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What is a Keyword Search?
General Keyword Searching allows you to look for records that contain words that describe the type of material you are looking for. It is useful because you don't need to match a phrase word for word as it appears in the catalog like you do if you're looking for a title or a subject. It is also useful because it searches for words from several different fields in the record, instead of limiting you to one field like author and title searches do. In a Keyword Search you may enter a title, part of a title, author, subject, series, or any combination of fields.

Keyword search results are automatically grouped & ranked by relevancy. This is intended to bring the best results to the top. Results will appear in up to 5 groups : Most Relevant; Highly Relevant; Very Relevant; Relevant; and Other Relevant. Titles within each relevancy group display in order from most recent date to oldest.

When to Use Keyword Searching
  • When you are unsure of the exact title of a book, video, CD, etc., but think you know a word or two.
  • When you aren't sure what subject heading to use.
  • When you want to broaden your search and find more items than you found with a title or subject search.
  • When you are looking for a play, short story, or song.
Limiting a Keyword Search

You can limit a Keyword search by Collection, Location, Material Type, Language, Publisher, and Year of Publication. Limiting is a way to narrow the results of your search to only the type of item you are looking for. If you do a search that retrieves a lot of items, this will help you sort through those items to find the ones you're really interested in so you don't have to look at every record you find. For example, if you searched under the keyword "gardening" and limited the material type to magazine, the catalog will just display the magazines with the word gardening somewhere in the record.

Hold down the control key to select multiple limits in a scrollbox for Location, Material Type or Language. This gives you the opportunity to search more than one limit, such as 'video tapes' and 'dvds', at the same time.
  • COLLECTION allows you to limit your search by library branch or by general collection such as Children's, Audio-Visual, or Spanish.
  • LOCATION allows you to find only those items in a browsing collection such as Reference, Children's Picture Books, or Young Adult.
  • MATERIAL TYPE allows you to limit your search to only books, magazines, videos, CD's, cassettes, etc.
  • LANGUAGE allows you to limit your search to items written in a specific language.
  • PUBLISHER allows you to limit your search by the publisher of the item
  • YEAR of publication allows you to limit your search to items published before, during, or after a year that you specify.
  • SEARCH AND SORT will sort the results by YEAR (the most recent date first), or ALPHABETICALLY.
You may also check the option to Limit to Available Items. This will only search for items that have at least one copy available for checkout at either library.

Boolean Searching

Multiple words are searched as one phrase. For example, search United States Supreme Court or Fort Collins City Council. To search multiple words not as a phrase use the Boolean operators (below).

Words may be right-hand truncated using an asterisk. Use a single asterisk * for open-ended truncation. For example: use cook* to get cook, cookery, cookbook, etc. Truncation is also helpful when you don't remember the correct spelling of a long name or subject. Example: fyodor dost* to get works by or about Fyodor Dostoyevsky. You may also use a question mark ? to replace a single character anywhere within a word. Example: arthur anders?n to get works by Arthur Andersen or Arthur Anderson.

Operators used between words can refine your search. Use "and" to narrow the search. Use "or" to broaden the search. Use "and not" to exclude words from the search. Operators may be typed in or you may use the drop-down lists next to the search boxes.

Use "near" to specify words close to each other, in any order. Use "within #" to specify terms which occur within # words of each other in the record. Examples: California near university, america within 3 econom*.

Using certain characters in a Keyword search will produce errors in the search, and may not show records the library owns. Colons (as often used to include a subtitle) will be assumed to specify a field (below). Equal signs behave the same way. Parentheses () in a keyword search may cause problems when returning to modify a search.

Specify fields to search, using field abbreviation. Fields available for this database are a: (author), t: (title), d: (subject), and N: (note.) Examples: (a:twain) and (t:huck*), (a:united and a:states), and (d:handicapped or d:disabled).
Search Tips
Keyword Search Tips
Title Search Tips
Author Search Tips
Subject Heading Search Tips
Series Title Search Tips
Call Number Search Tips
ISBN Search Tips
Limiting a Search
Searching Within the Catalog
Maps of the Libraries Collections
Buttons and What they Do
Placing Holds
Creating Lists for Export/Batch Holds
Online Renewals
More About This Book
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Poudre River Public Library District, 301 Olive Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524, (970) 221-6740
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