Primo and MetaLib PWGs: a meeting of minds?

The Primo and Metalib PWGs are proposing that the relationship between them be discussed as an important item at a joint meeting of our two PWGs in Haifa (Session 13.1) this September.

There are significant drivers that press for a consideration of the relationship between the two Groups:

●     the Primo Central Index (PCI) and its accessibility via the Primo user interface service

●     integration of MetaLib with PCI through the Primo UI service (MetaLibPlus)

●     MetaLib NextGen (MNG), the URD2 and Alma (URM)

●     take-up of MetaLibPlus by MetaLib customers

●     a strong steer from the IGeLU Steering Committee

Hither Primo Central Index

The Primo Central Index is now available as a single search of many of the resources searchable through MetaLib and over time, PCI coverage will tend towards the comprehensiveness of coverage offered by MetaLib.

The PCI is available as a CKB resource configurable for search as a MetaLib target. More significantly, it is available as a resource discovery tool using the Primo user interface as a service hosted by Ex Libris.

Remaining resources, in particular local, can be made available via MetaLibPlus by interoperating with local MetaLib systems also through the Primo service. The complete PCI + MetaLib via Primo service has been branded as ‘MetaLibPlus’ by Ex Libris, who regard this as the first step towards providing the next generation MetaLib. MetaLibPlus will continue to be enhanced in response to feedback from customers.

Ex Libris expect that there will be a steady transition of MetaLib customers adopting MetaLibPlus although this process is expected to take time and Ex Libris will continue to release MetaLib service packs, although product development will focus on the MetaLibPlus service and improving the integration of federated search therein.

Whither MetaLib?

Some Primo customers are subscribing to PCI without MetaLib and there is a significant take-up of PCI by both MetaLib and non-MetaLib customers. Indications are that Ex Libris will await feedback from MetaLibPlus customers before determining whether or not MetaLib will continue to be developed significantly.

Not all resources in the MetaLib CKB are contained in PCI so there is still a requirement for the CKB. Moreover customers may want to continue to add and configure local and other resources not in the CKB in MetaLib, using MetaLib’s back-office functions.

But Primo itself provides a platform for both local and remote services through a common UI with PCI, allowing a trivial interconnection between the two services. Moreover Primo provides a means for merging local Primo and PCI search results into one blended result set.

Product Working Groups

MetaLib is undergoing considerable changes and its future involves use of Primo technology as well as the Primo Central Index. Within the context of MetaLibPlus, back-office functionality and CKB components still have importance in complementing PCI while there are still resources not included in it, but the probability is that the Primo interface will offer a more attractive and better performing option to our users with improving coverage of our resources over time.


MetaLib & Primo: the perfect union? (picture by Ben Husmann)

Should your user groups continue separately to pursue MetaLib for its back-office and CKB components, or would we be better off concentrating increasing efforts on Primo Central mindful of these MetaLib-specific components? Given a reducing interest in MetaLib, are our interests better served by separate Primo and MetaLib product working groups working together on Primo Central Index, or could they be better served by a single Primo group with MetaLib representation and common aims?

Consideration of the relationship between the MetaLib and Primo PWGs will be debated at a combined business meeting of the two Groups in Haifa in September, and it is very much hoped that you can be part of that debate. Also if you want to comment or otherwise contribute outside of the business meeting, please feel free to do so via the user group product lists or by contacting either of your respective PWG groups or coordinators direct.

Jeremy Acland, IGeLU MetaLib PWG Coordinator
Mandy Stewart, IGeLU Primo PWG Coordinator