Searching

Q: When I search for an author, do I have to type the last name first?

A: No. You can type stephen king, or king, stephen. It doesn’t matter.

Q: I don’t know the exact spelling of an author name. What should I do?

A: When you begin your search, select Author as your search criteria. Type the first few letters of the author’s last name, and then pause for a second. You’ll see a list of authors. If you see the one you want, click the name to run the search. If not, try additional spellings.

In addition, if you do a search and get 0 results, the system may offer suggestions for you to try. For example, if you type hemmingway, you won’t get any search results for Ernest Hemingway. However, you’ll see Did you mean hemingway? Click the name to search using that spelling.

Q: Can I search by format? I want the Harry Potter movies, not the books.

A: Yes, there are two ways to do this. The fastest way is to just type harry potter dvd in the search box. If you prefer, you can use the advanced search options. In the Includes box, type what you want to find, then select DVD from the Formatoptions at the bottom of the page.

Q: I got 0 results for my search. What should I do?

A: Here are a few things you can try if your first search isn’t successful:

  • Check your spelling. On your results page, you may see a “Did you mean?” link with a suggestion. If not, review what you typed. If you’re searching by author or subject and are not sure how to spell something, type a few letters and pause. You’ll see a list of suggestions.
  • If you searched by author, title or tag, trying searching by keyword.
  • Don’t worry about typing an author’s name with the last name first. You don’t need to typekinsella, sophie. Just type sophie kinsella.
  • If you know the ISBN of a title, you can use that as your search keyword.

Q: What does “broaden your search” do?

A: When you type a phrase in the search box, the search will attempt to find a title that includes all of the words. For a keyword search, if there are no titles that include all of the words, you’ll  see the option to broaden your search. This repeats the search using the same group of words, but the results displayed will include as many of the terms as can be found. The items with the most matching words will be first.

Q: Why do I get different results using the advanced and basic searches using the same keywords?

A: The advanced version searches more information in the library catalog than the basic search. As a result, the results may vary slightly.

Q: When filtering search results by language, what does “Include translations” do?

A: The language facet shows you the primary language of each of the titles in your results, and allows you to filter your results by one or more languages. The number following each language indicates the total number of titles in that language. Some titles may be in more than one language. For example, a movie originally filmed in English may have been dubbed into Spanish or Chinese, or may have subtitles in those languages. If you would like to see those titles included in the language counts, click Include translations; when you apply a language filter, the results will include both translations and titles originally produced in the selected language.

Q: A title I want says “Unavailable”, but I know the library has a copy.

A: Unavailable indicates that all copies of the title are checked out, in transit, being repaired, or otherwise not circulating. You can still place a hold on an item shown as Unavailable.

Q: What’s a Boolean search?

A: A Boolean search uses parentheses to group terms and “operators” such as AND, OR, or NOT to limit the search results. A search for potter NOT harry would find titles by Beatrice Potter but not about Harry Potter. On the advanced search page, this could also be entered as (harry) -(potter). Similarly, ( (mark twain) OR (samuel clemens) ) AND (tom sawyer) would look for either Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens, and Tom Sawyer. For more details, see Using Advanced Search.

Q: I often search for books on the same subject. Can I save my search so I don’t have to create it every time?

A: Yes, you can save searches and re-run them later. See Saving Searches for details.

Q: Why would I want to save a search?

A:  By saving a search, you can re-run it by simply clicking the search name. This saves time. Saved searches are also a good way to keep track of a favorite author or topic.

Q: How do I edit my saved search?

A: Go to My Settings Saved Searches and click the Edit button to re-run the search, make your changes, and re-save the search. If you change the search keywords, you are actually creating a new search, rather than editing your old one.

Q: Can other users see my saved searches?

A: No. Saved searches are always private.

Q: How can I tell if the library has purchased something new by my favorite author?

A: You can use an RSS feed to notify you when there are additions to the catalog. RSS is a technology that alerts you about changes to websites that change frequently, such as blogs or news sites. An RSS feed will deliver information to you about recent changes, saving you the effort of checking the website frequently.

To read an RSS feed, you’ll need to install an RSS reader, such as Google ReaderShrook orFeedDemon that supports RSS 2.0.

Once you have an RSS reader installed, search for the author (or topic) that interests you. At the bottom of the search results, look for the RSS icon:

Click the button to capture the search. That will launch your RSS reader and prompt you to subscribe to the feed. Once you`ve subscribed, the reader checks for additions that match your search criteria. It fetches the first page of the most recently added titles, sorted by acquisition date, and checks the first item to see if it’s different from the previous search results. You can capture multiple authors or topics, and then just check your reader periodically for new items that interest you.