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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2021 MAY–JUNE No. 440

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New Library Services Platform and Public Catalog Coming Soon

New Library Services Platform and Public Catalog Coming Soon. NLM Tech Bull. 2021 May-Jun;(440):e3.

2021 May 10 [posted]

In March 2020, we announced our plans to transition from the Voyager Integrated Library System to the Alma Library Services Platform. On June 8, 2021, NLM staff will begin using Alma for core library operations including acquisitions, cataloging, collection management, and circulation. With its unified resource management capabilities and advanced workflows, Alma will enable NLM to actively manage print and online collection items on a single platform.

On June 8, NLM will also introduce a new platform for the LocatorPlus public access catalog to the NLM collection. LocatorPlus will be powered by Primo VE, replacing the WebVoyage Classic software and SFX OpenURL link resolver, known as Get it @ NLM. The NLM Catalog under the NCBI Entrez platform will also remain available.

System Transition Period

On May 14, at approximately 7 p.m. EDT, the Voyager system will be frozen to prepare for data extraction and migration. Data in LocatorPlus and the NLM Catalog will be current as of the May 14 freeze. On June 8, the NLM Catalog and Primo VE-powered LocatorPlus will begin reflecting new staff work in Alma.

Once Primo VE goes live on June 8, LocatorPlus powered by WebVoyage Classic will remain available to users until August 31, 2021, but the data will only be current as of May 14, 2021.

What is Primo VE?

Primo VE is built on modern, cloud-based technology and will offer NLM users more intuitive searching of the NLM collection. Soon to be available at, the responsive layout better supports accessing NLM content with small-screen devices such as mobile phones and tablets (see Figure 1). 

screenshot of New Primo-VE based LocatorPlus Catalog.
Figure 1: New Primo-VE based LocatorPlus Catalog.

Benefits of Primo VE

Primo VE includes these key features:

  • Seamless integration with NLM’s Alma system, enabling real-time display of bibliographic, holdings, and item records with ability to request items
  • Display of on-order and in-process collection items
  • Ability to view/download MARC records
  • Advanced search with multiple configuration options
  • Grouping and filtering of search results in a variety of ways using facets
  • Expanded search term suggestions using MeSH, LCSH, and Wikipedia
  • Journal information, such as indexing information, publisher information, earlier/later title information, title abbreviations, etc.
  • Access to licensed electronic resources
  • Ability to manage your favorite search results, save searches, and create email notifications and RSS feeds for your saved searches. You can also create a QR code for a search query.
  • Voice activated search

The New to the Collections feature is replaced in Primo VE with the New Records and Location facets.

The SFX A-Z journal list is replaced in Primo VE by the Journal Search, which allows for browsing by title and ISSN. The SFX Citation Linker is replaced by Primo VE’s Citation Linker.

Please note Primo VE does not include all the features currently found in LocatorPlus. Searching the authority files is no longer available with Primo VE, but all MeSH subjects are available via the MeSH Browser. The Library of Congress Name Authority file contains 99% of the personal and corporate names and uniform titles used by NLM, so our access points can be found in OCLC’s authority file or via the Library of Congress Authorities or Library of Congress Names service.   

Logging In

You will be able to log into Primo VE using a third-party login or federated credentials. These are credentials that you use on other sites such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, research organizations,, and NIH credentials. You will see a list of all available login options on the login screen.

If you previously had an account in LocatorPlus, it will not carry over to Primo VE. You will need to create a new account when you first log into Primo VE.

Z39.50 Searching

NLM will continue to provide Z39.50 access to its bibliographic records. On June 8, the connection parameters will change from what they currently are for LocatorPlus to the new access parameters for Alma/Primo VE.

The new Z39.50 connection parameters are:


Database: 01NLM_INST

Port: 1921

After going live with Alma and Primo VE on June 8, this Knowledge Base page will be updated with these parameters and the full attribute table. The NLM Record Number (NLM Unique Identifier – NLMUID) will no longer be available for searching through Z39.50 as this is not supported for Alma.

We welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments, questions, or concerns to NLM Customer Support.

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