Catalog Search Tips



You can search Washington County Cooperative Library Service’s Online Public Access Catalog from their website, and selecting the “Search Catalog” button.

Browse Search

Follow these steps to browse the title, author, subject, or series index. For these search results, the catalog displays a list of headings in the chosen index. You select a heading to display the titles associated with it.

Select the Search Catalog icon from the WCCL website ( Then select the dropdown menu at the top that says “Other Search Options” and select “Browse”

Select from the dropdown menu what kind of Browsing you want to do: Title, Subject, Author or Series. Type the name of the author, the subject word, title, or the series name in the search box, with these tips in mind:

 You do not need to type all of the index heading. Type enough of the index heading to make the search unique to the items you want to find.

You can type the first and last name of the author using the format: last name first name. For example, enter William Shakespeare as Shakespeare William.

 Click the “Go!” button to the right of the Search box, and view the list of headings displayed. 

 Display the list of associated titles in the titles frame by doing the following steps:

If necessary, scroll through the headings list to display the previous or next sections of the index.

View the titles associated with a heading.

Keyword Search


Follow these steps to find titles containing specified text in any field or in a selected field of the library catalog.

        1. Select the Search the Catalog icon from the main page at The Search menu is displayed.

        2. Keyword searching is the default, you don’t have to select it.

        3. Type the text to find in the Search For box, keeping these rules in mind: the catalog ignores letter case, multiple spaces, and punctuation. Omit hyphens in numbers.  You can type part of a word or number and use a wildcard character (*).

To focus your search, follow these steps:

        1. Click the “Search by” dropdown menu below the Search By box.

        2. Click the “Limit by” dropdown menu below the Search By box.

  3. Click on “More Search Options” below to set more specific search parameters.

Note: You can limit the search by library location, publication date, format or material type, language, or target audience.


Phrase Search Instructions

A phrase search looks for matches to multiple words, in the same order you typed them. You might choose a phrase search when you know the phrase is part of a specific title, not necessarily at the beginning of the title.

You can search all fields and formats in the catalog records, or narrow the search to a single record field specified in the Search by box, such as Author, Subject, Title, or Genre.

To do a phrase search, follow these steps:

Type the words in the Phrase search for box.

 Click GO.

For more information about phrase searching, click on “Need help searching? Click here for tips and instructions”


Boolean Search

A Boolean search lets you do complex, precise searches by writing CQL (Common Query Language) search statements. You start a Boolean search by selecting Boolean from the “Other Search Options” dropdown menu from the catalog. WCCLS automatically inputs the search command FIND, and you type the rest of the command in the Boolean search toolbar.

The search command you type can include the following parts:

        · The text for which you are searching.

        he access points (fields) you wish to search; for example, author or title.

Operators that link one search expression with another. The following operators are available:

        · Boolean (logical) operators: AND, OR, NOT.

Relative operators, which specify a comparative relationship between items.

Example: To find the works of author Asimov published in or after 1970, you type the following command:

AU=asimov AND PD >= 1970

AU specifies the access point Author. The search text for this access point is asimov. AND is the Boolean operator connecting the two conditions of this search (the author and the date). PD specifies the access point Publication Date. The search text for this access point is 1970. The symbol >= stands for the relative operator greater than or equal to.

For information about the Common Query Language, access points, and Boolean operators, click “Need help searching? Click here for tips and instructions”.

Follow these steps to do a search by typing a Common Query Language (CQL) command.   Type the search command in the Boolean box, keeping the following tips in mind:

        · The catalog ignores letter case.

        · You can type part of a word and use a wildcard character (*).

      · Use parentheses to group search terms.

To include stop words such as articles and prepositions, punctuation such as a hyphen or a question mark, or command words such as Boolean operators in the search text, place the search text in quotation marks.

 Click the “Go!” to the right of the Boolean input box. When the search is finished, the catalog displays materials that fit those specifications.