Get Librarian-Quality Search Results at Home

The library has a large collection of books, eBooks, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, puzzles and language kits. How can you find exactly what you’re looking for? By mastering the Advanced Search feature and subject headings in the online catalog.

Let’s try to find a guidebook for visiting Washington, D.C. A novice catalog user might perform a keyword search for the word “Washington”. Let’s see what happens:

Over 1500 results, and the first page is full of results that don’t fit your needs. Yikes! Let’s target our search by using the Advanced search function.

Find the drop-down menu in the upper right and click the Advanced option.

Now we can tell the catalog exactly what we want. In addition to searching for multiple terms (in this case, Washington DC and travel) we can tell the catalog that we want to search the Adult Collection for books written in English.

Now the very first result is a travel guide for visitors to Washington, DC. Finding one book that fits your needs is the key to finding everything in the library’s collection on the same subject. To find more travel guides, click the book’s title to access the subject headings.

Click the book’s subject heading to open a new list of results, all of which share the same subject.

Congratulations! You just used the library catalog to get librarian-quality results. If you’re interested in learning more about searching the catalog like the pros, book a private consultation with a librarian here.

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