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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

Primo Help: Home

Moving truck and box with text reading Primo-gration



In June 2019, Butler Library launched a new library catalog and discovery platform. The new system, called Primo, will offer a single search interface for finding library materials and managing your library account.

New and improved features in Primo:

New Search Interface

Primo replaces Summon as the search interface that connects you to the print and electronic resources provided by Butler Library. Primo and Summon share many common elements, and those who are comfortable with searching in Summon will be equally comfortable using ALLsearch, Primo’s discovery layer.

Enhanced Library Account Management

Library accounts will be simplified and accessed with a single, easy-to-use interface. By signing in, you will be able to view check-outs, submit hold requests, renew materials, and view fines/fees.

Improvements to Borrowing Services

For most items, faculty loan periods have been extended to 16 weeks and students will benefit with end of semester due dates. If you can't find what you need in Butler Library, search for and request books from other SUNY libraries within Primo.

Migrations of this sort are challenging! Every effort is being made to minimize impacts on your library experience; however, some disruptions may occur. Thank you for your patience as we work through the process, especially during the immediate post-migration period in the summer of 2019, when we will be doing intensive cleanup.

Rest assured – we’ll be here to provide support for you and your students throughout and after the migration.


What is Primo?

An Ex Libris product, Primo is the application providing the customer interface to an institution’s resources (print, electronic, and digital).

What is Alma?

An Ex Libris product, Alma supports the tasks necessary to keep your library in operation. These include acquisitions, cataloging, fulfillment, and assessment. The Alma application is used by your Library staff and replaces the library's old library system, Aleph.

Why are we migrating?

SUNY’s contract with Aleph (current system) expires in 2020. In anticipation of this change, the needs of SUNY libraries were considered alongside the current library software market. Ex Libris’s Alma and Primo were chosen as the next system. The data in Aleph will need to be migrated to the new system. In addition, workflow changes will be necessary and opportunities for collaboration and cooperation will emerge in the new system environment.

What systems will go away and be replaced?

There is a lot of functionality in both Alma and Primo which will replace several existing systems. Systems currently in use that will be replaced include Aleph, our current discovery service (Summon), our current electronic holdings management system (Serials Solutions), and our current link resolver (360 Link).

What about Summon, how will I search for library materials?

Primo will be the new SUNY-wide discovery layer and will replace Summon. It would be possible to keep a separate discovery layer, but not practical. Primo is fully integrated with Alma. Summon would require a separate knowledge-base (360Core).

Primo looks and functions remarkably like Summon. Most users won’t notice a difference. Summon pulls metadata from all submitted records to create a ‘master’ record, they call this match-and-merge. This allows our patrons to search the full-text of a book even if we only have it in print or to see the table of contents even if our record is brief. Primo lacks this functionality.

Printable Guides

Help Documentation

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Buffalo State Implementation Team

  • Marsha Jurkowski - Head of Circulation
  • Carol Henning - Circulation
  • Sue Jaworski - Inter-library loan
  • Marianne Muha - Cataloging
  • Maureen Lindstrom - Scholarly Communications
  • Joe Riggie - Systems
Ex Officio members
  • Marc Bayer - Chair of Systems Working Group
  • Marianne Foley - Acquisitions Working Group

Implementation Timeline

Date Action
May 10, 2019 All data cleanup in Aleph ceases
May 24, 2019 Alma configuration freeze
May 28, 2019 Buffalo State begins cutover
May 29, 2019 Circulation freeze: Offline circulation only
May 30, 2019 ExLibris migration activities begin
June 10, 2019 Alma delivered: Data review begins
June 13, 2019 Buffalo State finishes cutover and is live on Alma

* July 1, 2019 - August 16, 2019 - Aleph extended use period (no web OPAC, no OCLC services)

** Summon remains active for 90 days post cutover

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E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State
1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878 6300
Fax: (716) 878-3134
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