Using Advanced Search

The Quick Search box found at the top of every page should provide excellent results for most of your searching requirements. It has a default keyword search plus five additional options, each of which has been tuned to get complete results for most search types.

For those occasions where you have a particular kind of search in mind, you can use Advanced Search. It has tools that enable you to describe precisely where and how you want to search. You can do Boolean searches using the controls on the page, or by typing directly in the advanced Boolean query box.

About Boolean Searches

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 harrywould 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.

Constructing Queries

You can use the tools on the page to construct a query. For most people, this is the best choice for doing an advanced search without having to know about how library catalog information is organized. The options you choose will be reflected in the custom Boolean query box.

► To construct a query

  1. Specify whether you want the search results to include all of your search terms, or any. Allputs AND in the query box; Any puts OR.
  2. In the Includes section, specify the fields in the catalog you want to search, and then enter the word or phrase you want to find. For example, Title and canadian immigration.
  3. To search additional fields, click the Add another link, and then repeat step #2.
  4. To exclude certain titles, select fields and enter terms in the does not include section. For example, if you wanted to find books on Canadian immigration but exclude census data, you could select Title and then entercensus.
  5. To exclude additional terms, click the Add another link, and then repeat step #4.
  6. In the Limit my search by section, specify additional search options to restrict your search. For example, you specify only items available at your branch, only items in French, and so on.
  7. When you are finished constructing your query, review it in custom Boolean query box, and then click Search.

Writing Your Own Queries

If you prefer to write your own queries, you can type them directly in the custom Boolean query box.

For example, you could enter…

Anywhere:(canadian immigration)  -Title:(census)  language:(eng)  format:(BK)

… to find books in English on Canadian immigration that do not have the word census in the title.

For details, see Writing Your Own Queries.