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How to use Library Search

Searching

Basic Search

Searching is very easy with the library's search box! Just enter one or more words and hit enter. You'll get results that contain all of your search terms automatically - if you're familiar with Boolean searching, this means all of your search terms effectively have "AND" between them. 

There are a lot of other ways to search the library's resources! You can:

Search for a phrase

To search for a phrase, put it within quotation marks. If you don't use quotation marks, the system will search for those words individually, not next to each other.

Search for multiple words or phrases

Not sure what terms to use? You can search for resources that contain any (not all) of your search terms using "OR". You'll get results that contain either of your words/phrases.

Exclude words or phrases from your search results

You can remove certain words or phrases from your search results by using "NOT". Any results containing the word or phrase you've put after "NOT" won't be shown, so be careful when using "NOT"!

Search using wildcards

You can use wildcards to search for variations on words and phrases. For example:

  • ? — enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the strings womanwomen, and so forth.

  • * —enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culturecultural, and culturally.

Note that the system ignores wildcard characters placed at the beginning of search terms. For example, the system treats the search terms ?aying and *aying as if you had searched for aying.

Group terms within a search

You can use parentheses to group terms within a query. For example, to search for Shakespeare and either tragedy or sonnet, type the following in the search box:

Change the scope of your search

If you want to search a specific set of items (reserves, just in the library, etc), you can change where you're searching. You can do this before you search by clicking the search box from the library's main page:

  • “Everything” searches for books, articles, music, movies, newspapers, data, and more. It searches everything we have access to, and some things we don’t.
  • “Library” searches everything that’s physically in the library (books, music, movies, scores, etc) plus e-books.
  • “Databases” searches articles, newspapers, images, and other online resources, including some that we may not have access to. Note that it does not include all databases, so use it cautiously.
  • “Reserves” searches for items that are on reserve for classes at our circulation desk.

You can also change your scope on a results screen by clicking the down arrow in the search box.

 

Advanced Search

If you'd like to do a more complicated search, or add more limits to your search, you can try Advanced Search.

You can get to advanced search by clicking "Advanced" from the main search box, or "Advanced Search from a results page.

 


Note that in advanced search you can change where you're searching (Search Scope), which fields are being searched, and what type of items you're looking for. You can set your search so your keywords appear either in the title, author, subject, call number, or publisher field. NOTE: If you're using this to find a call number, you have to add an asterisk to your search. For example, if you were looking for a book in QA76, you would need to enter "QA76*" to find it.

Browse

The Browse search option allows you to browse library material in order to find relevant information quickly. You can browse material by author, title, and subject. "Browse" can be found either on the upper-right corner of the initial search page or just under the search box on any result page.

You can also access the browse function within a results screen, by clicking "Browse" in the upper right hand corner:

In the results, you can click any entry to see its associated records. It is also possible to browse by call number, which returns a list of associated records in brief format. Clicking a title displays its full record or the full list of related records.