Primo support for Austlang and ISO 639-3


The October 2021 release for Primo VE and the November 2021 release for Primo brings out-of-the-box support for Austlang and capability for support for ISO 639-3 ‘microlanguages’.

This product development for Primo language support beyond ISO 639-2 ‘macrolanguages’ allows our international community to correctly recognise and respect this important content in our collections, and supports our collective commitment to increasing visibility and access.

We have achieved this together:

  • The Library of Congress recognised the AUSTLANG language source code in October 2018, created and maintained by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), as an addition to the MARC standards Language Code and Term Source Codes list
  • The National Library of Australia brought us together during NAIDOC Week in July 2019, in the International Year of Indigenous Languages, via the Austlang National Codeathon, guiding libraries around Australia and New Zealand to identify and correctly catalogue more than 8,000 records
  • Many Australian and New Zealand sites raised support cases with Ex Libris, upon realising that our cataloguing efforts were in vain, with Austlang codes displaying in Primo in Language facet and display fields as only Undetermined
  • At the IGeLU 2019 Conference in August 2019, the national user group ANZREG (Australia & New Zealand Regional Ex Libris Group) raised the current lack of support for micro-languages in their report to the national and international user group leader community, IGeLU Steering Committee, and Ex Libris Senior Management
  • The State Library of Queensland added an Idea Exchange submission for Primo in October 2019: Add Australian language codes to Primo Back Office, and then followed this up in January 2020 with a Primo NERS enhancement request covering both Primo VE and Primo: #6710 Add support for microlanguages ISO 639-3 and language codes recognised by Library of Congress
  • In a tough race full of great submissions, our international community gave 1,067 votes to the #6710 enhancement request in May 2020, in the Primo NERS 2020 voting round
  • We didn’t give up and kept advocating, through individual members of our community, the ANZREG Committee, and the IGeLU Primo Working Group
  • And in September 2020, we got the fantastic news from Ex Libris Primo Product Management that they would also deliver #6710 as an enhancement in their 2021 Primo Roadmap

Thank you to all who helped on this journey to recognise our First Nations peoples in our collections!

UPDATE! In January 2024, Ex Libris added AIATSIS Subject aiatsiss thesaurus as a controlled vocabulary to Alma Community Zone authority files. The Language aiatsisl and Place Name aiatsisp thesauri are being added later. See the December 2022 Idea Exchange submission by James Cook University: Add AIATSIS thesauri to the CZ subject authority files