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Type the keyword you want to find. For example:

  • design
  • bleachers grisham
Search Tips
Wildcards Words may be right-hand truncated using an asterisk ('*') in place of other characters. The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string. You may use '?' to replace a single character anywhere within a word.
Examples : environment* polic*, wom?n
Boolean Operators Use "and" or "or" to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use "and not" to exclude words.
Example : stocks and bonds
Example : (alaska or canada) and (adventure and not vacation)
Field limits A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).
Grouping Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

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Advanced Keyword Search Tips

Multiple Words

When searching multiple words the system will automatically supply the Boolean "and" operator between each word; multiple words entered for the search will all occur somewhere in the retrieved records though not necessarily in the order entered. Both examples on the right will retrieve the same results.

Phrase Searches

Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes will appear together in all results exactly as typed.

Examples

A phrase Search:
"university science department"

Wildcards

*   Matches any number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. For example, "comput*" will match all words that begin with "comput" (e.g., "computer", "computation", etc.).
The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string.

?   You may use a question mark ('?') to replace a single character anywhere within a word.

Examples

* Wildcard:
environment* polic*
comp*

? Wildcard:
wom?n

Boolean Operators

Use AND or OR to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use AND NOT to exclude words. Select the operator you wish to use from the selection list on the Advanced Search form.

Examples

Using Boolean operators:
stocks and bonds
stocks or bonds
stocks and not bonds

Field Limits

Field limits may be specified by selecting a field limit from the selection list. These limits appear before the word or phrase to be searched. A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).

Field Limits and their meanings:

  • Author: Search only author fields
  • Title: Search only title fields
  • Subject: Search only subject heading fields
  • Note: Search only note fields
  • Keyword: Searches all the fields listed above

Grouping

Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

Most relevant Most relevant titles 

Highly relevant Highly relevant titles 

Very relevant Very relevant titles 

Relevant Relevant titles 

Other relevant Other relevant titles 

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Preferred Searches

If you have a favorite author or subject for which you often search when using the catalog, you can save the search with the click of a button. This will prevent you from having to key in the search each time and let you place reserves on new materials quicker.

 

How to:

  1. Click on the Login to My Account link and login.
  2. Click on the "New Search" button.
  3. Search for your favorite author, subject, title, etc. or create an advanced keyword search including limits to material type, language, publication year, etc..
  4. When your results are displayed, click the button marked "Save as preferred search."
  5. The next time that you login to My Account, you can click the "Preferred Searches" button to see a list of your saved searches.
  6. Click on the search link associated with any of the preferred search terms in the list to quickly execute your search.
  7. You can be alerted of new materials added to the library collection which match your searches. Just check the "Mark for Email" box and be sure that your patron record information includes your current email address.

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Renewals

Library cardholders may renew their own materials online. All material may be renewed except for materials with reserves and materials on which you owe fines.

How to:

  1. Click on the Login to My Account link and login.
  2. If not the default view click the "Items currently checked out" link to view the materials you have checked out.
  3. Select the materials you want to renew by checking the boxes in the RENEW column and then click the Renew Marked button. If you want to renew everything, click the Renew ALL button.
  4. If you cannot renew items, a message will appear on the screen. If you are successful, a new due date will appear in the "STATUS" column. Always check the STATUS column for information on the success or failure of your renewal.

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Requests

To Request an Item: Find the item in the NIC Catalog and click on the “Request It” button. Fill in your name, library card number (without spaces), and your PIN and click SUBMIT. On the second screen , from the pull down menu, select the NIC library where you would like to pick up the item.

To Cancel a Request: Log into “My Account” If the lower half of the screen does not display your Requests click on "x" Requests (Holds). Find the item(s) that you would like to cancel, and place a checkmark in the box in the Cancel column. Click on "Update Marked Holds" and your request will be permanently canceled.

To Freeze a Request: Use the “Freeze Request” function to save your place on the requests list while you are gone. If frozen, your hold will continue to move up the list for that title, but it will not be set aside until you unfreeze it. You can use this feature when you are going on vacation, have too many books to read, or are just too busy. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Click on the Requests (holds) button to view your requests (when logged into “My Account”).
  2. Chose the requests you would like to freeze by clicking in the box under freeze on the right. You cannot freeze a request that has no other holds on it, or is already ready for you to pickup. If the hold cannot be frozen, you will receive a message that "this hold can not be frozen."
  3. Click the "Update my list" button and your request will be on ice.


Be sure to “Unfreeze” your requests when you want to start receiving your requests again. To “unfreeze” uncheck the checked box in the Freeze column and click “Update Marked Holds”.



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My Lists

My Lists is a new feature that allows you to create wish lists of titles you may want to check out later. Here’s how to get started:

How to:

  1. Perform a search.
  2. Click the "Add to List" button by one or more titles and click the "View Lists" button. You may also add a title individually to a list by entering the full display and clicking the "Add to List" button.
  3. Click the "Save to My Lists" button.
  4. Login to your patron account.
  5. Name your list (and add an optional description) and click the "Submit" button.
  6. Use My Lists to:
    • Create different lists for different subjects
    • Add, delete, or place holds on items in your lists from your patron account.

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Reading History

Reading History maintains a list of all materials that you check out, even after the materials have been returned. This is an "opt in" feature, meaning that your library will only keep a Reading History if you have elected to participate in the service.

How to:

  1. How do I "opt in" for My Reading History?
    • In your patront account, click the My Reading History link. Click on the "Opt In" button to begin tracking your reading history from that moment forward. Reading History includes the title, author, date checked out, and copy number for each item.
  2. Once I opt-in to My Reading History, are current checkouts recorded, or only checkouts from that moment forward?
    • Only checkouts from that moment forward are recorded.
  3. Can I export My Reading History list?
    • Yes. Click on the "Export My Reading List" button and you will be provided the option to export to email, to a text file or directly to the screen for printing.
  4. Once I have "opted in" to My Reading History, may I opt out at some future point?
    • Yes. Once a you have opted in, the button changes to "opt out." All you have to do in order to disable My Reading History is delete all entries by clicking the "Delete All" button and then click the "Opt Out" button.
  5. May I delete parts of my Reading History, or must the entire history be retained?
    • You may delete all or part of your Reading History by checking specific items and clicking the "delete" button.

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Search Beyond NIC

What is NIC? NIC is an acronymn that stands for the Northern Illinois Cooperative. The Northern Illinois Cooperative or NIC is an eight member library cooperative or consortium consisting of the following libraries.

  Cherry Valley Public Library District
  Harvard Diggins Library
  Howard Colman Library (Rockford College)
  Ida Public Library (Belvidere)
  Nippersink Public Library District (Richmond)
  North Suburban Library District (Loves Park, Machesney Park and Roscoe)
  Talcott Free Public Library District (Rockton)
  Woodstock Public Library 

When you search NIC, you have the ability to search the collections of all eight member libraries.

To search beyond the collections of the eight NIC member libraries, place an interlibrary loan request for materials not available in NIC, or search other resources, please click here.

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