Minuteman Library Network
Minuteman Catalog Help
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Searching Questions

Using the Minuteman Library Catalog Advanced Searching Catalog Features

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 the catalog

(We recommend you always Login when you begin searching.)

When you search the catalog from your library's website or from the Minuteman catalog page, you receive a list of results matching the words in your search.

Click or tap on the title of an item for more information, including availability, item details, reviews, and recommendations for similar works.
To narrow down a long list of results, use the filters on the left hand side to narrow down your search.
Request an item or use the action buttons to save or email item information.
If your search results in no items found, check your spelling and try again, or see below.

What order are my search results displayed in? Can I re-order them?

Search results are ranked and displayed by relevance. Our catalog software uses an algorithm to determine a result's relevance to your search and ranks it accordingly, just like other search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc).

Using the "Sorted By" tabs at the top of the page, you can re-order the results alphabetically by Title or Author, or chronologically by Date (most recent published date first)

I can't find the item I want in the Minuteman Catalog. How can I find and borrow it?

  1. Confirm the spelling in your search words. Our catalog software does not currently offer corrections or suggestions for misspelling.
  2. Talk with a librarian for assistance with searching.
  3. To find and request items from Massachusetts libraries outside Minuteman, search the Commonwealth Catalog You can log in with your Minuteman card number and place requests as long an item is not owned by Minuteman libraries. (See "Commonwealth Catalog" link on bottom right of the catalog.)
  4. If you can't find or request an item through Minuteman libraries or the Commonwealth Catalog, ask a librarian at your home library to consider buying it for the collection or borrowing it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

How do I view all the copies of a particular title?

The catalog displays the first five copies of a particular title. To view all of the copies, select the "Show Remaining Items" button. To see only currently available copies, select the "only show available" checkbox.

How do I find out find out what copies of popular item are immediately available to borrow?

Copies of a item are listed alphabetically by location, so at times there may be a long list of unavailable times to look through. To see just those currently available, select the "show only available" check-box in when viewing the record.

What does the item's Status mean?

How do I use Advanced Search?

How do I search items by a particular format or language, or only at my home library?

How do I search by ISBN or ISSN?

An ISBN or ISSN is searchable as a keyword just like any part of the item's description. Just type in the ISBN or ISSN in the Search box and click Enter.

How do I determine the next book in a series I am trying to read in order?

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 characters at the end of a word.

  • Librar* would find library and libraries and librarians

What languages can I use to view and search the catalog?

Can I use Chinese characters to search the catalog?

Yes, title and author searches can submitted 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.

There are over 25,000 Chinese language items in the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). 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 use Russian characters to search the catalog?

Yes, keyword, title and author searches can submitted with either Russian character input or with romanized characters. You can also find all Russian items in the MLN Catalog by searching for the keywords "Russian language materials" or limit your search by language filter.

There are over 18,000 Russian language titles in the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Most Russian materials can be shared among libraries. Use the catalog's request function to request that an item be sent to your library.

How can I page through details of my search results with out having to return the results each time?

Click on a specific title and select "Next Result" to display the subsequent search results. The navigation options for displaying results can be found at both the top right of the full record screen

What are Recent Searches and Recently Viewed?

Choose from a list of your recent searches and titles viewed to return to a previous search strategy or detailed record view. The history persists throughout your browser session, even when you are not logged in to your account. The history clears automatically when the catalog session times out. If you are logged in, log out to clear the history at any time during a session.

How do I use tags?

Tags are subjects or search tags that can be added by the user community. For example, you can use them to tag items for summer reading or topics for class, or simply use them to add descriptors beyond the library-provided Subjects.

When you find a title you would like to tag, click on the + button under Additional Actions, then on the tag button. (You must be logged in to your account)

Type in a Tag label and click Submit.

Your tag will appear under Community tags once you click on the title. Your tags are now searchable in the catalog.

To remove your tag, simply click on the "X" next to your tag.