Library Search Tips

Useful Tips for using Library Search. For more detailed help please see the Library Search Guide or the Library Search Video Guides.

General Tip

  • Sign in to access all the library’s physical and online material. Sign in will also enable you to email up to 10 library records and add notes.
  • If a book is out, or in storage, you can request it through Library Search. Sign in, then click the book’s title to go to its full record. Click the request link under Get It and fill out the details.
  • Need help? You can Chat with a Librarian.
  • If you experience issues with a video you have found in Library Search, consider changing to another browser e.g. Firefox, Safari or IE.

High Demand

  • Search for items held in the Library High Demand Collection (Course Reserve) using your paper’s course code (e.g. TEPS122), then limit to Books. The list will show only when the trimester starts.

Keeping Track of Searches

  • Save items to your My Favorites folder by clicking the pin symbol next to the title. Click the pin symbol at the top of the page to access these saved items, which stay here until you unpin them (if you are logged in).
  • Keep track of search terms you have used by clicking Save query under the search box. They will save to Saved Searches in your My Favorites folder.
  • You can export a record directly from Library Search to referencing software (e.g. Endnote or Zotero). From the full record, click on the Export RIS icon.


  • When refining your search using the filters on the right, click Show more to expand the options.
  • If an item’s brief record says available at, it is a physical copy. If an item’s brief record says online access or full text available, it is an electronic or digital copy.
  • If you know the title of a book or journal article, type it in the search box of Library Search. It will search our print and online resources. Punctuation and capital letters are not necessary.
  • To find information on a topic, type keywords in the search box then refine your results using the filters on the right e.g. full text online, peer reviewed, resource type, subject, date range or library location.
  • Search for scholarly articles by their DOI number by entering the number into the Library Search box or by using Advanced Search.
  • If an online journal article title does not appear in your search results, search by journal title then dig down through the year, volume and issue to the table of contents.
  • Use truncation to find variant endings. The most usual symbol is * e.g. math* will find maths, mathematics or mathematical.
  • You can search for phrases by using brackets or quotation marks, e.g. "University of Waikato" or "social relationships" will find results containing the whole phrase, not just individual words.

Using Library Search

  • Related reading is located on the right of many journal articles’ full record. It shows you what other articles are available in the same subject area.
  • If an item’s full record has Get it, it is a physical copy. Use its call number and the location map to locate it on the shelves e.g. LB1731 .G75 2014.
  • If an item’s full record has View it, it is an electronic or digital copy. Click the link Online access or Full text available to access a list of databases where it can be found. Choose one and you will be taken to the item or its record. From here you can read, download or print.
  • You can refine your specific search result using the filters in the right-hand column next to your result. You can either include or exclude filters from your search: To include, click on a term; to exclude, hover your cursor over a term then click the red Exclude This icon. Clear your filters by clicking Reset filters.
  • Click on the title of an item to see the full record. Here you will find the request link (when signed in), bibliographic details (to help with referencing), and subject headings (for alternative terms to search).
  • Use virtual browse at the bottom of the full record of a physical book to find other books shelved next to it and in the same subject area.
  • Search for ebooks titles from Proquest Ebook Central (formerly ebrary) through Library Search. If a title does not show in your results, go to the Library homepage, click the Databases tab and search for Ebook Central. Then search for your title within the database itself.
  • Some journal articles offer a citation trail. Click the title of an article and scroll to Citations in the full record to discover sources that are citing your article, or sources that your article is citing.
  • Personalize your search results by selecting your preferred disciplines and give preference to newer material. Click Personalize at the top of your search results.
  • To search using a call number, type the number into Library Search without the year at the end eg: HM1033.s63 - if the book does not appear in your results, try adding a space before the final fullstop eg: HM1033 .s63 or HD62.4 .m375
  • Library Search excludes newspaper articles and book reviews on the homepage. When starting a new search within Library Search, you will need to reapply these limiters using the exclude filters under Resource Type.
  • Sign in to tag library records and categorise them into lists. Add tags by going to an item’s full record then scrolling to the Tags heading. To view, click on Tags at the top of the Library Search results page.