Skip to Main Content

Database & Book Catalog Instruction: Library Search Box

Information about how to use the library databases and book catalog.

Search the Library

                                                                                                                           ECTC Library logo

All     Books     Articles     Videos

Choose a different database   |   Library Catalog   |   Help Get help

Instructions On Using The Library Search Box

Library Search logo

The all-in-one Library Search will search all of your library's collections and databases in one place, providing you with search results that contain articles (scholarly and magazine/news), books (in print and electronic), and videos (DVDs and streaming titles).

The Library Search is like a search engine, but for your library.  It isn't a database like EBSCOhost or Gale--it links you into the databases from the search results page.  Use it when you want to find a lot of different types of information on a topic, or when you're starting out your research.  


You can do a basic search using the Library Search box on your library's website.  Select the radio buttons below the search box to limit your search from "All" if you are looking for a specific type of resource, like "Books," "Articles," or "Videos."

                                                    ECTC library search box
You can set limits here, and hit "Go!"

For more options, you'll need to access the Basic Search Screen. (You can access the Basic Search Screen after conducting your search from the Library Search box on the library's webpage, and then going up to "New Search.")

On the basic search screen, you have the option of setting limits using the dropdown menus below the search box.  Here you can limit your search from "All items" to a specific resource, like "Books," "Articles," or "Videos."  From the second dropdown menu, you can change your search from finding results "that contain my query words" to finding results that use your search terms "as an exact phrase," or "begins with."  The third dropdown menu will limit your search from "anywhere in the record" (meaning, in the title, author, description, etc.) to a specific part of the record (such as title, author/creator, ISBN, etc.).


ECTC Library Search box

The dropdown menus below the search box are useful for limiting your search from the get-go.


You can also access more search options by clicking on "Advanced search" to the right of the search box.  You also can sign into the library using your KCTCS log in to access your library account information (for example, which books you have checked out, and your recent search history.)


Search results are sorted by relevance, meaning that unless you specify otherwise, the Library Search will try to show you results that contain your search terms right inside the title.  Notice that your search results, by default, will contain a mixture of articles, books, and videos. If the item is from one of your library's electronic research databases, you should see a link that says "Available Online," in green, below the title. 

Library Search results page, showing a book, video, and article that can be accessed electronically.
The first item in our search results is a book, followed by a video, and then followed by a scholarly article.  All three contain "School" and "Violence" in the title.


Clicking on the green link, "Available Online," will open the item's record, which is more information about the item.  You should see a white box, "View Online," which will display a series of links showing you which electronic database the item is located in.  For this example, the article is located in "ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Database" as well as in "Research Library."  Clicking on any of those links will redirect you to the appropriate database and open up the article on your screen.

A record page of a scholarly article, showing the links to the databases where the article can be accessed.
This article is available in two different databases: ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health, and Research Library


The article located using the Library Search, located in the ProQuest database.
Once you click on the link, you are redirected to the database and taken to the article inside that database.  Here we are in ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Database.

Back on your search results screen, you can apply different filters using the facets on the right side of the search results screen.  This will allow you to quickly change your search results.

Each item located in the search results is "tagged" with different subject headings.  For example, articles about a recent school shooting might be tagged with "school violence," "school shooting," "bullying," etc.  You can click relevant subjects, and that will filter all the items in your search results to showing just the items that are tagged with those specific subject headings.

Library Search results filters, highlighting subjects.
Some of the subjects you can filter to for "School Violence" include "Violence," "Psychology," and "Social Aspects."


Resource type:
By default, you will see a mixture of articles, books, and videos in your search results. You can select which publication type you want in your search results. For example, clicking on "Newspaper Articles" will filter your results to just showing articles from newspapers.

Library Search results filters, highlighting source types.
Mostly what we found was articles, including newspaper articles.  You could filter this to specific articles, and/or to books and videos.


Creation date:
Choose a range of dates for your search results.  For example, you can set it to show results published from the last 12 months, last 5 years, last 10 years, etc.

Library Search results filters, highlighting creation date.
Filtering to the last 10 years will provide you the most up-to-date research.


This allows you to filter your results to show you electronic items ("Available Online"), items available only in print at your library ("Held by Library"), and/or open access journals or peer reviewed journals.

Library Search results filters, highlighting availability.
Clicking "Held by library" will show you books in your library.  Clicking "Available online" filters it to items in the databases.



The Library Search can also search specifically for the items inside your library that are available for check-out, such as books and DVDs.  This is called "Library Catalog" mode.  In the basic search, change the dropdown menu on the right-side of the search box to "Library Catalog - [Your College Name] All."  This will now search items in your library's physical collection, such as books and DVDs.

The Library Search basic search screen, with search box set to Library Catalog mode.
Now we're just searching what's in your library -- not what's in the databases.

In your search results, it will show availability at your library below the title of the item (in green).  Clicking on the green and blue "Available at" link will open the item's record.

Library Search results page, showing physical books that are located in the library in the results.
The third book on the list is available at several different libraries.

On the screen that opens, it will take you to a white box showing "Locations."  It will list all of the KCTCS college libraries that have that book in their print collections, with your library located at the top of the list.  It will display the book's call number, which is the book's location on the shelf.  Ask at the library help desk for assistance retrieving your book from the shelf.

A record for a book located at several KCTCS libraries, showing the book's call number.
The call number is LB3013.3.  It's located in the Education section of the library.

Contact your library for more help.