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Primo Discovery Search: Discover Books, Journal Articles, and More

Try out our recently updated discovery search tool! This tool allows you to search Alma (our new library catalog), as well as our online journal and book databases

What is Primo?


                                                         Primo logo

Primo is a search tool that allows you to find and access information about a wide range of print and electronic resources all from a single search point. 

With Primo, you can search for books, journals and articles from our subscription databases, open access resources, and more, all from one interface.  

Primo Discovery search box is featured on the main page of our library web site at

Other libraries in the KCTCS system also feature Primo search boxes on their library pages. Resources available in Primo will vary, depending on what resources are available in each of the KCTCS libraries.  Primo is a system-wide search interface, so at times you will be able to see descriptive information about resources available at other colleges as well those available at BCTC. 

Access to specific resources will depend on whether your local college subscribes to or owns that item, so item availability will vary. If an item shows as "available" it may be that is is only available at some colleges in the KCTCS system. Be sure to access the full record for the item (by clicking on its title in the results list) to get further details about availability.


Sign In

In the right hand corner of Primo,  you will see the option to sign in.

Signing into Primo can help optimize your search, and you have access to special features, such as saving your favorite results.

If you see your name there already, (instead of the words "Sign in"), then you are already signed into Primo!


Primo sign in image

Research Help

Research Help

Come to the BCTC Library if you would like additional research assistance!

We will be happy to help you!

Using Filters; Availability

You can apply filters to your results, to fine tune your search.  Look at the right hand column of Primo for filter options.  

After selecting a filter, be sure to click the green "Apply Filters" button to activate the filter.

The Availability group of filters is very useful. You can limit your search to open access, peer-reviewed, held by library, or available online items. 

For example, to find out what items are available at BCTC in print ( i.e. physical materials ) you can use the limiter "held by library" when searching  within the Bluegrass CTC Resources view. 


filter by availablity - held by library


Does Primo Discovery contain everything the library has?

In a word, "No." Primo Discovery is a helpful tool that combines searching the library catalog with searching many of the library's databases as well as other sources, but not everything is included, as some things are not indexed by the Primo Central index.  However, the vast majority of our items are discoverable via Primo Discovery Search, and it provides a convenient starting point for finding research materials.

Does Primo Discovery sometimes show results of items the BCTC library does not have?

In a word, "Yes."  There sometimes will be results that you find in Primo Discovery that our local BCTC library does not have. If you find an item you want but the BCTC library does not have it locally, you may be able to obtain it by using our BCTC Interlibrary Loan Service at:


Is Primo Discovery the only way to access library resources?

Do you know the database you need, and don't want to search everything? You are welcome to use any of the database direct links on our library website, or search for a database by name.

Using Filters: Library

You can apply filters to your results, to fine tune your search.  Look at the right hand column of Primo for filter options.  

After selecting a filter, be sure to click the green "Apply Filters" button to activate the filter.

The Library group of filters is very useful. You can limit your search to items available at a specific BCTC campus library (Leestown and/or Newtown).  


filter by campus



Primo Discovery

Primo Discovery has recently been updated to the latest Primo VE version. We are interested in your feedback. 

Please fill out the brief form, below, with your comments and experiences:


Primo Discovery - Tell Us What You Think


Primo Search

Discover books, journal articles, and more . . .

Primo - Basic and Advanced Searching

Basic Searching

Search for library resources using Primo! Just type one or more words you are looking for into the Primo Discovery search box and then click the search button. Primo will begin a search for all the words you typed. 

To search for a specific phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase.  (example: "global warming")

If you like to use the Boolean operators OR or NOT, you must enter them in uppercase letters when using Primo for them to work as operators.

Once you have your initial search results, you can fine-tune them  by using facets.

Advanced Searching

You can also use the advanced search option for more precise searching. After doing a basic search, notice that there is an option to switch over to advanced search. Click on the words "Advanced Search" to go to the advanced search options.

                  Primo discovery search box image

There are many options to explore in the drop-down options of Advanced Search.  For example, here is one sample advanced search, for nursing journals, where the drop-down menu "subject" has been selected, and the material type "journal" has been selected:




Journal Search Tab

Journal Search 

Sometimes, you may want to see if BCTC has a specific journal, and you can use the journal search feature of Primo Discovery to do that.

Once in Primo Search interface, click on the selection "Journal Search" (It is near the top of the page)

  If you type "journal of modern literature" for instance, into the journal search box, you get results for that title using journal search:


Primo Journal Search image

Other Tools

Primo offers a number of useful tools that you can use to organize, save, and cite your research.  Log into Primo to get the maximum use out of tools.

Tools include:

Link Icon  = provides you with a permalink to the item

Envelope Icon = email the item link

Pushpin icon = save this item to your list of favorites within Primo

Ellipsis Icon = leads you to a few more tools, such as citation tool

(You can also find links to tools when you look at the full record of the item, by clicking on its title)

Subject Guide

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Maureen Cropper
Librarian / Professor
BCTC - Lexington, KY


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