Keyword Searches

Each record in the library catalog contains specific information about a work, such as the title, author, and subject. You can search these record fields for keywords. A keyword search in any field looks in all the search fields of the library catalog to find your keyword text. Other keyword searches narrow the search for the keyword only in the author, subject, title, or other specific fields. If your library offers other databases to search, they are available to select for a keyword search.

Typing Search Text - Keyword Searches

Case, spaces, punctuation - Letter case, multiple spaces, and punctuation are ignored. Omit hyphens in numbers. However, you can include the following characters if they immediately precede or follow a letter or number (no space between): + # % $

Multiple words - If you type more than one word, your results may include materials with the words in any order. If you want to find the words in the exact order, begin the phrase with double quotation marks.

Wildcard characters - You can type a part of a word and use a wildcard character. The wildcard character asterisk (*) represents the rest of the word. For example, if you type King*, the results include words such as King, Kingsley, and Kingford. The wildcard character question mark (?) represents exactly one character. For example, wom?n finds woman and women. If the question mark occurs at the end of a word, it does not act as a wildcard character, so you can find titles like what color is your parachute? Also, if you type a backslash character \ before any wildcard character, the wildcard character is treated as text.

To use the keyword search

  1. Select Keyword on the Search menu.
  2. Type the text to search for in the Keyword search for box. See Typing Search Text - Keyword Searches.
  3. If you see suggested search terms as you type, you can ignore the suggestions and continue to type your search term, or you can select a suggestion to search for the term. Select Hide Suggestions if you do not want to see search suggestions. Select the small arrow in the search text box to show the suggestions after they have been hidden.

  4. Select the Search by arrow symbol, and select a search field from the list:
  5. Any Field - All the indexed information fields

    Title - Title fields

    Author - Author fields

    Subject - Subject fields

    General notes - Notes fields

    Publisher - Publisher field

    Genre - Forms or types of materials, such as science fiction, romance, biography, bibliography, or large type books

    Series - Series fields

    ISBN - International Standard Book Number, a 13‑digit number that is assigned to a specific book or edition of a book when it is published. Type the wildcard character * at the beginning and end of the number you enter for best results.

    ISSN - International Standard Serial Number, an 8‑digit number with an optional letter code that identifies a serial title. Type the wildcard character * at the beginning and end of the number you enter for best results.

    LCCN - Library of Congress Control Number. Type the wildcard character * at the beginning and end of the number you enter for best results.

    Publisher No. - Publisher’s number, the unique identifier assigned to the publishers of sound recordings, video recordings, printed sheet music, and other musical works

    SuDoc - Superintendent of Documents classification number (identifier) assigned to government documents. The identifier can consist of letters and numbers.

    CODEN - Identifier for scientific and technical periodical titles. The six-character identifier can consist of letters and numbers.

    STRN - Standard technical report number (identifier) assigned according to ISO 10444 or NISO Z39.23 standards. The identifier can consist of letters and numbers.

  6. To limit your search, select the Limit by box, and select an option from the list. Example: If you want to find only DVDs, select DVD in the Limit by list.
  7. Note: Your library may provide a digital collection that you can search and access online in the same way that you search for other materials. Materials in the collection may include images, video clips, sound files, and text files. If you want to restrict your search results to digital collection materials, select Digital Collection in the Limit by box.

  8. If you want to set additional limits, follow these steps:
  9. Select More Search Options.
  10. The search options window opens.

  11. Select the settings you want. On a desktop computer, to select several consecutive items in a list, hold down the SHIFT key as you select the items. To select several items that are not listed together, hold down the CTRL key as you select the items. On a tablet or smart phone, you can select multiple items but the method depends on your device.
  12. You can also exclude items from a search. Select them from the appropriate list, and select the Exclude box below the list.

    Note: Detailed material types are defined by the library for the physical items the library owns. The formats in the Limit by box on the search bar refer to general formats and types of materials associated with title entries in the catalog. You can limit a search by format or detailed material type, but not both. If you selected a format in the Limit by box when you set up your search, your format choice is canceled when you set a material type.

  13. Select Set Search Options.
  14. The search options window closes and the search bar displays a highlighted message that options have been set. To change them, select the Change link in the highlighted Options set message, set new values and select Set Search Options. Then do a new search. (The previous search, if any, is automatically done again using your new options settings.)

    To reset the search options to their original values, click the Clearlink in the highlighted Options set message. The search is done again, using the original values.

    Important: Search options retain their settings until you reset them or go to the home page. The highlighted message Options set on the search bar indicates that search options are set to values different from the usual values.

  15. To search a database other than the library’s catalog, or select multiple databases to search:
  16. Click or tap Select Databases.
  17. The Select Databases window opens with the library's default search databases (the local database and remote databases) selected. If you do not want to search the local catalog along with the remote databases, select the check box next to the local database to clear the check box.

  18. Select the remote databases. If your library has organized the databases into categories, you can select a category, and the remote databases under that category are selected.
  19. Select Set Databases to save your selections. The window closes. (The previous search, if any, is automatically done again using your new database settings.)
  20. Your selections remain until you reset them. To reset the search databases to the library's default databases, click or tap Clear.

  21. Click or tap the search icon .
  22. If the search is successful, you see your search results. If no matches are found, you see a message. You may also see a Did you mean suggestion. You can select the suggestion to search for the suggested term. You may be able to click or tap More to see additional suggestions.

    If you selected remote databases to search, a status bar indicates how many results were retrieved and how many results are pending. To load the remainder of the results, select Add Pending Results. You can select Search Status to see the number of results for all the selected databases. If you have selected or entered a search Limit by option that a remote database cannot use, results from this database are returned based on the basic search terms you entered, and a message indicates that the limiters were not used in the remote database search.

    You may also see a link to Include related words.You can click or tap this link to add records containing related words as well as your literal typed search term to your search results. "Related words" include words formed from stemming (for example, regular plurals and verb endings such as walk, walks, walker, walked, walking, but not irregular forms such as mouse/mice or run/ran) and synonyms. Synonyms include common nicknames, proper name variations, and spelling variations.

  23. To see more information about a title in your search results list, select the title or cover image.
  24. To filter your search results or do related searches, select a Narrow or Related option at the side or bottom of the page.
  25. If you selected Include related words for your search results, you may see two options under Narrow: See what was added, and See original results.