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Library search

Learn how to search many of the library's resources and obtain a single set of results.

We're discontinuing OLIB on 31 December 2023.

Documentation updates will end on 31 December 2023. This documentation will remain on until 31 December 2024.

If you require assistance with this product, please contact your library

Mae OLIB yn dod i ben ar 31 Rhagfyr 2023.

Bydd diweddariadau dogfennaeth yn dod i ben ar 31 Rhagfyr 2023. Bydd y ddogfennaeth hon yn parhau i fod ar [] tan 31 Rhagfyr 2024.

Os byddwch angen cymorth gyda’r cynnyrch hwn, cysylltwch â’ch llyfrgell.

Welcome to library search help. This shows how you can search and access many of the library's resources in a single results list.

Use the headings below to discover each feature (variable depending on your institution).

Search options


The Keyword search is used to find records where specific details are not known. It will search for the word or words you enter anywhere in the record.

Enter the keywords you want to find in the Keyword(s) box, e.g. management theory. The wildcard (%) symbol can be used at the beginning, middle or end of your search terms.

The records that contain the words you searched for as a phrase will be listed first, followed by records which contain all the words but not as a phrase.

Click the Title link to view the details.

Title and author

The Title/Author Search is used to find items where you know the title and/or the author. The author can be a person, an organisation or government department.

Enter the whole title of an item if you know it. If it is a long title, just type in the first few words.

If you don't know the whole title but just want to match on a word or phrase in the title field, precede your word or phrase with the % as a wildcard character, e.g. %autism.

In the author name or organisation box, enter the author's name or the name of the organisation. This is a keyword search, so you can enter all the words, or just a few of the words, in any order. For example, "john smith" or "smith, john" will find records by that author.

Results are displayed in title alphabetical order. Sort the hitlist by other criteria if preferred.

Use options on the left to Refine your search, e.g. by media type (Format), location and so on.

Click the Title link to view the details.


The Advanced Search is used to find items using a combination of up to four different fields.

Select the field you want to search in. Then enter the search term(s) in the entry field to the right of this field:

Advanced search fields.

Search fields to choose from: Keyword(s), Title, Author, Subject.

Select up to three other fields to search and add search terms in the entry fields. The wildcard (%) symbol can be used at the beginning, middle or end of your search terms. Click the Search button to run the search.

Click the Title link to view the details.


When you enter a Subject search this will either:-

  • list the Subject Headings that match your term(s)
  • list the Titles that contain the Subject Headings matching your term(s)

The wildcard (%) symbol can be used at the beginning, middle or end of your search terms.

If the Subject Headings are listed, a count of the number of titles containing that heading is shown. This is a link you can follow to the actual titles.

If the linked Titles are displayed, the title link takes you to the record details.

Click the Title link to view the details.

Search results

The results list shows page-by-page the items which have matched your search.

This includes total number of hits and number of results pages, e.g:

29 results           Search results for "learning child play"            1 2 3

The records normally include title, subtitle, author and format (such as E-book). There may be additional options such as Reserve and Add to basket.

Sort by: change the default Title display order of the results. Other sort orders include Date, Author, Classmark, Relevance, Rating. Your choice is retained for subsequent searches.

Ratings: the average rating for an item may be displayed on the hitlist. If you want to add your own rating you need to be logged in and go to the title details.

image1402.jpg If you select a record on one page of hits, the selection is retained when you display a different page. Any action you choose will be performed on all selected records including those records you have selected on other pages.

Refine your search

When you run a search that displays titles in a hitlist, the side panel on the left contains the number of hits for various groupings in that block:

Refine your search panel showing examples of Format filters.

For example, Book (44), eBook (18) in the Format block.

You can use the side panel on the left to filter / limit your search by these criteria.

Typically this can be by Format (media type), Location, Author, Subject, Publication date, Classmark.

Check the box to choose any specific criteria. The hit list refreshes to display only the records that match your new criteria.

Checkbox-Unchecked-icon_28x28.pngIn addition you can use Select all and Deselect all buttons to select or deselect all options in that block.

  Note: you can also select groups in the sidebar before you enter your search words.

Sort your search

Results are displayed in a default order depending on the search you choose. Sort the hitlist by other criteria if preferred:

Sort by box showing Title,  Date published, Author, Classmark, Relevance, Rating

The new sort option is kept until your session finishes. It is used for all your searches instead of the default sort.


  • If you check the box of a record in the hitlist, it remains checked (until you uncheck it), even if you re-sort the hitlist and the record is no longer displayed on the front page.
  • The Relevance sort option is only applicable to results in a Keyword search. If you use Relevance in another search it will automatically revert to the default sort.

Breadcrumb trail

Welcome Page > User Profile > Results > Title Details > Results

Breadcrumbs are shown at the top or foot of the screen. You can use them to go back to earlier search results and details screens.

Each item in the trail is labelled when you hover over it:

Example of breadcrumb trail.

Click the link to go back to that search result / screen.

To clear your activity for this session and reset the current breadcrumb trail, use the red cross to the left of the breadcrumbs:

sro_delete_on.gif Welcome Page > Results > Title Details > Results > Results > Title Details...

Note this does not log you out of the library search session.

Save your search

Saved Searches allow you to save specific search words and filters so you can re-run the search at any time.

You have to be logged in to do this.

  1. To save your search, enter your search words as normal
  2. The results list then displays
  3. Click Actions on selected items dropdown
  4. Choose Save search
  5. In the pop up, enter a name / description for your search
  6. Click Save this search.

Re-run a search:

  1. Click Search Options on the top menu
  2. Hover over My Searches
  3. A list of your saved searches are displayed
  4. Click to re-run.

Improve your search by refining and sorting, e.g. by date.

Whenever you re-run the search, the title results are potentially updated, depending on what has been added / removed in the library.

Display details

Main details

When you click the title link on an item in the hitlist, this page provides the detailed information. This also display if your search only retrieves one record.

Example of library item details screen, showing full item description and physical copy availability.

<< Previous or Next >> links display the previous or subsequent title in the results list. Return to hitlist takes you back to the list of titles. Record 2 of 17 shows which record in the results list is displayed currently and how many hits there are in total.

The Reserve button is shown if you are eligible to reserve this title. Click the Other actions on this item drop down to see Reserve, Download for EndNote, Save Search, Email Citations.

There may be options to:

Shopping_Cart_Add.pngAdd to Basket

page-link-icon.pngUse the Permalink icon to create a URLPermalink (copy/forward a URL).

Bibliographic details are shown in the top half of the screen and the overall rating may be displayed if there is one.

Carry out further searching by clicking on any of the hypertext links on this page, e.g. authors or subjects. This runs a search for all records linked to that author, subject or whatever, and presents them in a new results list.

If available, these tabs display more information in the lower half of the screen. Click the tab to display:


This displays the library location where an item physically resides; the shelf area / shelfmark; whether or not it is on loan; the category determining how long you can borrow it.

Related Items

This displays information about other library items related to the one you are currently viewing, such as other editions, language variants and such.


If the item you have clicked on contains several distinct parts, these will be listed in this tab. For example this could be chapters of a book, articles in a journal issue, or several pieces contained on a sound recording.


If the item contains an abstract summary, this is displayed here. The information usually summarises what the library item is about.

Other Information

This displays any additional information downloaded from a catalogue enrichment service, for example a book summary and book cover art.

Also Borrowed

This displays a list of items that other users also borrowed “at the same time as” they borrowed this item (a recommender service).

Ratings and Reviews

You can view the average ratings by other users and read other users' reviews for this item. If enabled, you can rate an item and add your own review. You have to be logged in to do this.


This displays a set of words that other people have used to tag this library item. You may be able to add your own tags to items, and need to be logged in to do this.


This displays one or more links to a related web page or other electronic resource. A new browser tab opens for you to access the e-resource.

Journal and article display

After a search, in the results list these icons indicate:

PrintMagazineSerial.gifThe title is a journal. Click the link to see the journal details.

PrintMagazineSerialIssue.pngThe item is for an individual issue of a journal.

Article.pngThe item is an article.


When you click the title link of a journal, the screen shows full information relating to the journal record. In the top half of the screen this normally includes title, subtitle (and any linked title), media type and frequency of publication.

The Issues tab usually displays:
  • Most recently received issues in the library
  • Next expected issues in the library
  • All unbound issues - issues not yet bound into volumes
  • Bound volumes - containing e.g. a year of issues
The Holdings tab displays:
A summary of the library's total holdings for this journal over time, e.g. (1958-1997).


The Copies tab usually displays:
The physical location and status of the issue
The Articles tab usually displays:
The titles and authors of any articles in the issue


When you click the title link of an article, the screen shows full information relating to the article record.

This usually displays:
  • The journal title
  • The actual issue the article is published in
  • The author(s)
  • Possibly a link to the website where you can view the electronic copy of the article

Your account

Your Account details will display on screen:

  • At the point when you have just logged in to the library catalogue
  • If View/update account is present and you click on it in the User Services menu
    User Services menu showing View/update account.
  • When you hover over your log in details and click User Profile

The top half of account details shows your personal details. The lower half shows your library related information, such as items on loan, items reserved.

Access the library related information by clicking one of the tabs on the lower right. Some or all of this information is available in the tabs:

Tab Description
Loans The list of items on loan to you, possibly with an option to renew each item separately. Items that are due back soonest (or most overdue) are displayed first.
Reservations The reservations you have placed, that are still active. You may have the option to cancel a reservation.
SDI This displays the "current awareness" profiles you have subscribed to, with options to add a new profile, modify or delete an existing profile, and subscribe or de-subscribe to other users’ or public profiles.
Enquiries This displays your enquiries to the library staff, with options to modify or cancel an existing enquiry and submit a new enquiry. Click the Submit new enquiry link to display the new enquiry form.
Purchase Suggestions This displays your purchase suggestions (outstanding, received and held for the user, and received and in stock). You can also submit a new purchase suggestion.
Circulation Lists This displays the journal circulation lists and Table of Contents lists that you have been added to.
History This displays your circulation transaction history, the most recent transactions listed first.
Titles If present, this displays any catalogue titles that the library may have associated with your user record.
ILL Requests This displays your Inter-library Loan requests. Click the Submit request link to fill out a new ILL request form. Mandatory fields are shown with a faint red background and a red border. Click the Submit request icon to save a new ILL request; click the Cancel request icon to return to your account details screen without submitting a new request.

Citation Lists

The library online catalogue may have options to output item catalogue details in a citation list format, such as "EndNote". This could also be useful if you want to print out a list of records.

Just select the items you would like to output:

  1. Enter your search words as normal
  2. The results list displays
  3. Use the check boxes to select the items
  4. Go to Actions on selected items at the top of the list
  5. Choose your preferred output, e.g. Email citation, Download for EndNote
  6. In the Export window choose e.g. Open with Notepad
  7. Citations for all your items are displayed in Notepad
  8. Copy and Paste as required.

Add ratings

RatingStarRed[1].pngYou can see average ratings from all users in the details page of a library item. The average ratings are also visible in the hitlist.

To add your own rating to an item, you have to be logged in:

  1. Enter your search terms as normal
  2. In the results list click the link of the item you want to rate
  3. The record details are displayed
  4. Click the Ratings and Reviews tab in the lower right
  5. Under Rate this item, choose your star count.

Add reviews

Some items may have reviews added by other users. To see these, you display the library item details and click the Ratings and Reviews tab.

To add your own review to a library item, you have to be logged in:

  1. Enter your normal search terms
  2. The results list displays
  3. Click an item to show full details
  4. On the right click the Ratings and Reviews tab
  5. EditPen.pngClick the pen icon to add a new review
  6. SaveItDisk.pngWhen finished click the Save icon.
  7. Add/edit review icon.

To modify your review at any time, click the pen icon.

When you add or modify a review it is saved in an “unapproved” state. Library staff can approve your review. Only approved reviews are shown to other users, in the Ratings and Reviews tab.

Add tags

Specific words may have been added by other users to tag a library item. To see these, display the item details and click the Tags tab.

To add your own tag to a library item you have to be logged in:

  1. Do a normal library search
  2. Click on a Title to display full details
  3. In full details click Tags on the bottom right
  4. Enter a word / term you want to tag the item with
  5. SaveItDisk.pngClick the Save icon
  6. Repeat to add more tags to the library item
  7. The system will now display the tags you entered.

Your tags will become visible to other people and become searchable, if they are authorised by library staff.

Add Items to basket

Shopping_Cart_Add.pngYou can add items to your shopping basket from the hitlist of titles or the full details.

Results list with Add this item to your basket and Remove this item from your basket.

If you log in to do this, other options related to the basket, may also be available to you.

Shopping_Cart_Content.pngThe Show Basket Contents icon on the top right lets you view the contents of your shopping basket.

The contents of your basket are displayed in a standard hitlist:

Basket list of items added to basket

This allows you to carry out tasks on them collectively. For example, reserve the items, email items in citation format to other users. Your basket is retained even when you are logged out.

Shopping_Cart_Remove.pngClick the Remove this item from your basket icon when you no longer need an item in your basket.

Create permalinks

Use this to insert the address link (permalink) of a library catalogue item into a document / html page / email. You or other colleagues can click the link directly to the library catalogue item. For example:

  1. A user clicks the link in an email
  2. The library catalogue launches
  3. A specific catalogue resource is displayed
  4. The details include book cover art, Title, Author, Publication details, ISBN, Format, Subjects, Availability information.

It can be used to forward the address link of an item - e.g. via email.

page-link-icon.pngTo copy a link, in the Title details, click the Permalink icon found in the header bar.

You can create links to:

The title of a book or some other item

  1. Search for the library item
  2. Click to display full details
  3. In full details, click the permalink icon on the top right
  4. When the address is displayed, CTRL c to copy it
  5. Go to your other application, e.g. email and paste the address.

A list of items

  1. Go to Lists on the menu
  2. In the submenu, click on one of the library lists
  3. The contents of the lists display
  4. On the top right click the permalink icon
  5. When the address is displayed, CTRL c to copy it
  6. Go to your other application, e.g. WORD and paste the address.

Borrow an item

The library may enable you to use self-checkout to borrow items. You have to be logged in to do this.

  1. Click the User Services dropdown at the top of the screen
  2. Click Issue item
  3. The system displays a barcode box
  4. Enter or scan the item barcode and click the Issue button
  5. The system responds with -

Item [barcode] was issued successfully. Please return on or before [date]

  1. Note the return date for reference
  2. Repeat to issue more items to your account.

Alternatively, when you view details of a library item, the Loans tab may allow you to borrow it. This displays Copy Availability, including the fields Barcode, Location, Shelf, Shelfmark, Status, Category, Issue icon.

issue-icon.pngClick the Issue icon to borrow an item:

Note the date for return.

Return an Item

The library may enable you to do a self-service return of something currently on loan to you. You have to be logged in to do this.

  1. Click the User Services dropdown at the top of the screen
  2. Click Return item
  3. The system displays a barcode box
  4. Enter or scan the item barcode and click the Return button
  5. The system responds with -

Item [barcode] was returned successfully. Please deposit the item in the Book Returns box

  1. Repeat to return more items from your account.

Alternatively, when you go to User Services> View/Update Account, the Loans tab may allow you to return an item. This shows the Items currently on loan, and the Renew, Return icons.

return-icon.pngClick to return a library item.

Reserve an item

This allows you to make a reservation for a library item. You can see the button in the list of hits and / or in the title details. You need to be logged in to do this.

There are reasons why the button may not be there, e.g. you may have reached your permitted number of reservations.

  1. Do a normal library search
  2. Click to display full details
  3. Above the Title details, click the RESERVE button
  4. In the Collect From dropdown, choose a library location to collect from
  5. Click the RESERVE button
  6. The system responds, e.g. -

Thank you for your reservation. You will be notified when the item is available to collect.

You can track progress:

  1. Click User Services at the top of the screen
  2. Select View/update account
  3. The system shows your account details
  4. On the bottom right click the Reservations tab
  5. The system shows your reserved items at the foot of the screen.

This displays Date Reserved, Status, Hold expiry date, Cancel button.

The library will inform you when a reservation is ready to collect.

sro_delete_on.gif If you change your mind, click to cancel the reservation in your account details.

Send an enquiry

If present, this page enables you to make an enquiry to the library help desk. You need to be logged in to do this.

  1. Click the User Services dropdown at the top of the screen
  2. Choose Select enquiry
  3. The Enquiry form displays
  4. Enter a name for your enquiry in the Subject field
  5. Enter your full question / enquiry in the Full Description box
  6. Select a date by which you would like the enquiry answered
  7. SaveItDisk.pngClick the Save icon
  8. The screen displays all your enquiries
  9. A new enquiry will have a Status of Idle.

When library staff respond to your enquiry you can see from the Status. Click the link on your Enquiry to view the response.

Create SDI profile

SDI may be available. This lets you subscribe to a library service that sends you an email update on a regular basis. For example, containing the latest additions for your subject area.

Here is how you can subscribe:

  1. At the top of the screen click the User Services dropdown
  2. Select View/update account
  3. In the lower section of the screen click the SDI tab
  4. A list of profiles displays
  5. Actions-news-subscribe-icon.pngClick the Subscribe icon on one or more profiles.

You may also be able to create your own profile:

  1. At the top of the screen click the User Services dropdown
  2. Choose Add SDI profile
  3. The screen displays the list of subject headings in alphabetical order
  4. In the Description box enter a name for your profile, e.g. New additions for nursing
  5. In Keyword Search String, enter your search terms
  6. From the list of Subjects, choose relevant library headings
  7. Choose "And" or "Or" for use between subjects
  8. In Frequency enter how often you want to receive results
  9. In Send Next On, select a date to start from
  10. In Send To enter your email address
  11. SaveItDisk.pngClick the Save icon.

View your profiles:

  1. At the top of the screen click the User Services dropdown
  2. Select View/update account
  3. Click the SDI tab
  4. Your profiles are displayed
  5. Actions-news-unsubscribe-icon.pngYou can choose the icon to Discontinue Subscription of profiles you previously subscribed to
  6. You may also have the Create New link to add a new profile as above.

Make a purchase suggestion

If this option is available, use it to suggest a title / an item that the library should acquire. You need to be logged in to do this.

  1. At the top of the screen click the User Services dropdown
  2. Select View/update account
  3. In the lower section of the screen click the Purchase Suggestions tab
  4. In the Purchase Suggestions section click Make a new purchase suggestion
  5. A form displays where you can enter Title, Author and other basic details
  6. Click in Needed By and select a date from the calendar
  7. SaveItDisk.pngClick the Save icon.

The library subsequently checks your request and approves or rejects it. This will be shown also in the Purchase Suggestions tab.

Use lists

This menu displays various lists of records that you are entitled to see, e.g. course reading lists and latest new items lists.

Example of Library Lists.

Hover over Lists and click on a list title you are interested in to display the items in a normal results set.

Click the title of the item to see more details, reserve the item, check availability, and so on.

Use links

Links to other useful websites may be included in the library catalogue menu.

  1. At the top of the screen click the Links dropdown
  2. Click to select the hyperlink you wish to visit
  3. The relevant website opens in a new tab.