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Tornado Season: Themes

Eastfield Common Book 2020-2021

Tips for Searching Library Resources

Tip #1: Search Using Keywords or Phrases

The library catalog and databases do not function exactly like Internet search engines, such as Google, and work best when searched using keywords or phrases. When searching using keyword phrases, try putting quotation marks (" ") around your phrase for more accurate search results.

Tip #2: Combine Your Search Terms

Try combing keywords and phrases using the boolean operators AND and OR. Using AND tells the library resource to look for both search terms (example: Dogs AND Cute) and will reduce your search results. Using OR tells the library resource to look either search term (example: Dogs OR Cats) and will increase your search results. You can combine multiple search terms using AND and OR for more precise search results (example: Dogs OR Cats AND Cute).

Tip #3: Use Assigned Subjects to Discover Related Resources

All resources found in the library catalog and databases are assigned subject terms related to what the resource is about. Subject terms can be found in the resource's library catalog or database record. Searching the library catalog or databases by these subject terms will provide you with other resources on the same subject.

Tip #4: Try Truncating Your Search

If you want to expand your search using the same word spelled multiple ways, try truncating your search by adding an asterisk (*) at the end of the root word (example: Book* = Book, Books, Booking, Booked, Bookish, etc.).

Tip #5: Be Creative!

Make a list every possible way your topic could be described. This will aid you in finding the best possible resources on your topic and prevent you from hitting a research dead end. Search using multiple related search terms at the same time by putting parentheses around the terms and separating them with OR, like this (Coffee OR Java OR Café).


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Check out our Library Tutorials & How-to Guides or contact a librarian for research help!

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