Using Advanced Search
Placing holds in the Plum Creek Library System is a relatively simple process, but using the search criteria to find the materials you’re looking for can occasionally be tricky.
Did you know, for example, that if you limit your searching to a specific library, you can locate items that are nearest to you and available to pick up? A quick glance at the map of libraries in the Plum Creek system can be helpful!
We have already covered basic search functions in our catalog, and also have an excellent guide to placing holds!
1. Log In
Here, log in with your library card number and PIN/password. Your library card number is the number under the barcode on your card with no spaces. You set up your PIN/password when you first received your library card. If you can’t remember it, contact us!
Once you’ve logged in, click on Advanced Search.
2. Limit Your Search
At first glance, this list of search options can be overwhelming! Don’t worry–you may only need to use a handful of them.
The first thing you’ll see are three entry bars instead of the usual single search bar. These are used to combine search terms to more easily find the specific materials you’re looking for.
In our example above, we have chosen the book title, author name, and subject or theme with the hope of finding a specific title in the library catalog.
If you were looking for a specific film, you might instead choose the film title, the name of someone featured in the film, and the director.
Before you click search, though, we’ll show you how to use the available tools to organize your search by location and availability, collection type, shelving location, and item type via the options below.
3. Location and Availability
Many patrons prefer to limit their search to items available at their local library. To do this, scroll down to the Location and Availability section of Advanced Search.
In our example, we chose Marshall-Lyon County Library, but you are able to select any library in the Plum Creek system.
If you want to limit your search to items that are currently available for loan (those that aren’t already checked out to other patrons) select the “Only items currently available for loan or reference” checkbox.
If you click on the Collection tab, you will be able to narrow your search to specific collections within the library you have selected. Adult Audio, for example, will limit your search to mostly audiobooks. Adult Video is where to begin searching for movies and TV shows.
5. Shelving Location
Here, we will learn how to use Advanced Search by specific shelving locations. Though this list can seem exhaustive, you can actually select as many items from it as you would like to include in your search. Are you unsure if a particular book is shelved in the Teen or Children’s areas? Feel free to check both boxes!
However, if you are unsure where items you’re searching for are shelved, it can be best to leave these boxes empty.
6. Item Type
Selecting specific item types from this list can help to weed out materials you aren’t looking for. Are you searching for a DVD? Select it from this list, to ensure you don’t have other materials to sort through.
Advanced Search Help
Below, we have organized a few links with preset criteria to help you along in your searching. Feel free to use them to browse our catalog!
Once you have found materials you would like to check out, you may place a hold on them. If you encounter any difficulties in searching our catalog or placing holds, don’t hesitate to contact us!