Advanced Search Help

The North State Cooperative Library Catalog

Perform basic search functions using NetPAC 2000 (v.2)

NetPAC 2000 is a public access catalog that utilizes your computer’s Internet Web browser (such as Microsoft’s Explorer or Netscape’s Navigator). If you are unfamiliar with the navigational features of your Web browser, consult the browser’s Help before proceeding with instructions that follow.

In this section you will:

  • Recognize elements of the search window
  • View the simple search process
  • Perform author searches
  • Limit searches by publication date, language, format and location
  • Perform title searches
  • Conduct Boolean searches
  • Search truncated terms
  • Conduct combination searches
  • Browse the catalog
  • Change the record display
  • Download and print MARC records

Recognize elements of the search window

If you are using the PAC in a library, the home page of your public access catalog should already be displayed. (Your home page can be customized to include your library’s name and logo, e-mail address, and other information. Additional features can be modified by authorized library staff.)

From the home page you can:

  • Perform a general search of the catalog;
  • Search the catalog (search only author, title, subject OR notes, subjects OR authors,
  • titles OR subjects, or all of the author, title, subject, or notes fields);
  • Browse (move forward or backward through a word or number search list);
  • Combination search (search author, title, subject AND/OR notes simultaneously); or
  • Get Online Help.

To perform a general search of the catalog, type anything in the search query box on the home page and click Search. The results returned are based on searching all categories in the catalog (author, title, subject, and notes). (Search results are interpreted in the following pages.)

To perform a simple search, select Search. A new page will appear. The following search elements are available:

  • Home button – Returns you to the home page;
  • Help button – Opens the PAC Help page;
  • New Search – clears any search terms entered and limits set;
  • Browse – Opens the Browse search query page;
  • Combination Search – Opens the Combination Search page;
  • Find: lets you select Titles, Authors, Subjects, Notes, Authors or Titles,
  • Subjects or Authors, Titles or Subjects, or any field to search;
  • Return pulldown menu – lets you select the number of results that will be displayed per page;
  • Begin with / contain pulldown menu – lets you search for items in the catalog that begin with or contain the search query;
  • The word(s) query box – the place where you enter your search terms;
  • The Set Limits option – lets you narrow a search by Date, Language, Format, and Location; and
  • The Search button – launches a search.

View the simple search process

Understanding the options available in the simple search process (the Search option) will help you plan your search strategy and obtain consistent search results.  In general, the following steps are performed:

  1. The parameters on the main search menu are set;
  2. The search is limited if necessary;
  3. The search is launched and a list of matches is displayed;
  4. An item on the list of matches is selected and the item record is displayed. (In some cases, you will need to select from a second results list before an individual record is displayed.)

The Home and Help buttons are available throughout the search process, the first returning you to the PAC home page, and the second providing access to online Help page. (The New Search, Browse, and Combination Search buttons are also available and are described later.) Notice that some of the text on various pages is underlined, indicating that additional information is linked to selected text. If you wish to look at the screen previously displayed during your search, select the Back button on your web browser.

This is a good time to practice navigating through the PAC. When you are finished, click the Home button to return to the home page.

Perform author searches

NetPAC 2000 lets you search your catalog’s author, title, subject, and notes indexes separately or in combination. Although searching is a simple, straightforward process, understanding the elements of search and display features will help you obtain reliable, consistent results.

The following example illustrates the variety of results obtained from a search of William Shakespeare using the single Search feature:

  • Click on Search and select Authors from the pulldown menu. This limits your search to authors only.
  • Select the Begin With option from the next pulldown menu.
  • Type William Shakespeare in the empty “word(s)” box and click the Search button or press Enter. The message Nothing was found for your search should appear. (If the search produced a results set, there are probably few items in it.) Your search was not successful because the begin with option searches for the terms you entered at the beginning of a line and in the order they were typed. In other words, the PAC looked for an author whose last name was William and whose first name was Shakespeare.
  • Change the begin with option to contain and select Find to relaunch the search. A results list will appear. The search was successful because the contain search option does not care about word order or the position of the search term. Note that:
    • Your search window remains on the page, ready to launch another search;
    • A numbered results list shows the items that match your search query;
    • If multiple results were found for a search term, the type of search and the number of items returned is displayed. For example, [Author: Returns 98 items].
    • Underlined portions of the display indicate that additional information is linked to an item.
  • Now modify your search so that the begin with option is selected and the query box contains Shakespeare, William. (You may omit the comma, and you do not need to capitalize letters.) Launch the search. his time the search succeeded because authors’ last names always appear first in author fields.

Limit searches by publication date, language, format and location

So far you’ve seen that author searches can be limited by word order and word position. They also can be limited by date of publication, language, format, and location. (Branch Collection and other types of limiting can be added by contacting The Library Corporation. Depending on how this feature is configured for your library, patrons can limit searches by branch, library type, geographic location, zip code, or other criteria.) To use the search limiting features:

  1. Click on Set Limits on the search menu.
  2. Select the Format checkbox and choose Projected from the pulldown menu. (You could check any or all of the boxes. You can select more than one option within a pulldown menu by holding down the Ctrl key when you click on an item.)
  3. Click on the Set Limits button to return to the search menu. Note that the Set Limits feature has changed to Change Limits, indicating that one or more limit has been set.
  4. Enter the search query you last used and select Find. A new results list will appear showing only projected items. The following message appears at the beginning of the results list: Results filtered according to Limits.

Perform title searches

To search for works with William Shakespeare in the title:

  1. Click on Search select Titles from the pulldown menu. This limits your search to titles only.
  2. Select the begin with option from the next pulldown menu.
  3. Type William Shakespeare in the empty “word(s)” box and click the Search button. (You are searching for only titles that contain William Shakespeare at the beginning of the line.)
  4. Now change the begin with option to contain and press Search. (You are now searching for titles with William Shakespeare in any position.)
  5. Click on the first item in the results list to view an individual record. (The fields displayed in the labeled record can be modified by staff with appropriate security). Note that:
    • Underlined text shows links from this record to other information.
    • The Set Limits option may be used as it was for Author searches.
    • Location [SUNY Oswego] and Call number [PR2894.H28 1973] information is provided under Location Information.
    • MARC Display and MARC Download buttons are available at the top of the page. (More about them later.)

Conduct Boolean searches

In the previous sections you learned how to search for individual words (Shakespeare) or phrases (William Shakespeare) in the catalog. NetPAC 2000 also lets you search for words and phrases in certain combinations. This feature is known as Boolean searching, and the symbols used to connect words and phrases are called Boolean operators. The following table illustrates the operators available, sample searches, and the desired results.

Operator Example Explanation
AND or & Shakespeare & Bard Search for both Shakespeare and bard anywhere in the same field
OR or | Shakespeare OR Bard Search for Shakespeare or bard anywhere in the same field
NOT or ~ Shakespeare ~ Bard Search for Shakespeare and not bard in the same field

Before you try your hand at Boolean Searching from the Search the Catalog page, remember that:

  • It can be used for searching any available fields author, title, subject, notes, all of those fields, or any combination;
  • Words being searched are not case sensitive (shakespeare, Shakespeare, and SHAKESPEARE are all intepreted the same way);
  • It works only with searches using the contain (not the begin with) parameter;
  • The search must be structured so that the PAC can understand it.

Structuring the search

When you enter a search query in the “word(s)” box and press Find, the PAC reads your entry from left to right, using the Boolean operators and other symbols. It does not combine adjacent words into phrases unless you give it further instruction. For example, if you entered

William Shakespeare AND Julius Caesar

as a search query, the PAC would search for records that contained all four words in any order. This problem can be solved by nesting words within parentheses. For example, the query

(William Shakespeare) AND (Julius Caesar)

would cause the PAC to search for occurrences of William Shakespeare and then search among the results for records that also contained Julius Caesar. Try using the two search queries presented above to see if different results are produced. Can you figure out what the following query would retrieve?

(William Shakespeare) OR (Julius Caesar)) NOT (George Lyman Kittredge)*

*Find the phrase William Shakespeare or the phrase Julius Caesar where it does not appear with the phrase George Lyman Kittredge.

Search truncated terms

PAC allows you to search for partial words in the search query box by using the wildcard symbol * to the right of a word stem. For example, a contains search on titles using the query sales* might return a results list with titles such as Death of a Salesman or Effective Sales Management.

Exact Phrase Searches

You can designate exact phrases to search by enclosing them in quotes (“All’s Well that Ends Well”).

Putting it all together

So far you have learned how to

  • Perform author and title searches;
  • Set the begin with and contain parameters
  • Use the Set Limit features; and
  • Perform Boolean searches.

The skills you have developed can also be applied to subject, notes, and any items searches. Try the following searches to expand your skills:

  • Notes that contain the phrase William Shakespeare
  • A subject search for William Shakespeare and either drama or poetry
  • Only titles in French containing William Shakespeare

Conduct combination searches

You have just learned how to perform a Boolean search using the Search option. This section shows you how to perform Boolean searches using the Combined search function.

  1. The Combined search page has three search entry lines instead of just one. For each entry line, you can select the type of entry to be searched. Click the down arrow beside each selection box on the right and choose Title, Author, Subject, or Note.After the first and second entry lines, select one of the Boolean operators AND, OR or NOT to determine the relationship between a search term and the term following. If you use two different operators select the radio button that describes how search terms should be grouped:
    • (Term 1 OPERATOR Term 2) OPERATOR Term 3
    • Term 1 OPERATOR (Term 2 OPERATOR Term 3)
  2. While Search performs a single search, the Combined search performs up to three individual searches and combines the results according to the relationships you defined among the search terms. For example, you want to see if Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote anything about John Brown:
    • Using Search, you could build a search query that looked in the author and subject indexes for Nathaniel Hawthorne AND John Brown. The results would display items for which both Nathaniel Hawthorne and John Brown were joint authors and subject entries which listed both Nathaniel Hawthorne and John Brown. (You would probably get few, if any, results.) You could also search the author index separately for works written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the subject index separately for John Brown. (You would probably get plenty of results, but you would have to review them to see if any were relevant.)
    • Using the Combined search feature, you could build a search query that looked only in the author field for Nathaniel Hawthorne and only in the subject field for John Brown. You could also specify that both conditions must be met before results are displayed. (To do this, select the Boolean AND between the first and second entry lines.) Depending on the contents of your library catalog, you could find the relevant item quickly and easily.

There is no difference between the way individual search queries are built in Search and Combined searches. You can use boolean operators within a search query (search for Nathaniel Hawthorne AND John Brown) as well as use wildcards (*), and phrases (enclosed in quotation marks). You can also Set Limits in either search mode.

Browse the catalog

The Browse feature gives you a different way to search for and display results than the Search and Combined search options.

  1. It lets you select Titles, Authors, Subjects, Notes, or numeric fields. (Only one field can be searched at a time.)
  2. It also creates a list of the results for your limited search and displays then in the form of a list in which you can move up or down (browse).

For example, you could perform a Title search for works containing Shakespeare. The results would be available in the form of a word list which you can browse using the up or down arrows.

You could also perform a Local Call Number Dewey Call number search. Your results would be available in the form of a numeric list which you can browse using the up or down arrows. (To search your own library’s call numbers, use Local Call.)

Change the record display

NetPAC 2000 lets you change the way individual records look. The default display option (also known as the Labeled display) is shown. (Since the display is configurable by Library staff, the screen you view may differ slightly from this illustration.) Note that the labeled display may include:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Imprint (place of publication, publisher, and date of publication)
  • Subject

Information about the item’s location is also shown, including:

  • Branch or library name
  • Collection name
  • Call number

You may also view the record in MARC record format by selecting the MARC button at the top of the screen. A view is displayed, showing the individual record fields and their contents. To return to the previous display, select the Label button at the top of the screen.

Download and print MARC records

NetPAC 2000 lets you save individual records in MARC format to a file for later use. If the library has TLC’s ITS.forWindows or Library.Solution installed on the PAC station, when the MARC Download button is pressed, the record will be sent to ITS or Library.Solution Cataloging automatically. (A confirmation message is displayed in the PAC.)

If the cataloging software is currently running, the record will appear in a MARC Editor window, ready for editing and saving. If the software is not running, the record is saved to an Internet Queue. The next time you run the software, a reminder appears that you can access the records by File | Open Internet Queue.

If ITS or Library Solution are not installed on the station, the record can be saved to any filename and folder location.

To save a record from the PAC:

  • Perform a search in the PAC. When the record you want is displayed in either the Labeled or MARC Display format, click the MARC Download button.
  • The browser’s File Download window will open, asking what you would like to do – Open this file from its current location OR Save this file to disk
  • Select Save this file to disk, and click OK.
  • The Save As dialog will open. Select a folder, specify a filename, and select the type of file (*.dat is an acceptable selection). Click OK. The file will be saved in USMARC format.
  • Close the File Download window if it is still open.
  • Now you can open the file in your cataloging software, edit if needed, and save to a selected database or other location.