Advanced Search Tips

The Basic and Advanced Search screens in the PINES catalog are relatively self-explanatory, but there are a number of search tips you can make use of below if you wish to improve your search capabilities. You can use these tips in the basic search screen or even in a PINES keyword search box that you've included on your web site.





Example Results


Wildcard (asterisk)


Keyword search returns teach, teacher, teachers, teaching, etc.


Does not contain (minus sign)

teenage ninja -mutant

Keyword search returns records that include the words teenage and ninja, but not any of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books.


Search as a phrase (quotation marks)

“the help”

Adding quotes will search for the exact phrase instead of the separate words.


Limits search by publication date (includes the year specified)

Kennedy assassination between(1963,1966)

Finds books that were published in the years immediately following the incident.


Filter by availability

GMAT  #available

Shows only the books that are currently shown as being available on the shelves (same as checking the Available checkbox on the search results screen).




Sort search results by publication date (defaults to oldest first)

GMAT sort(pubdate)#descending

Sorts list of results with the newest ones first (same as the sort by dropdown list on the search results page).


Sort search results by title (A-Z)

Nora Roberts sort(titlesort)

Returns books in order by title.


Sort search results by author’s last name.

weight loss sort(authorsort)



Limit search results by the audience type fixed field (a=0-5, b=6-8, c=9-13, d=14-17, j=0-17) – an item can only be assigned one audience type

Neil Gaiman audience(a,b,c)

Returns books that are children’s books only.

kw: or keyword:

title: or ti:

author: or au:

subject: or su:

Use to create complex searches in a basic search field

ti:help au:stockett

Searches records that contain “help” in the title fields and “stockett” in the author fields.


  • au:gaiman  audience(a,b,c)  after(2013)  sort(titlesort)
  • ti:easter  audience(a,b) sort(pubdate)#descending
  • kennedy assassination  between(1963,1966) sort(authorsort)


Additional Resources