Tips for Searching the Catalog

Whether you’re looking for that new book that everybody’s talking about or just cruising for your next great read, you can find exactly what need with the various search options in YCL’s catalog!

Here’s how to use them:



  • Keyword: This is the default search option for Type. It casts the broadest net possible with your search terms; it’s the best choice for when you just want to explore what’s available on a given topic.
    • Example of a keyword search: Arthurian literature
  • Title or Author: These are the most precise search options. They are the best choice for when you want to find a specific item and already know some of its basic bibliographic details.
    • Example of a title search: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    • Example of an author search: Steinbeck, John
  • Digital Bookplate: This search option is used to search for tributes. Tributes are books or other circulating items that were purchased through a donation and marked with a nameplate honoring the person in whose name the donation was made.

  • Subject: This search option is not recommended for most users. It will attempt to match your search terms against the Library of Congress’ Subject Headings list. Unless you are familiar with the orthography and use of Library Congress Subject Headings, you will achieve better results by using Keyword instead.
    • Example of a subject search: United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865–Regimental histories.



  • All formats: This is the default search option for Format, and it returns all items that match your search terms.
  • All books: This search option limits your search results to only physical books, including books in large print and braille. It does not include audiobooks, including CD audiobooks.
  • All music: This search option limits your search results to only physical music, which includes CDs, cassettes, and vinyl records. It does not include e-audio files or musical scores.
  • All video: This search option limits your search results to videos of any format, which includes Blu-rays, DVDs, and e-video.
  • E-audio: Use this search option to find music or audiobooks in digital format (i.e. MP3s).
  • E-video: Use this search option to find videos in digital format (i.e. Netflix-style streaming).
  • Equipment/games/toys: This search option encompasses many types of durable, non-print physical items, including computers, tablets, e-readers, mobile hotspots, and recreational toys and games. It does not include video games.
  • Kits: Use this search option to find educational toys and games.
  • Serials and magazines: Use this search option to find physical magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, and comics.



  • Use this search option to only show items that are housed in the library of your choice. Your home library will be selected by default. Select “York County Libraries” to search countywide.

Most of the time, you will be best served by searching countywide. If you find an item you want that is not housed at your home library, just place a hold on it and choose to have it delivered to your home library for pickup.