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LibrarySearch Help and Documentation

What is LibrarySearch

What is LibrarySearch?

LibrarySearch is Bates Libraries' search engine for discovery and access to our online databases and the shared library collections of Colby, Bates and Bowdoin. 

LibrarySearch can perform a simultaneous full text search of print and ebook, journal, and newspaper articles and is a great way to start both cross-disciplinary and discipline-specific research.

Introduction to LibrarySearch Videos

Watch these brief videos for an overview of LibrarySearch basics, including how to save results and searches to My Library Card and how to request materials from beyond the Bates collections using CBB (Colby, Bates and Bowdoin) or ILL (Interlibrary Loan) request services.

Using LibrarySearch

Getting Started with Library Search

To begin a search using LibrarySearch, enter search keywords and select a search scope. If no scope is selected, the Everything scope will be selected by default.


Search the collections of Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby, including books, ebooks, video, audio, and sources from our database subscriptions.

Available at Bates

Search for materials located in Ladd Library and those available in full text from our databases.

Course Reserves

Search for items on reserve by course name, number, instructor, or title.

Search Strategies

Surrounding words in a search with quotation marks turns those words into a single search phrase or “concept”. You can perform more specific searches by joining two or more words and/or phrases with the capitalized Boolean operators OR, NOT, or AND.

Enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culture, cultural, and culturally. Enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the strings woman, women, and so forth.

Search Results

An initial LibrarySearch search frequently returns many results. Depending on your initial results, we recommend that you use filters to refine your search using the facet panel located along the left side of a results page.

From this panel, you can select facets to include (or exclude) resources from the result list. These facets include filters for availability, publication date, content type and more. 

Note that newspaper articles are excluded by default. To search newspaper collections, use the specialized Newspaper Search in LibrarySearch, or try one of our Newspaper databases

Accessing LibrarySearch Results

Each LibrarySearch result indicates both the content type (e.g. Book, eBook, Journal Article) and how you can access the content.

Many results are immediately available either in online formats (e.g. e-books, journal articles, streaming audio, streaming video, etc.). For online resources, follow the Available Online Link to view access options, then follow the link in the Online Access area. 

The locations of physical materials like books are given by call number followed by their location.

Requesting Materials from outside of Bates

Items available at Colby and Bowdoin can be requested by selecting CBB Request in the Request It section of the record. 

Although Bates does not have immediate or on-site access to everything, LibrarySearch can help identify materials available from libraries outside of the Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby group. You can use the toggle under Refine your results to Search beyond the CBB collection. Any materials you find that we do not have access to can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

Saving Results and Searches

Select the pushpin icon in the upper right corner of any record to add it to your Favorites list. If you log in to library search, you can access these saved resources at a later time. You can apply labels to items in your favorites list to organize your saved results. 

Searches can also be saved, which can be useful for retaining effective or advanced search strategies. Additionally, you can create an alert for your saved searches to receive email notifications when new items are added to LibrarySearch that meet your search criteria.

Journal Title Search

Use the Journal Title Search to find periodicals by title including Scholarly Journals, Popular Magazines, and Newspapers.  Additionally, you can browse journals by category. If the journal title does not appear in the search results, make a request through Interlibrary Loan to get a scanned copy of the article you need.