Library News

Search Tips for the New Catalog

by Children's Librarian 1 | October 30, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Image of a cursor handIn September, the Minuteman Library Network began using new software known as “Encore” to search the Minuteman Catalog.  Encore looks very different from the old catalog, and some searches may lead to unexpected results.   Here are some tips for searching most efficiently with Encore:

LOG-IN: Before beginning your search, click on Login in the upper right corner of the screen and login with your library card number (or username) and PIN. Logging-in will bring your library’s items to the top when viewing a list of copies. When logged-in you can also request materials, save titles to lists, access full-text articles, and view your check-outs and holds.

SEARCHING FOR A TITLE?:  Encore does a great job at bringing titles to the top of a search result page if the title is in the Catalog.  You may be confused, however, if the title is not in the catalog, as Encore will bring you alternative results.  To force Encore to search for your exact title or phrase, put the title between quote marks.  This will force Encore to look for all of the words in the exact order and to respond with an unambiguous  “No catalog results found”   in those rare instances when no Minuteman library owns the title. You can also limit your search results to words found in the Title field by clicking on “Title” under the “Found In” facet on the left side of the search results page.

LOOKING FOR AN AUTHOR? -- ENTER THE LAST NAME FIRST:  If you are looking for works written by Abraham Lincoln, you will get better results by searching for “Lincoln Abraham” than “Abraham Lincoln.” Although the titles will be the same, they will be presented in a different order, with the author entries at the top.  You can also limit your search results to words found in the Author field by clicking on “Author” under the “Found In” facet on the left side of the search results page.

LOOKING FOR A SUBJECT?: Start with the basic keyword search. From there, there are a few strategies you can use: 1) Limit your search results to words found in the Subject field by clicking on “Subject” under the “Found In” facet on the left side of the search results page. 2) Click on the “Tag/Subject” facet and choose one of the subjects from the list 3) From the initial search results page click on any relevant title and use the linked subject headings (at the bottom of the “Details” section of the page) to find additional titles cataloged with the same subject heading. Note that the first two strategies narrow your initial search results, while the third is a new search with all new search results.

SORT BY DATE: Click “Date” at the top left above the refinements box to bring the most recently published titles to the top of the list.

LIMIT BY FORMAT: On the search results page, use the Format facet on the left side of the screen to, for example, limit to print books and weed out digital titles or other formats you may not be interested in viewing.

LIMIT TO ACTON: To limit search results to materials owned by Acton, click on “Acton” under the Location facet on the left side of the screen.  Use the Collections facet to further limit your search to only children’s materials (“ACTON/Children’s”) or only adult and young adult materials (“ACTON”).  

LIMIT TO AVAILABLE: To limit the display to items currently available for checkout in Acton, click “Acton” under the Location facet, and click “At a Library” under the Availability facet.

CHECK SHELF STATUS: On the search results page, click “see all” under a particular record to display availability and shelf status. While the "see all" window is open, check the box next to "only show available" to eliminate from the display items that are not currently available for checkout.

USE ADVANCED SEARCH: Use the Advanced Search option (the link is located just under the basic search box) to construct more complex searches. Here you can select which fields are searched (Keyword anywhere, Author, Title, or Subject) and choose AND, OR, and NOT operators. You can limit to multiple formats and/or multiple locations by clicking on the plus sign (+) next to the dropdown boxes.

If you have questions about the new Minuteman Catalog, please stop by or call the Reference Desk at 978-929-6543, or email us at:    We are happy to help!

Minuteman Catalog