Minuteman Catalog Help
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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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
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.
What is the difference between Collection and Location limits on the advanced search screen?
Collection allows you to specify either the Adult collection or the Children's collection at a particular Minuteman library. (e.g. Newton Main or Newton Main Children's)
Location allows you to limit to a particular library (including its branches, if there are branches). This type of search would include both children's and adult materials.
How do I search by ISBN or ISSN?
Choose ISBN/ISSN from the main search screen at:
(or accessible from the New Search link)
Enter an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and click the "Search" button.
What is the use of the "Save to My List" feature?
See these other FAQs:
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://library.minlib.net/patroninfo/
Option 1 - My Lists
Summary of steps:
2. Click on the "Log in to My Account" and log in.
3. Enter search terms and click "Search".
4. When you find a title you want to save, click on "Save to My Lists".
5. 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".
6. A confirmation message will appear in red text. Click the Back button to return to your search results and add additional titles if desired.
A link to "Request It" will be provided next to the titles for your convenience.
See these other FAQs for more information:
Option 2 - Preferred Search
Once logged in, choose Search the Catalog to do a search. For example, search for the Title: secret goldfish To save this search, click on the button labeled "Save as Preferred Search" This will now be saved on your patron record as a "preferred search" until you delete it from your list. To retrieve your Preferred Search(es), click on the icon for Patron Record, and then click on Preferred Searches You can execute your Preferred Search by clicking on the word Search at the far right. Once you have done a search, you can place a request on the resulting title.
You can save up to 50 "Preferred Searches" in My Account.
How do I find a list of audio books?
Do a Keyword search for audiobooks. From the result screen, you can further choose "Modify Search" to have the opportunity to limit by the particular material type you want (for example, "spoken CD")
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:
What can I do to obtain items I don't find in the Minuteman Catalog?
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?
For example, if you want to read the art history mysteries by Iain Pears in order.
It is often difficult to determine the order of books in a series from the catalog. Other resources that can be helpful are:
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:
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.
Location allows you to search the entire Minuteman network (41 libraries) at once, all of the Children's departments at once, or the holdings of an individual town or academic institution
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 up to 5 characters at the end of a word, or the characters "**" to indicate any number of characters at the end of a word.
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 change the option from "All Locations Collection" to the library you prefer.
To find the newest videos and DVDs at a particular library do a Keyword search for the word 'videorecording' and then choose the library where you prefer to pick up your material.
Can I search for Chinese Language materials in the online catalog?
There are over 25,000 Chinese language items in the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Author and title searches can be performed with either Chinese character input or with romanized characters. You can find all Chinese items in the MLN Catalog by searching for the keywords "Chinese language materials" or "中文资料." , or you can limit your search by material type (books only, for example) or to a particular library's collection. For a demonstration on searching with Chinese input in the Classic Catalog see: http://www.mln.lib.ma.us/chinese/chinese_russian.html
Most Chinese materials can be shared among libraries. Use the catalog's request function to request that an item be sent to your library.
Can I search the Minuteman Catalog directly from my browser (Firefox or IE7) with a search extension?
Yes! Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 Web browsers feature a handy search bar with library search options search bar built right into the the browser's toolbar (in the top right corner of the browser window). By default, search bar options include such popular search engines as Google and Yahoo. The Minuteman Library Network has developed search plugins so that Firefox and IE7 users can easily add library search options to their browser search bars. All versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 are supported (earlier versions of IE are not). Click here to go to the download page.
I did a keyword search containing the words "before", "after" or "near" but got no results. What happened?
See our http://library.minlib.net/screens/search_tips.html page with information about boolean and proximity operators.
Use "before" and "after" to retrieve records that contain the specified words or phrases in a particular order in the record. Any number of words can appear between the specified words or phrases.
Use "near" to specify words close to each other, in any order. Use "within" to specify terms which occur within # words of each other in the record.
To search for a title or set of keywords that contain the words "before", "after", "near" or "within" put the phrase you are searching for in quotes in order to instruct the system NOT to use the word as an operator.
Example: "before the legend"
Example: "after all these years"
In what order are the results displayed when I do a Keyword Search?
The system uses logic to provide the most relevant titles first. For a more detailed description of this RightResults logic, see:
How do I search the entire network for materials that are ONLY in the Children’s department?
There are 3 ways that you can limit your search to juvenile material only.
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:
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
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 either the Find Similar Items tab or the Full Record tab display when you are viewing an individual entry.
Beginning October 13, 2008, why am I not able to search the Minuteman catalog?
A software upgrade installed on 10/13/2008 requires that session cookies be allowed even to search the catalog. If you have set IE to block all cookies you will not be able to search the catalog. Making the Privacy setting High allows searching the catalog but not access to My Account. Making the privacy setting Med-high or lower allows both searching and access to My Account.
What is the meaning of the stars that sometimes display above the words "Rate It" when I am viewing titles in the Minuteman Library Network catalog?
The stars are a rating system, on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. The number of blue stars represents the rating. The ratings are supplied by library patrons who hold a card from one of the libraries in the Minuteman Library Network.
If you hold the mouse cursor over the stars, you will see more details such as: "Rated 3 stars out of 5 based on 12 ratings".
For details on how to rate material see:
How do I rate materials in the Minuteman Library Network catalog?
in the My Account area of this FAQ.
Sometimes I get a blank page (or an error message) after I sort search results. What's going on?
When you do a browse search (ex: author search), then use the Limit/Sort button, and choose, "Sort results by year" and then submit, sometimes the resulting screen is blank or appears to "hang". We've also had reports of users getting a "Proxy Error" after sorting results by year.
This issue is scheduled to be fixed in the next release of our catalog software.
In the meantime, we recommend that, as a workaround, you use a Keyword search, "Modify Search" as needed, then sort by year. The problem does not affect Keyword searching.
What are the meanings of the Statuses in the Minuteman Library Network catalog?