Phrase Searches

A phrase search looks for matches to multiple words, in the same order you typed them. You might choose a phrase search when you know the phrase is part of a specific title, not necessarily at the beginning of the title. If your library offers other databases to search, they are available to select for a phrase search.

Typing Search Text - Phrase Searches

Case, spaces, punctuation - Letter case, multiple spaces, and punctuation are ignored. Omit hyphens in numbers. However, you can include the following characters if they immediately precede or follow a letter or number (no space between): + # % $

Multiple words - Word order matters. For example, a phrase series search for drew nancy may yield no results. The same search for nancy drew lists the titles in the Nancy Drew mystery series. If you are searching for an author, enter the author’s name in this format: last name, first name because that is the way the name appears in the catalog records.

Wildcard characters - You can type a part of a word and use a wildcard character. The wildcard character asterisk (*) represents the rest of the word. For example, if you type King*, the results include words such as King, Kingsley, and Kingford. The wildcard character question mark (?) represents exactly one character. For example, wom?n finds woman and women. If the question mark occurs at the end of a word, it does not act as a wildcard character, so you can find titles like what color is your parachute? Also, if you type a backslash character \ before any wildcard character, the wildcard character is treated as text.

Do a phrase search

To do a phrase search:

  1. Click Phrase on the Search menu.
  2. Type the words to search for in the Phrase search for box. See Typing Search Text - Phrase Searches.

If you see suggested search terms as you type, you can ignore the suggestions and continue to type your search term, or you can click a suggestion to search for the term. Click Hide Suggestions if you do not want to see search suggestions. Click the small arrow in the search text box to show the suggestions after they have been hidden.

  1. Select a field to search in the Search by box:
  1. To limit your search, 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.

Your library may provide a digital collection that you can search and access online in the same way that you search for other materials. Materials in the collection may include images, video clips, sound files, and text files. If you want to restrict your search results to digital collection materials, select Digital Collection in the Limit by box.

  1. If you want to set additional limits, follow these steps:

If you type your search term and then select more search options before clicking Go, you will need to re-type your search term.

  1. Click More Search Options.

The search options window opens.

To select several consecutive items in a list, hold down the SHIFT key as you select the items. To select several items that are not listed together, hold down the CTRL key as you select the items. You can also exclude items from a search. Select them from the appropriate list, and click the Exclude box below the list.

Detailed material types are defined by the library for the physical items the library owns. The formats in the Limit by box on the search bar refer to general formats and types of materials associated with title entries in the catalog. You can limit a search by format or detailed material type, but not both. If you selected a format in the Limit by box when you set up your search, your format choice is canceled when you set a material type.

  1. Click Set Search Options, and click Close to close the options window.

The search bar displays a highlighted message that options have been set. To change them, click the Change link in the highlighted Options have been set message, set new values and click Set Search Options. Then do a new search.

To reset the search options to their original values, click the Reset link in the highlighted Options have been set message. The search is done again, using the original values.

Search options retain their settings until you reset them or go to the home page. The highlighted message Options have been set on the search bar indicates that search options are set to values different from the usual values.

  1. To search a database other than the library’s catalog, or select multiple databases to search:
  1. Click Select Databases.

The Select Databases window opens with the local database selected. If you do not want to search the local catalog along with the remote databases, select the check box next to the local database to clear the check box.

  1. Select the remote databases. If your library has organized the databases into categories, you can select a category, and the remote databases under that category are selected.
  2. Click Set Databases to save your selections, and click Close to close the Select Databases window.

Your selections remain until you reset them. To reset the search databases, click Reset.

  1. Click Go.
  1. To see more information about a title in your search results list, click the title or cover image.
  2. To filter your search results or do related searches, click a Narrow or Related option at the side of the page.