OC logo


Skip to main content

Primo Quick Start Guide: What is Primo?

What is Primo?

Think of Primo as the "Google" of library resources.  Primo is a tool that searches almost all of the library's databases and catalogs simultaneously, along with a small selection of vetted open-source eBooks and articles from trusted web sources.  The results list will contain a wide variety of books, eBooks, videos, images, and articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly peer-reviewed journals.  Websites are NOT included in Primo results.

Primo Quick Start


  • Enter your search term(s) in the search box. 
  • Do not enter questions or sentences. 
  • Click on the orange Search button to begin your search. 
  • There is also an Advanced Search page option to the right of the Search button.


Open & View Materials

Your initial list of results will contain a wide mix of material types including books, eBooks, Reference books, and articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.

  • Print books and Videos/DVDs that are physically located at the Library will have a Call Number and physical location listed in their description. 
  • To find the material at the Library, write down the Call Number, and go find the item in the Library. 
  • Books are shelved numerically by their Call Number.
  • For any material that is not physically at the Library (eBook, Reference Entry, Article, etc.)  select the “View Full Text” link to open the electronic version of the item. 
  • If you are off campus you will be asked for your Student ID Number and your last name.

Refine Results

  • You can quickly limit your results to peer-reviewed journal articles by selecting the “Peer-reviewed Journals” link at the top of the results page. 
  • To limit to other types of materials, select “More options” under the “Resource Type” limiter in the “Refine My Results” area on the left side of the results page.
  • You can also limit your search results to a wide variety of types of materials:
  • Just use the “Refine My Results” tools on the left side of the results page to limit by:
    • date,
    • author,
    • journal title,
    • subject headings. 



Search & Find

Powered by Primo by Ex Libris Learn more...

You may experience problems with access to newspaper articles. To remedy, search newspaper databases independently.

When should I use Primo?

Use Primo if:

  • You are short on time.
  • You need a wide variety of material types.
  • You want a general survey of what's available through the Library on your topic.
  • You just need enough information to get started on your research project.
  • You are ok encountering an occasional hiccup in the system.  Primo is still in "beta" and we are working out the bugs!

Use individual research databases if:

  • You want a very thorough examination of your topic.  Searching individual databases will usually yield more thorough results.
  • You need to run a very specific search with lots of limiters (ex. peer-reviewed journal articles describing evidence based practice, written by an RN)
  • You need newspaper articles. Use ProQuest or Newspaper Source (EBSCO) for newspaper articles.
  • You are researching local/regional issues. ProQuest and Newspaper Source are good options for local info.
  • You do not want to deal with occasional hiccups in the system. Primo is still in "beta" and we are working out the bugs!