Search the Catalog (advanced)


You got a brief introduction that you can use with patrons, but the search feature in Bibliocommon has some capabilities we didn’t even think to ask for!  Our borrowers learn how to search on Google.  As the Bilbiocommons trainer said, “it’s easier to teach librarians how to search like patrons than to teach patrons how to search like librarians!”  Here’s a list of a few of the conveniences we now experience:

  • Smart search – groups together different manifestations of the same title.  For example, you’ll find the print, large type, ebook, eaudio, DVD and CD gathered under the same title (see illustration)
  • Results are ranked by relevancy so the most popular results appear at the top of the results listResults are ranked by relevancy only in keyword searches, not, for example, if you did an author search
  • Bibliocommons assumes you’re looking for the title in the search box, not all the records with that word. So a search for the word “It” puts the book by Stephen King, and the movie based on the book, at the top of the results list. Similarly, searching for “help” brings up the Beatles music CD first, while searching for “the help” brings up…The Help.
  • If all the copies of the title you are looking for are checked out, lost, or otherwise unavailable, we added from Novelist a red flag at the bottom of the title card called “While you wait.”  When you click on it, you’ll see suggestions for similar books and the number of copies currently available.
  • Did You Mean…?  A search for “dinosour” brings up the question “Did you mean dinosaur?”  And a link to view 3,412 results!
  • Searching for “romantic movies” will give you results in DVD, BluRay and Streaming Video formats.  (If you must have only one format, it’s easy enough to limit by using the facets on the side.)
  • You can go crazy with the search box and the word new.  For example, search for new children’s books:
  • Here’s what you see:
    • The black boxes reflect the filters used in your search.  Clicking the x removes them from your search. 
    • Note the Active Filters is set to Off.  If you set it to On, you “pin” these filters in place and they will be used in your subsequent searches (for example, you might want to find a particular author or subject in the subset of new children’s books).
    • You can use this type of smart search with a variety of terms, for example, teen books or kids’ movies.
  • Smart search also searches by language, not country of origin.  A search for “new Spanish DVDs” would yield new DVDs in Spanish, not from Spain or about Spain.
  • You can also do a keyword search by call number or ISBN number. 
  • If you have a search you do often, save it.  Once you have a saved search, the option to repeat a saved search will appear under the search box.  Click on Saved Searches to get to any you have saved. These searches are also permalinks so right clicking on one of the searches in your list of saved searches will allow you to copy the hyperlink and use it wherever you need to.  Note that these saved searches are responsive to whatever is in the database at the time the search is conducted.  Today you might find 633 results with the search “new Spiderman books.”  If new Spiderman books are added, they will show up the next time you use that saved search.   And if any that showed up today are older than 180 days the next time you do the search, they’ll drop off the results list.
  • When doing a subject search from the Search dropdown menu, the results will include all titles with your search term in any of the subject headings.
  • When doing a series search from the dropdown menu, the results are listed in order of popularity.  You can also do a series search for Magic Tree House # 4 and the results list will give you the fourth title in the series. 
    • A series search for Nancy Drew will result in all the Nancy Drew series titles in order of relevancy.  Click on the Sort button to arrange by series title.  Note that if a title is included in more than one series, the title will sort by the first series title in the record.  If your results are wonky, use NoveList to get the most accurate list of titles in a series.

Drill down into a Search with Facets

As you’re searching, you may want to take advantage of the facets in the left hand column. 

From the Marc (catalog) and item records:
  • Available Now –locations where your results can be found
  • Format – books, audiobooks, streaming, etc.
  • New at the Library – a variety of lengths of time since added to the collection
  • Titles I can borrow now, access online or use only in libraries
  • Content – for example, fiction, nonfiction
  • Audience – adults, teens, children
  • Topic – varies widely depending on search
  • Author – lists authors included in search results
  • Language – lists languages included in search results
  • Published date – lists dates published included in search results
From Bibliocommons
  • Ratings – number of “stars” borrowers have given titles
  • Tags – generally speaking, these will be genre or niche subgenres, tone or theme as identified by the Bibliocommons community of users
Reading Level
  • For now, these are Lexile levels provided by a company called Metametrix.  All title records for which reading level data is available has that data in the record.  Unfortunately, Bibliocommons allows searching only by Lexile level although the Accelerated Reader book level is in the Full Record tab.
Do an Advanced Search

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