Back to Catalog Help
The differences between a keyword and browse search:
Keyword - The online library catalog contains thousands of records that represent titles in the catalog. Within each title record, separate fields contain specific information such as the title, author, and subject. You can search these fields for keywords (text you specify). A keyword search in any field looks in all the search fields of the library catalog to find the keyword text. Other keyword searches narrow the search for the keyword only in the author, subject, title, or other specific fields.
Browse - When you browse the library catalog, you can type just the first few letters or numbers of your search term, an author's name, a subject, a series name, or a title. The results list shows the portion of the catalog index that begins with the text you have typed. You can scroll through the index to see more headings or listings. You may also find useful links to related headings or listings. When you select a heading or listing in the index, you see information about the titles associated with the heading or listing.
Follow these steps to do a browse search in the catalog.
- Select Browse on the menu bar.
- In the Search for list, select an index option (Title, Author, Subject, Series, LC or Dewey).
- In the "that begins with" box, type the first few letters or numbers of the title, author's last name, the subject word, the series name, the LC number, or the Dewey number.
- Click Go.
The results list displays the catalog headings or listings, and the number of titles associated with each heading or listing.
- If you want to change the number of headings or listings to display on a page, click the drop-down menu in the upper left corner and select a number.
- Navigate the index using one of these methods:
Click 'Previous 10 Listings or Next 10 Listings to browse through the index.
Title listings may show different types of material for the same title, such as Book, DVD, and Music CD. You can click a type of material to see the titles of that type.
- Click a heading or listing to display the associated titles. To return to the headings list, click Go Back to Browse Results at the top or bottom of the page.
Follow these steps to do a keyword search. You will find titles that contain your text in any field, or in a selected field, of the library catalog.
- Click Search on the menu bar.
- Type the text to search for in the Keyword search for box. You may see suggested search terms as you type. You can ignore the suggestions and continue to type your search term, or click a suggestion to launch the search for the suggested term.
If you leave this box blank and just select an option in the "Limit by" box (see step 4), the search is launched and your results include all the materials that fit your "Limit by" selection.
- Click the Search by arrow symbol, and select a search field from the list:
- Any Field - All the indexed information fields. *Note: you can include both the author and title using Any Field
- 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 that is assigned to a specific periodical publication. Type the wildcard character * at the beginning and end of the number you enter for best results.
- If you want to find only a certain kind of material or only items that are available , click the arrow symbol in 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.]
- Click More Search Options for additional ways to make your search more specific.
- Click Go.
- If you want to have the search results sorted by a category other than the one displayed, click the Sort drop down box and select a sorting option.
'Relevance' sorts titles in the search results so that those that seem most likely to meet your needs appear first in the list. Words that appear in both title and subject fields are considered in determining relevance. 'Most Popular' sorts titles in the search results so that the titles most frequently checked out or requested over the past 120 days appear first in the list.
The libraries of America are and must ever remain the home of free, inquiring minds.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
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