Keyword vs. Browse
June 13, 2012
Have you ever looked for a book by typing your search terms into the catalog and hitting enter hoping that you will find what you are looking for on the first try? Have you ever wondered why your list of results sometimes contains titles that seemingly have nothing to do with what you are searching for?
Your list of titles might be the result of what search was selected before you hit the enter button. I’m talking about the Keyword and Browse feature. Do you know what the difference is between the two?
If Keyword is selected, you will end up with broader search results. This is because the search will look for words in any order and in any field, including Title, Author, or Subject. This often results in the retrieval of more irrelevant results, which translates to a longer list of possible items. The Keyword feature is best to use when you don’t have exact information.
If Browse is selected, your search results will be more specific. The Browse feature searches the catalog alphabetically and presents the results as you might find them in the dictionary (in alphabetical order). When searching with Browse, the feature will look for items beginning with the first word of your search term and only in the field designated in the search, such as Title, Author, or Subject.
For example, a Keyword search for "banana" will bring up 379 items including Bananapalooza! and Bobby Baboon’s Banana Be-Bop, among other titles such as The One: The Life and Music of James Brown. What? Well, in the catalog record for the James Brown book, some of his songs are listed including "Top Banana."
Meanwhile, a Browse search for "banana" in the Title field will bring up 6 items with "banana" as a title, followed by Banana Ballet, Banana Banjo, and Banana Beer as the next titles alphabetically down the list under Banana.
So the next time you can’t find what you are looking for, try using Browse first and see if that narrows things down for you. Otherwise, come visit or give us a call. We would be glad to find something for you.
Blue Springs South Branch