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New Library Search Information: FAQ's


What does this migration mean for students?

Students will no longer need to have a physical library card to check out books and materials; the new system uses either your WNC or ACCEL student ID number instead. For Continuing Education students, we will need you to bring in a valid, state-issued, photo ID so that we can set you up with an account. In general, Continuing Education students will use their 10-digit phone number (without parenthesis or dashes) as their ID. We have found that some student accounts using phone numbers include dashes, so if you are unable to log in, try adding the dashes.

What is new and different?

Library Search offers an improved user experience for library patrons, bringing together services and search tools that used to be in several different interfaces. Enhanced or new features include the ability to:

  • Customize returned results
  • Save previous searches, books, articles, and citations to My Account
  • View reviews, summaries, and tables of contents (when available)
  • View library account history including loans, returns, etc.
  • Narrow search results by particular database or platform name
  • Export citations and other information to your email

Some of the differences you may see in the system include:

  • Advanced search options are now located on the left-hand side of the results page(s)
  • Request books or articles directly from the search site
  • To narrow down your search for eBooks, you will need to select "Available Online" as well as setting the "Resource Type" to "Book"
  • Resources from other institutions will not be included in search results unless the search bar drop down menu is changed from "Everything" to "Discovery Network Physical," making it easier to know what is available at WNC

What happened to the old catalog?

The WNC library is now using a new tool called Library Search for searching the library catalog and digital resources.This new tool has replaced the old catalog and search options, streamlining the search process and allowing users to search the entire catalog easily. 

Why was it changed?

The libraries in the NSHE system began looking for a new library services platform in 2019 to replace the legacy system that has been in use (in various versions) since 1987. We have been working with the selected vendor, Ex Libris, and the other libraries in the system on the migration. The decision to change systems was driven by the need for a cloud-based service that would allow us to efficiently manage online and print materials and provide an accessible public interface in a single system. We also sought a system that supported current data standards and would open up the possibility of integration with other campus information systems, such as Workday or the interlibrary loan system (ILLiad). 

Can I still request books or articles from another library?

After the migration is complete, we expect to offer enhanced and simplified borrowing among NSHE institutions in northern Nevada. The libraries of the University of Nevada, Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College, Great Basin College, and the Desert Research Institute are all migrating to Ex Libris’ Alma software at the same time as Western Nevada College. You will be able to request a book or article directly from the catalog listing for the resource; the request will be reviewed and the library will let you know if and when it will be available.

Is there training available?

Contact a librarian if you’re interested in learning more or in scheduling an instruction session for a class. Ex Libris (the vendor who created the software we use) has a video introduction to using Primo (the official product name of software behind Library Search) available as well as an end user help page. The library will be developing more training materials and making them available as they are created.


This guide is based on the New Library Search FAQ's created by the library staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.