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OCLC Support

Basic search

Discover the searching characteristics of OLIB.


To start a new search window use the menu to select a domain.

For example, in Titles enter the first few letters or words of the field being searched.

Press <Enter>.

The matching database records are displayed in the list view below.

Other Searches

Click this link to choose a different type of search, e.g. Titles by Series.

Searches are extended

Most searches are truncated to the first few letters or words of the record you are searching for.

A wildcard (%) is automatically applied to the end of the search criteria. For example if you carried out a search in the Users domain - for surname

Search term Results




and so on. Similarly the Title search in the Titles domain requires only that you enter the first few letters or words of the title you are searching. However, you should enter as many characters as are sufficient to retrieve a reasonably specific results list.

Spelling variations

Common mis-spellings or spelling variations are automatically accounted for, e.g. organisation and organization.


Word-stemming matches up words which have a common stem, e.g. bank will also retrieve titles beginning with the word banking.


OLIB is not case sensitive.

Leading articles

Removal of leading articles, e.g. A, An and The

Wildcard searches

You can insert a wildcard (%) character in the middle or at the beginning of your search criteria in order to retrieve the relevant records. In certain domains such as the reference data domains it is useful to enter the wildcard only as the search criteria, in order to retrieve all the records for that domain. This is commonly the case when using reference data domains.

 However, for domains containing large amounts of information, e.g. Users, using only the wildcard character, could take a very long time! It may be preferable to apply a filter, e.g. to select only those items added to the database during the last week (Refining the search). Even then, you should be aware that large databases could take a long time to search. 

In addition to the wildcard above you can also use a character wildcard to act as the wildcard in the middle of a term. For example

Character wildcard search Results



The character wildcard above is ‘_’.