requested via Inter-Library Loan. this is a good option if you watt to be comprehensive in your searching and see everything that's available.
Available Now: Excludes items that are not readily available such as books or videos that are checked out.
Library Catalog: Searches for books, videos, and other resources that are in the UCF libraries' collection and that may be available to check out or access online. This search excludes journal articles and book chapters.
Course Reserves: Searches for items that instructors have placed on reserve. these items are only available to students in designated classes.
CMC Catalog: Searches only for items located in the Curriculum Materials Center in the education complex. these will mostly be education, young adult, and children's titles.
For example, here's an image of the results page for a simply search on "poetry" in Primo:
This search yields 52,732 results. Before we discuss how to use the search filters to narrow and refine your results, let's look at the different location options because those are important as well. The screenshot displays the three main options you will encounter:
UCF Main Library General Collection: These books are located exclusively on the fourth floor or the library. You can go to this part of the collection and browse the stacks for the call number in the record, in this case PR551 .C27 2001. Also make sure the record indicates that the title is Available in green, otherwise there will be a date indicating that the book has been checked out.
Also note that Main in the record is important. This indicates that the book is available at the John C. Hitt Library on the main campus. You may also see other locations such as Valencia or Rosen. If there's something you want at one of those libraries, you can place an Inter-Library Loan request.
Available Online: The second item in the results is listed as "Available Online," which means that's an eBook. To access it, simply click the link and follow the prompts in the record to whichever platform has that book. Note that we purchase eBooks from many vendors, so the quality, usability, and access of eBooks will vary.
UCF ARC Main: The third option is important because of the word "ARC" in the location record. ARC stands for "Automating Retrieval Center," which is the new building behind the main library. The distinction is that the ARC is not open to patrons, so you need to place a request for books in the ARC. This process is explained in the next section.
Advanced Search Options: There is also an Advanced Search option located below the main search bar on the Libraries home page:
This option will allow you to conduct a combined keyword search while applying other search limiters for a more refined results list. For example, here's an advanced search for "Beat Generation" AND Gender limited to books within the UCF Libraries' collection:
Note that you can add a new line to add a third keyword and select languages and date ranges.
Once you run a search and get some results, the advanced search filters will appear in the sidebar to help you narrow and refine your results by location, publication date, language, document type, and subject. There limiters are particularly important when researching a subject like poetry, which is broad and far ranging. But you can quickly use the limiters to narrow your results by subcategory, language, time period, and geographic location.
Because the Hitt Library is undergoing an extensive renovation, many of the books from our general collection have been transferred into the Automatic Retrieval Center, or ARC for short. The Arc is located behind the Hitt Library and it is not accessible to patrons. Therefore, materials located in the RC need to be requested. Here's an overview of how that process works.
Books that say "Available at UCF ARC Main..." need to be requested from the ARC. To initiate a request click on the title look for the "Sign in to see request options" on the record page. For example:
We can see from this record that the item is in place and available to be requested by clicking the sign in option where you'll enter your NID and your NID password. Once you do that, you'll be directed to a page to complete your request:
The final step is to select a pickup location from the menu:
Then click "send request" to complete the process. Requests placed during hours are generally filled in 15-20 minutes. You'll receive an email notification once your book is ready and it will be held at the location you selected for one week.
For more information about the ARC, see this guide, which includes a video of the ARC in action:
Virtual Browsing: Once you get a list of results, click on any one of the title to get the fill record, which will include additional information such as the location within the library, including the call number as well as an abstract or summary, related subject terms, and a table of contents.
At the bottom of each record is a virtual browsing area where you can scroll through related titles that would normally appear on the shelf along with the book in the main record. For example, here's the virtual browsing selection for
This feature helps recreate the experience of browsing shelves in library stacks, which can often lead to the discovery of new books related to your topic. For more information, watch this Virtual Browse video:
There will likely be time in which you need to request a book or article that we don't have direct access to. In those cases, you'll need to place a request through our InterLibrary Loan services. Even if you have never used this service before, you can log into your account with your NID and NID password:
Once you log in, you'll be asked to set up your account by entering your contact information, then you can requests books, book chapters, articles, and other resources. You can also link directly to ILL from Primo and our databases... more about this will be discussed in the database section below.