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Minuteman Catalog Help
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Advanced Search Tips

Advanced Searching Searching by Format, Language, or Audience

Can I create a wishlist of saved titles for the future?

Yes, you can use the My Lists feature to save items and create lists.

For more information see:

Using Advanced Search

Search Words

Multiple search terms

Phrase searching: Multiple words are searched together as one phrase when enclosed in quotation marks.
Example : "vampire bat" will show only results that have "vampire bat" as phrase; vampire + bat will show results with the word 'vampire' and the word 'bat' anywhere the item's record

Truncation: You can use truncation to include various endings to word in the results. Use a single asterisk * to truncate.
Example : libr* Results will include entries with library, libraries, librarian, librarians, etc

Note: If a title is hyphenated, you need to search by using that hyphen. (For example: Catch 22 will not return the same results as Catch-22.)

Using AND / OR / NOT

You can use the AND / OR / NOT buttons (also called "Boolean operators") to narrow or broaden your search results.

AND - Records must contain all words to appear in the results. Use "AND" to narrow your search. (Example: artificial AND intelligence)

OR - Records must contain at least one of the words to appear in the results. Use "OR" to broaden your search. (Example: "artificial intelligence" OR AI OR "robots")

NOT - Records that include the "NOT" words do not appear in the results. Use "NOT" to narrow your search by excluding unwanted or irrelevant results. (Examples: intelligence NOT artificial [for results on natural intelligence], artificial intelligence NOT spielberg [for result about AI excluding the 2001 film] )

All search terms entered in the search box are treated as "AND" by default. If your search results are "No catalog results found", try using fewer search words, or use the "OR" function.

The catalog search box treats uppercase AND, OR, and NOT as operators. It treats lowercase "and", "or", and "not" as regular search words.

Search Filters

You can use the drop down tabs to pre-limit your results by Format, Collection, Location, Language, and Year. You can enter multiple limits of the same type. Click the '+' button to create an additional text box

For example, if you want to search for recent Chinese language films at Brookline's Coolidge Corner branch, you can select DVD/VCD and BLURAY as your format filter and "Chinese" as a Language filter. Then select Brookline Coolidge Corner from the Collections tab and a minimum date into the Year range.

Within those limits, you could then use a keyword search for your favorite actor, or use * as a wildcard to see items that meet your criteria.

If you get fewer results than expected, try using less filters. If you get too many results, limit by them adding extra filters in your search or by using the filters on the left-side of the search results.

What is the difference between Collection and Location?

Collection is a narrower breakdown. You can choose down to the building level in towns with branch libraries or differentiate between Adult and Children's collections within those buildings. For example:

  • ANY
  • Acton
  • Acton Children's
  • Arlington Main
  • Arlington Main Children's
  • Arlington Fox
  • Arlington Fox 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. For example:

  • 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.

Using Advanced Search to browse library collections

Not sure what you're looking for? In addition to searching by keyworod, you can use Advanced Search filters and the wildcard * to browse a particular collection, like in Search Filters example.

(There are over one and half million titles in the shared Minuteman catalog. For best results while browsing, use the filters to narrow down format + location/collection plus any additional limits)

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

Use the Advanced Search box and select your format and language as in the Search Filters example above.

Or click on the desired language in the list of facets on the left hand side of your search results.

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.


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 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

How can I limit a DVD search by widescreen vs full screen?

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

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

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

There are over 18,000 Russian language titles in the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Keyword, author, or title searches can be performed using either Roman transliteration or the Russian alphabet. You can find all Russian items in the MLN Catalog by using the search described here: http://www.mln.lib.ma.us/catalog/faq_search.htm#search31 You can limit your search by material type (books only, for example) or to a particular library's collection. Most Russian materials can be shared among libraries. Use the catalog's request function to request that an item be sent to your library.

Minuteman also offers Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French and Portuguese search interfaces of the catalog.

How can I search or browse by call number in the catalog?

Each library assigns an item a call number based on their collection, so 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. Do a keyword search for a call number corresponding with your topic.

2. Limit to the library whose collection you'd like to browse with Location facet on the left.

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

4. 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 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.

  4. 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).