Exact Searches

An exact search looks for your exact text, from beginning to end, whether your search text is multiple words or just one word. An exact search is useful when you know the text precisely; for example, when searching for titles such as It or Jazz. If your library offers other databases to search, they are available to select for an exact search.

Typing Search Text - Exact 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. An exact search looks for your text exactly as you enter it. 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. Include the wild card character (*) (see below) in case the name has more characters, such as a middle initial. As another example, if you search for a title with the search text gone with, you will find only gone with, not gone with the wind. You can use the wildcard character (*) to represent other characters. If you search for a title with the search text gone with*, you might find gone with the wind and gone without a trace.

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.

To use Exact search

  1. Select Exact on the Search menu.
  2. Type the exact words to search for in the Exact search for box. See Typing Search Text - Exact Searches.
  3. Select a field to search in the Search by box:
  4. To limit your search, sekect 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.
  5. Note: 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.

  6. If you want to set additional limits, follow these steps:
  7. Important: If you type your search term and then select more search options before selecting the search icon , you will need to re-type your search term.

    1. Select More Search Options. The search options window opens.
    2. Select the settings you want. On a desktop computer, 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. On a tablet or smart phone, you can select multiple items but the method depends on your device. You can also exclude items from a search. Select them from the appropriate list, and select 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.

  8. Select Set Search Options.
  9. The search options window closes and the search bar displays a highlighted message that options have been set. To change them, select the Change link in the highlighted Options set message, set new values and select Set Search Options. Then do a new search. (The previous search, if any, is automatically done again using your new options settings.)

    To reset the search options to their original values, select the Clearlink in the highlighted Options set message. The search is done again, using the original values.

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

  10. To search a database other than the library’s catalog, or select multiple databases to search:
    1. Select Select Databases. The Select Databases window opens with the library's default search databases (the local database and remote databases) selected. If you do not want to search the local catalog along with the remote databases, select the checkbox next to the local database to clear the checkbox.
    2. 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.
    3. Select Set Databases to save your selections. The window closes. (The previous search, if any, is automatically done again using your new database settings.)
  11. Your selections remain until you reset them. To reset the search databases to the library's default databases, select Clear.

  12. Select the search icon .
  13. If the search is successful, you see your search results. If no matches are found, you see a message. You may also see a Did you mean suggestion. You can select the suggestion to search for the suggested term. You may be able to select More to see additional suggestions.

    If you selected remote databases to search, a status bar indicates how many results were retrieved and how many results are pending. To load the remainder of the results, select Add Pending Results. You can select Search Status to see the number of results for all the selected databases. If you have selected or entered a search Limit by option that a remote database cannot use, results from this database are returned based on the basic search terms you entered, and a message indicates that the limiters were not used in the remote database search.

  14. To see more information about a title in your search results list, select the title or cover image.
  15. To filter your search results or do related searches, select a Narrow or Related option at the side or bottom of the page.