Minuteman Library Network
Minuteman Catalog Help
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Searching Questions

Can I save reminders of books I want to request in the future from session to session?

How do I search by call # in the catalog?

In a consortium like Minuteman where the call numbers at each library are different, you need to be sure to pick a call number from the library where you want to browse. Make sure you limit the search to your library with the facets so you only see your own call numbers.

1. Type in 510.1 in the search box at  http://find.minlib.net

2. You will get the following results screen: http://find.minlib.net/iii/encore/search/C__S510.1__Orightresult__U?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

3. For example, if you want to browse Bedford's collection by call number, click on the Bedford facet to narrow your search:

4. Click on any title and then click on the call number for the book in Bedford:

5. You will see a carousel (graphical browse) of books to browse at Bedford. You also have the option to order the browse in a list format.

How do I find a book or a movie in a specific language in the catalog?

These sorts of searches are handled great by our discovery catalog.

Go to http://find.minlib.net

Type in your search

Click on the desired language in the list of facets on the left hand side

How do I browse materials in a specific language?

Let's say you want to find all materials (books, movies, audiobooks, games etc.) owned by all Minuteman libraries, in Arabic.

Go to http://find.minlib.net and click on Advanced Search.

Type an asterisk - * - in the Keyword field, select Arabic from the drop down Language menu and click Search.

This search will return all materials in Arabic or translated from Arabic in all Minuteman libraries.

How do I find all DVDs in a specific language?

Let's say you want to find all DVDs in Hindi owned by all Minuteman libraries.

Go to http://find.minlib.net and click on Advanced Search.

Type an asterisk - * - in the Keyword field, select "DVD or VCD" from the Format drop down menu, select Hindi from the drop down Language menu and click Search.


When should I use Keyword and when an Author search?

If you are looking for an author, and you are not sure of the precise spelling of the last name, it can be advantageous to use an Author search. Enter the last name first, and as much of the first name as you know. For example if you don't now whether an author is Phillip or Philip, enter Gulley, Phil and you would get any author that begins with Gulley, Phil

To get the same effect, (author name begins with) using Keyword, you would need to use the truncation symbol "*" to indicate optional endings on Phil Phil* would retrieve either phillip or philip

Do I have any control on the order in which search results are presented?

If you do an Author search for Cornwell, patr
the results of Patricia Cornwell's works come back to you alphabetically by Title.

If you then wish to reorder the results, select the Limit/Sort Search button and you will have the option to: Sort results by year

If you do a Keyword search for
Patricia cornwell
The results come back to you in an order determined by relevance.

You then have the option to change the order from sorted by relevance to sorted by date, giving the results in reverse chronological order; that is, newest publication date first.

I need some help with Advanced Search

Please see our Search Tips page:
On this page you will find some specific examples of the syntax for some advanced searches.

How do I search by ISBN or ISSN?

Type in the ISBN or ISSN in the Search box and click Enter.

What is the use of the "Save to My List" feature?

How can I save reminders of books I want to request in the future from session to session?


You now have two options for saving information from session to session. In both options you must first login to your account using your barcode and PIN. https://find.minlib.net/iii/encore/myaccount

Summary of steps:

    Go to the Minuteman Catalog: http:/find.minlib.net

    1. Click on the "Login" link and log in.
    2. Search for the item(s) you are interested in.
    3. For each title you want to save, click on "Add to Cart".
    4. To view the list of titles in the Bag, click on "View Cart".
    5. Click "Save to My Lists" Note: All items listed in your Bag (checked or unchecked) will be saved to your list.
    6. You will be prompted to choose an existing list or Create a new list. Name your list, provide a description if desired, and click "Submit".
    7. A confirmation message will appear in red text. Click the Back button to return to your search results and add additional titles if desired.

The titles you save in this way will be available to you when you next log in to "My Account" and click on "My Lists".

A link to "Request It" will be provided next to the titles for your convenience.

See these other FAQs for more information:

How do I find a list of audio books?

Do a Keyword search for audiobooks. From the result screen click on the DIGITAL AUDIOBOOK facet under Format.

Why does the system sometimes make me choose a particular item, but other times just assume I want the first available copy?

The system can tell when the volumes differ in examples such as:
  • Magazine issues
  • Different episodes of a television series
  • Multiple volumes in a series of travel guides
  • Etc.
In such cases, you are prompted to indicate which volume you want. Otherwise, the system should simply choose the first available copy.

What can I do to obtain items I don't find in the Minuteman Catalog?

  1. Consult a Reference staff member in your library for additional help searching the catalog.
  2. Search the Commonwealth Catalog, which allows you to search multiple other Massachusetts libraries, and place a request for titles you find there. (See "Commonwealth Catalog" link on bottom right of the catalog.)
  3. Request that library staff obtain the item for you by Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Is there an easy way to find out what copies are immediately available for borrowing (that is, on the shelf) when there is a long list of holdings?

When there is a long list of holdings, you will need to click on the button "View additional copies …" From the list of all copies, click on the button "Limit to Available"

How do I find a particular recording of a musical work such as a symphony, an opera, etc. by a prolific composer?

For example, if you are looking for Handel's Messiah conducted by Neville Marriner.

Do a Keyword search for: handel messiah marriner
The 14 resulting titles all have those 3 words in them and should provide your desired work.

Similarly, you could include the name of any of the other performers you wish in the Keyword search

Other musical examples to do with a Keyword search:

Beethoven symphony 3 szell
to find Beethoven's Symphony No 3 conducted by George Szell

Kiri Te Kanawa boheme
to find the opera La Boheme sung by Kiri Te Kanewa

How do I determine the next book in a series I am trying to read in order?

How do I find a recording of a particular song (by a particular artist)?

Use Keyword searching. Search for the title of the song (in quotation marks) and the performer's name, if desired.

Keyword search for:
  • "you've got a friend" james taylor
  • for "you've got a friend" by James Taylor
  • "heartbreak hotel" elvis
  • for "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley
  • "pirates of penzance" kline
  • For "Pirates of Penzance" sung by Kevin Kline

What is the difference between Collection and Location on the Advanced Search screen?

Collection is a narrower breakdown. You can choose down to the building level in towns with branch libraries. See the 2 Arlington locations in the example below. You can differentiate between Adult and Children's collections within those buildings. See Acton and Acton Children's.

  • ANY
  • Acton
  • Acton Children's
  • Arlington Main
  • Arlington Main Children's
  • Arlington Fox
  • Arlington Fox Children's
  • Ashland
  • Ashland Children's
  • And so forth

Location allows you to search the entire Minuteman network (43 libraries) at once, all of the Children's departments at once, or the holdings of an individual town or academic institution

  • All Locations Collection
  • All Children's departments
  • Acton
  • Arlington
  • Ashland
  • And so forth
The other difference is the extent of the items displayed. If you limit by Location, only the items belonging to the Location you chose are displayed. If you limit by Collection, you see all of the items attached to the titles that result from your search.

How can I specify alternate endings on a word in a Keyword search. For example, I want to find either library or libraries?

You can use the "*" character to indicate characters at the end of a word.

  • Librar* would find library and libraries and librarians

How can I indicate that I prefer either a particular format when searching for a DVD?

Do a keyword search for your title and add either "full screen" or "widescreen" to your search. For example:
13 going on thirty full screen or 13 going on thirty widescreen

Why is older data showing?

The most probable cause of older data displaying when you are at home is that your browser settings are such that cached (saved) data is being displayed.

If you are using Internet Explorer, we recommend setting "Check for newer versions of stored pages (you can find this setting under Tools | Internet Options | Settings (for Temporary Internet Files) ) to either "Automatically" or "Check every visit to the page." Verify that the settings are NOT disabled or set to "Never check."

Other browsers may have analogous settings.

Or, even better, recommend clearing cache as follows:
To delete temporary internet files in IE:
Click on "View", "Internet Options", under the General tab in the Temporary Internet Files section, click on "Delete Files." It will ask you if you want to delete all temporary files to which you would answer "Yes." Also make sure you check the box that says "Delete all offline content." Note that you can remove cookies at this point (subscription content) but this is not recommended, so leave that option unchecked.
Emptying cache (temporary Internet files) in Netscape Communicator:
Click on "Edit", "Preferences" and double-click "Advanced." Click once on "Cache" and from the right side of the window select "Clear Disk Cache." It will confirm that you want to remove all the files in your disk cache to which you answer "Yes."
Emptying cache (temporary Internet files) in Mozilla Firefox:
Click on "Tools", "Options." Click on the "Privacy" category. Scroll down to the bottom and click on "Clear" to the right of the Cache subcategory.

How can I find the newest videos and DVDs at my library?

When searching the Minuteman catalog with the intention of finding only items at a particular library, do your search and then pick the library name under the Location facet on the right:

Then click on the DVD OR VCS facet to get only movies at that specific location.

Can I search for Chinese Language materials in the online catalog?

Can I search the Minuteman Catalog directly from my browser (Firefox or IE10) with a search extension?

In what order are the results displayed when I do a Keyword Search?

The system uses logic to provide the most relevant titles first.

How do I search the entire network for materials that are ONLY in the Children’s department?

There are multiple ways that you can limit your search to juvenile material only.

  1. From a search results page after you've done a search by keyword, click on the "All children's departments" facet under Location. This will narrow your search and limit results to titles held in one or more children's departments in the Minuteman Library Network.
  2. On the Advanced Search screen, enter your search terms and then add "And juvenile". This will look for any titles that include a subject heading of either "juvenile fiction" or "juvenile literature"
  3. On the Advanced Search screen, enter your search and make one or more selections of Children's departments from the dropdown box labeled "Collection". You can use the Ctrl key to make multiple selections.

    For example, you could select to limit your search to:
       Cambridge Central Square Childrens
       Cambridge Collins Childrens
    if you are interested in finding materials at a particular children's department or departments.
For further help searching the public catalog, contact staff at your library.

How do I search the entire network for materials that are NOT in the Children’s department?

The following example finds materials about soccer that are not cataloged as juvenile materials:

Use the Advanced Search

In the first row of the search criteria
Any field : soccer
then use the drop down menu to choose the "and not" operator

In the second row of the search criteria:
Subject: juvenile

This constructs the search: (soccer) and not d:(juvenile)

The "d:" identifies the subject field

Records for juvenile materials have one of the following 2 phrases in the Subject field
   Juvenile fiction
   Juvenile literature

So eliminating records with "Juvenile" in the subject heading should result in only adult materials. (A possible exception is those new records which have not yet had any Subject headings added to the record). You can see the Subject headings by displaying the full record (just click on the title).

What are the meanings of the Statuses in the Minuteman Library Network catalog?