Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
TCTC Learning Commons logo TCTC Learning Commons header

How to search in Primo

Logging in to Primo

Sign in menu from PrimoSigning in to Primo gives you access to additional features that will make your research easier! If you sign in, you'll be able to see your search history from any search session, save favorites to lists to access later, and manage your library loans (see overdue items, request renewals, etc).  Make this part of your search process every time! 

If you know what you need

If you already know what you need—meaning you have information like a title, author, etc.—you can type that information into the search bar. To increase your odds of finding what you need quickly, put quotation marks around different elements.


A primo search for the book Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash, with quotation marks around the title and author name


Simple searching—researching new topics

undefinedYou can start your search by simply adding keywords to the Primo search box. Keep in mind, it is best to not use full sentences, but rather describe the idea you want to search for in small chunks. So instead of "How does global warming impact sea levels?" you would search "global warming sea levels".

Every time you add a word to the search box, you will reduce the number of results you see. This is because by putting a word in the search box, you are telling Primo that word must appear in the description of any potential results. This means that the best way to find multiple sources on a topic is to try different combinations of words that describe what you're looking for. Each time you change your search terms, different results will be displayed at the top of your results.

Advanced search features

Primo advanced search layout

Use the advanced search if you're having trouble finding relevant sources that meet your requirements. 

Using the advanced search you are able to combine keywords and other search parameters (such as searching specifically for a specific author) in more specific ways. This means you can also exclude certain words by changing the AND from the drop down menus to NOT.

You are also able to pre-limit some your results by telling Primo you only want to see results from a certain part of the collection. Similarly, you can define what publication dates are acceptable for your results.