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Getting to Know Our Online Catalog: Search Strategies

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1   Library Search or Destiny Quest?

Access all search tools for finding materials in owned, physically or virtually, by our library. Use a standard search interface, or opt for the visually rich experience of Destiny Quest.

2   What approach should I take?


Tabs located at the top right of the search box let you determine how you want to search.  Use the "How do I.." link above the tabs for extra help. 

Basic
A simple search box with additional tools that will help you narrow by keword, title, author, etc., as well as by type and lexile.

Visual 
Quick access to pre-defined searches, often by genre or unique HUHS interests.

Advanced
Includes advanced search fields that will help you narrow your search using additional term and boolean logic.

Step 3

3   What's my search strategy?

Keyword  
Searches sift through the entire record (title, subjects, description, etc.) for an item.  Use this when you're not sure exactly what you need, as it casts a wide net and brings back lots of choices.  

Title
Searches for items by title (or words in title).  Use this if you know a word in the title of the book or the complete title.  Misspellings and words not in a title can throw this search off.

Author
Searches for items by a particular author.  First and last name will provide the best results, and spelling counts!

Subject
Searches the subjects headings assigned by librarians.  Works best when you KNOW commonly used subject headings.

Series
Use this to find additional books in a series, when you know the name of the series.

Subject vs. Keyword Search

Consider these two searches:

Subject searches look for subject pre-assigned by a librarian.  The selection of these subjects is based on a two-step process:

  1. The librarian considers the book.  What is it about?  This can be very "subjective" as oftentimes, a book is about many subjects.  
  2. The librarian uses Sears (a universal listing of common subjects) to determine the best subject(s) to apply.

This process does not always take into account pop culture vocabulary, synonyms or new subjects. 

Keyword searches sift through the entire record.  This includes titles, descriptions, and subjects.  The net cast is wider and your results list will be longer.  You may get some irrelevant items, but you'll be less likely to miss out on items due to the librarian's subjective interpretation of the subject.  

Keyword searches are recommended, unless your subject is well defined and very specific.  The keyword search will help you find resources that are not primarily about what you're looking for, but may include what you're looking for.

Step 4

4   How can I narrow my results? 

Location
No need to set this.  

Materials Types
Search for a specific type of resource, such as eBooks or  Video.

Award Winners
Narrow your search to specific literary awards.

Reading Programs
Limit your search to a specific lexile range. 

Step 5

5   How can I sort my results?

Further refine your search results by sorting them.  

Call Number  location/order on the shelf.
Title  alphabetical by title.
Author  alphabetical by author's last name.
Date  most recently added first.
Type  groups media formats together.  
Status  currently available first.
Relevance  strongest match to your search

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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