Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 - by:
Brian Herzog, Head of Reference
The new catalog is up and running! The first few days included a few glitches, but we've been getting great feedback from patrons (and staff!), and fixes and improvements should start appearing soon.
In the meantime, here are a few search tips - the new catalog is a little different from the old one, but it's also much better.
Evergreen Catalog Search Tips
- Enter your search words in any order. So, a search for compass golden gives the same results as a search for golden compass. Adding more search words gives fewer, and more specific, results
- This is also true for author searches. Both David Suzuki and Suzuki, David will return results for the same author
- Evergreen is also forgiving about plurals and alternate word endings, so if you enter dogs, Evergreen will also find items with dog
- Do not use the word AND to join search terms
- AND is automatically used to join all search terms. So, a search for golden compass will search for entries that contain both golden and compass
- Boolean operators such as and, or, not are not considered special and are searched for like any other word. So, a search for golden and compass will not return the title golden compass. Putting it another way, there are no stop words that are automatically ignored by the search engine
- Don’t worry about white space, exact punctuation, or capitalization
- Search for an exact phrase using double-quotes. For example “golden compass”
- Use * (asterisk) as a wildcard to truncate search terms, e.g. comp* golden may return the same results for compass golden and more
- Exclude a term from the search, using - (minus) . For example, vacations –britain will search for materials on vacations that do not make reference to Britain
You can form more complex searches using the Advanced Search features. You can also click the Advanced button under the search box to build complex searches using Boolean operator OR to connect your terms.
Improving a Search With Few Results
If only a few hits were returned from your search, you may see some suggestions for expanding or altering your search at the bottom of the search results list. These alternate search terms are words that are similar to your search terms in spelling or sound. Selecting one of the links performs a search with the new search terms.
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(Some material adapted from "Sitka Evergreen Training Manual", Copyright © 2011 BC Libraries Cooperative)
Thursday, July 30th, 2009 - by:
Brian Herzog, Head of Reference
Searching the library's catalog can sometimes be quirky, so here are a few tips explaining how it works, and how to more easily find what you're looking for.
Using the Basic Search
Most of the time, people use the Basic Search - it gives four options:
- General Keyword: tries to match your search to anything in any field
- Author Keyword: tries to match your search to anything in the author field, in any order
- Title Keyword: tries to match your search to anything it the title field
- Subject Keyword: tries to match your search to the Library of Congress Subject Headings field
Using the Basic Search is best when you're starting out, or know a little but about what you want to find. For instance, if you know some of the title and the author's last name, Basic Search is perfect. You can even use the General Keyword to combine words from the author and title.
Using the Advanced Search
For people wanting a little more control over their search, Advanced Search lets you set various limits. In addition the same four search options as the Basic Search, you can also:
- Limit by Location (only see what's in the Chelmsford Library)
- Limit by Format (search for only books, or only DVDs...)
- Limit by Language (find only material in Russian...)
- Sort the Results (by publication year, title, author...)
General Search Tips:
No matter which kind of search you do, here are a few general tips to improve your ability to find what you're looking for.
- Spelling is Important! Our catalog doesn't have a "Did you mean…" spell check feature, so if you're not sure of the spelling, use wildcards
- Pluralization Matters! Searching for gladiator will not also match gladiators - use a wildcard to search for both
- What Doesn't Matter: capitalization, punctuation and initial articles (The Memory Keeper's Daughter is the same as memory keepers daughter)
- Limit Your Search! The catalog searches all the libraries in the MVLC - to see only the items in Chelmsford, use the Advanced Search or click on Chelmsford in the Limit Box at the top of the search results page (and pictured here) and click the arrow button
- Use Wildcards! Wildcard characters let you build in some flexibility to your search. There are two kinds:
- use * and the end of words (for instance, librar* will find library, libraries, librarian, etc.)
- use ? inside of words (for instance, wom?n will find woman, women, womyn, etc.)
- Use Boolean Logic - including the words NOT, AND, OR (must be in all capital letters) lets you narrow a search, for instance potter NOT harry NOT beatrix
If you have any questions on the search tips above, or have questions about finding items in the catalog or on the shelves, please contact the Reference Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-256-5521.
Thanks to Tracy Swaim at MVLC for creating a list of search tips.
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