Searching Library Collections Made Easy

8 October 2008

SOLOThe University of Oxford is introducing a new online integrated search service that will provide enhanced access to the rich collections of the Bodleian, University and College libraries. Developed by ExLibris, SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) was officially launched for the users on 1 October 2008 just in time for the start of the new academic year.

SOLO offers a one-stop search and delivery solution for quickly accessing Oxford’s main library information resources regardless of type, format, or location. These include OLIS (Oxford's union catalogue of printed and electronic books), ORA (Oxford University Research Archive), OxLIP+ (currently over 800 e-resource databases) and OU E-Journals (over 28,000 e-journals).

SOLO also allows readers to cross-search selective databases leading to increased discovery of interdisciplinary research materials. Search results are presented with a wide array of additional links to improve resource discovery. Personalisation services let users set up alerts, save searches, and export results to bibliographic management packages, etc. The Single-Sign-On will offer easy access to subscription resources, whether on or off campus.

This is the initial release of SOLO and its development is an ongoing process. Catalogues of special collections will be added to the system over the next year, as will new search facilities. Over time additional resources and features will be added and the user interface will also be refined.

Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian and Director of Oxford University Libraries, said: ‘The Oxford University Libraries have vast and complex collections of e-resources and printed material. Thanks to ExLibris, SOLO brings all our collections together to the user’s fingertips and offers a completely new approach to browsing our resources. It is a powerful tool which makes our collections even more accessible to users worldwide.’

‘We are delighted that following its very thorough selection process, Oxford University Libraries chose the Primo as the basis for its SOLO service,’ commented Matti Shem Tov, president and CEO of Ex Libris. ‘It has been a great pleasure to continue our close cooperation with Oxford University Libraries, which began with the rapid implementation of the SFX OpenURL link resolver in 2007 and the MetaLib gateway and metasearch solution in May 2008. Following SOLO’s debut, we are looking forward to making additional resources from the University of Oxford’s rich collections, such as historic archives, accessible via SOLO.’

The SOLO platform, Oxford University’s customized collection search engine, is based on PRIMO, a product developed by ExLibris. SOLO is available from or via the Oxford University Library Services website

Information on how to use the new search engine can be found on the posters displayed in the reading rooms or on the OULS guides website. Staff members will also be available to help.

ExLibris Group is a leading worldwide developer and provider of high-performance applications for libraries, information centres, and researchers, with installations around the globe. The Group’s flagship ALEPH 500 and Voyager® integrated library solutions are in use at over 3,000 sites worldwide. For additional information on ExLibris Group, see

Other ExLibris products implemented by the Oxford University Library Services are: OxLIP+ powered by MetaLib and OU e-journals powered by SFX.

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