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Using the Library Search & Discovery

Library Search Tutorial

Library Search

Using Library Search

Grace Library has access to millions of books, articles, and videos that you can use for your research or even just for fun. Using the Library Search box, it is very easy to find what you are looking for!

The Library Search box allows you to search the library's discovery system. Think of the library's discovery system like an online shop, such as Amazon or Target, but for finding library materials like books, eBooks, articles, videos, and more. You probably already have many of the skills necessary for finding library materials, such as keyword searching and filtering, and you might not even know it yet!



First, on the Grace Library homepage, you will see there are multiple tabs at the top of the Library Search box. You can limit your search to books or articles by clicking the appropriate tab before a search, but we recommend starting with the "Everything" tab if you are new to a subject.



If you are looking for resources on a subject, try a general keyword search. Keep your search brief at first. You may type in your subject, or even the title or author of the material if you know the item you want to find.

search example


Then, click the "Search" button to see a list of results.

discovery example


Any time you see an orange "View full text" or "View eBook" button, you can click these buttons to immediately view the full text of the article or eBook.

view full textview ebook

Any time you see a green check mark and the word "Available," this is a book that's available at Grace Library. To find any item in the library, all you need to know is the collection and the call number.

book availability example


Filtering & Sorting

This is a lot of results to look through - many of which you may not be interested in - so you will want to use filters to narrow down your results. The filters are the check boxes on the left side of the screen. It is possible to limit your results to just articles, or by a time period such as the last 5 years. Another useful filter is "Peer Reviewed" when you only want to see academic or scholarly results for sourcing research papers.

filters example


Below you'll see how a search with filters can limit results down to a smaller number.

example of search results


You can also use the "Sorted by" drop-down menu to select a new sort. By default, results will sort by "Best Match," meaning the results that match your keywords best will be closer to the top. You can change this, such as by selecting "Date (Newest First)." This will sort the newest articles to the top of your results.

sort example


Different Keywords

Sometimes you will have to experiment with new keyword searches in order to get different or more relevant results. During your exploration of a topic, such as "global warming," you may find sources that prompt ideas for other search terms. Each time you search for your topic using different keywords, you will come up with a different list of results. Another common phrase to search for on this topic is "climate change," which in this case retrieves many more results than "global warming."

changing search terms example


You can even get more specific, using phrases such as "carbon emissions" or "atmospheric CO2" if they are relevant to your topic. Try multiple searches and use all of the same tools - sorting, filtering, etc. - to find the best results.

When typing new search terms you will see other suggested terms, try some of these as well if they are relevant to your topic.

suggestions example 


Library Discovery System: A one-stop search system where users can search for all materials owned by the library, as well as many of the articles and journals subscribed to through library databases. The library's discovery system works much like an online shop such as Amazon, except it is used to find library materials to help with your research. Users can also access other library services through the discovery system, such as managing your account, viewing what books you currently have checked out, placing an interlibrary loan request, and more.