Submit Your Enhancement Ideas to NERS!

Now is the perfect time to submit that enhancement idea you’ve been thinking about to NERS. Take some time and collect your examples and screenshots. Then get a colleague to look it over. The clearer your idea is communicated, the better chance it will have of getting implemented.

Here are the steps and best practices for submitting an enhancement request to NERS.

  • Log in with your institutional credentials:
  • Navigate to the ‘Request’ tab
  • Check to see if your enhancement already exists
    • Enter keyword (optional)
    • Choose your product
    • Choose request status ‘new’
    • Click search
  • Once you determine your idea is unique click on the ‘ADD’ button.
  • Be as detailed as possible when describing your idea. Attach documentation. Help those at other institutions understand your great idea by choosing your words wisely. Get someone else to review your idea before submitting to make sure it’s clear.
  • Press the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom.

Primo VE Summit

In October, representatives from the ELUNA/IGeLU Primo Working Groups met with Ex Libris product management for 4 days to discuss development plans and issues related to the Primo VE product – a version of Primo tightly integrated within the Alma Library Service Platform. The goal of this product is to provide a superior experience for users and a streamlined, easy to maintain administrative experience for library staff.

A few preliminary insights from the visit:

1) New Alma customers will be encouraged to implement Primo VE because of advantages in real-time publishing and simplified administration. Existing Primo customers who use Alma are also encouraged to migrate to Primo VE.

2) Primo as a stand-alone product (with or without Alma) will continue to be developed and supported in tandem with Primo VE. Customers already on Primo and their various hosting scenarios (locally-hosted, direct, single and multi-tenant) will continue to be supported, including customers with high degrees of customization, reliance on Primo X-services (a web API replaced by restful APIs) or dependency on MetaLib.

3) With the development of Primo VE, Ex Libris has changed the search architecture from Lucene to SOLR. This shift allows for normalization rule changes to take effect immediately, omitting the need for a separate reindexing process of the underlying data. This architecture change also allows some features, such as facets, to be rendered at the time of query rather than requiring a separate re-index/hot swap process.

4) The import of records from external data sources is currently supported for Dublin Core and XML via OAI-PMH, SFTP, and FTP. MARC21 from non-Alma sources will be made available before the end of the current year.

5) X-Services and SOAP web services are not supported by Primo VE. Primo VE supports the RESTful API Suite, which provides access to search capabilities and results. Customers using these older integration services must update their applications to use the REST-based APIs if they are considering transitioning to Primo VE.

6) The New UI in both systems utilizes the same customization package framework, ensuring customization compatibility across Primo and Primo VE environments. While Primo VE does not currently allow for the creation of Central Package inheritance, Ex Libris is working to incorporate this functionality via Alma’s Network Zone service. The loading of customization packages within a Network Zone will also allow the creation of union catalog search applications.

We wish to thank our hosts, Ex Libris, for taking the time to discuss the 259 user stories from 72 different institutions, and the ELUNA/IGeLU Working Group team for taking time out of their schedules to participate. The team will publish a full report to the ELUNA/IGeLU user community, including details on the topic of data normalization, by the end of the calendar year.

An agenda of topics and list of attendees can be found here. A full report will be available in January, 2019.  The goal is to provide a useful document for those existing Primo customers who are thinking about migrating.

For interested customers, a panel discussion will also be held at ELUNA 2019 in Atlanta with ELUNA team members and Ex Libris participants. We hope you can join us.

Accessibility and the New Primo User Interface

A number of customers have posted to the listserv about user interface issues related to accessibility.  The Primo Working Group will be discussing user stories with Ex Libris during our management call in January.  Please look for a survey in early January where the working group will be asking about barriers to access for the differently abled.  

Alma/Primo VE Sandbox Quarterly Refresh

The product working group chairs for Alma and Primo circulated a survey trying to assess the impact of a sandbox refresh cycle for customers with premium sandboxes.  The proposed refresh policy affected users of Alma and applications integrated with the Alma platform – namely Primo VE and Leganto. Over 100 institutions responded to the survey.  The product working groups and Ex Libris are analyzing customer feedback. We will be making recommendations based on feedback from that survey. For now, please disregard the timeline for the new sandbox policy that was published on October 17th.  We will update you on a new schedule and any changes that we may apply to the new policy. Until that time, the current sandbox refresh policy is still in effect.

Exciting developments with Primo Studio

The Primo Working group has been discussing ways to promote Primo Studio to third-party providers as well as community members.  Recently, Third Iron implemented a plugin for their Browzine/LibKey platform. Third Iron’s John Seguin demonstrated their plugin, talked about their development process and discussed with Ex Libris ways to support third-party development within the platform.  

Additionally, Primo Studio has added support for Central Package management, a widget to add custom icons and a cool text editor directly within your customization package!  Check out the new developments for this exciting initiative at

Enhancement news: Add support for any citation style via Citation Style Language (CSL)

We’d like to share an exciting update on NERS 5381: Add support for any citation style via Citation Style Language (CSL). Ex Libris will be implementing this feature in the Primo February release and PrimoVE January release. More information on how to implement CSLs in your UI will be forthcoming in webinars and documentation.

Ex Libris has taken an approach that supports maximum flexibility for customers. The enhancement is designed to allow you to implement any CSL that has been defined through You can choose which of these styles you want to present to your users in the UI. This same code base is in many well-known products including Zotero and Mendeley. Due to this enhancement, you can also contribute your own code for a citation style language (or correct an existing one) and use it in Primo/PrimoVE.

Share your knowledge: for those in the community who know how to change and/or write CSLs, we encourage you to present at ELUNA with a topic of “How to contribute your own GitHub CSL.” Submit a proposal!

Primo will be refreshed periodically with the updated GitHub code base to keep pace with new and changed styles. Initially, the refresh will occur quarterly for Primo and monthly for PrimoVE. The list of styles can be seen via the GitHub repository: They include styles that haven been requested in NERS in the past, such as Vancouver, IEEE, American Medical Association, etc.

Enhancement News: What happened to the 2017 Enhancements?

In case you’re wondering about whether Ex Libris delivered any of the enhancements from last year, we would like to remind users what was voted on in 2017 and what has been delivered so far:

  • Add support for any citation style via Citation Style Language (CSL) – February 2019 Release
  • Zotero Support in New Primo User interface – February 2018 Release
  • Improve date functionality for resources that cover ranges of dates – August 2018 Release
  • Hyperlinked headings should link to Browse list, not perform keyword search – To be announced
  • Clickable related titles in Item Details Page – May 2018 Release
  • Primo Central Index: Open Access indicator and facet – May 2018 Release

As a reminder, the following enhancements were accepted for Primo during the 2018 enhancement voting cycle:

  • Short Permalinks for records and searches
  • Informative Text for Non-extendable Loans in the user area
  • Add User’s Ability to Select Multiple Items for Renewal
  • Improvements to PCI Administration
  • Citation trail indicator back on brief display
  • Customizations for emails generated in the new UI *
    (*18 months required for this enhancement)

Allen Jones, The New School
Chair, ELUNA Primo/MetaLib Working Group