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Keyword searching vs. subject searching: In the search box on the library's homepage, type any search term(s) and you have a keyword search. But you may get results that surprise you! The keyword search "dance" will bring up results that include the word "dance" but are actually about non-dance topics (for example, the physics book Dance of the Photons, or The Dance of International Diplomacy). A subject search for Dance eliminates such non-dance books from the search results. You can specify a subject search in an Advanced Search.
Use of "AND" and "OR": Use of AND combines important concepts. OR brings up items containing any of the search terms.
Note: If you put more than 1 word in the search box, the catalog assumes the AND and will look for items that include all your terms. Also, in our catalog, operators must be capitalized.
Using " " (Quotation marks)
Putting quotation marks around words tells the system you are looking for that phrase, not the individual words. A search for "Martha Graham" will find that phrase, whereas a search for the words Martha Graham will include results for (for example) Martha Franklin and Shirley Graham. It's a way of narrowing your search and getting more relevant results.
The Meaning of * (Wildcard)
* picks up any character after the end of the typed-in term. Very useful for words with many variants. For example, Danc* brings up dance, dances, dancing, dancer, and any other variant.