Catalogue search

Basic search

Use basic search to find items for your assignment or research.

  1. Click on the Catalogue tab on the library homepage.

    Catalogue tab

  2. Choose whether you want to search by keyword, title or author.
  3. Type your search terms in the search box.
  4. You can limit the search to a particular collection from the drop down menu.
  5. The resulting list of items matching your keywords may include:
    • databases
    • journals
    • books and ebooks
    • theses
    • audiovisual items.
  6. To see the full details of the item, click on the title.
  7. If it is not an electronic item, you can see the location and the call number to locate the item on the shelves.
  8. You can also use advanced keyword searchor modify your searchto reduce your list of results.

If you do not know the exact title of an item, use a set of keywords to search for your topic. Keyword search will find the search terms anywhere in the record.

Search technique Comments Examples
Phrase Type the exact phrase you need in quotation marks 'trade practices act'
Wildcard Use the wildcards as follows:
matches one character
*matches up to 5 characters
** matches any number of characters
You must have at least 2 letters before a wildcard

peters?nwill find petersen and peterson
inter*will find internet, internal but not international
inter**will find internal and international
p* would not find anything
Boolean operators Use orbetween the keywords to find more items.
Use and notbetween the keywords to exclude items.
anorexia orbulimia
homer and notsimpson
Fields Search for keywords in a particular field using:
a:carey searches for any author with the name Carey
a:carey and t:oscar will find Oscar and Lucinda by Peter carey
Proximity Use nearto find keywords that appear within 10 words of each other
Use within #to find keywords that appear within the number( #) of each other
Use beforeand afterto search words in a certain order
aboriginal neareducation

photography within 5history

law beforetorts will find Australian Torts Law afterwill find Cases on the Law of Torts
Complex queries You can use any combination of the examples above peters ?n and intro **within 5application *
will find
Difference equations: an introduction with applications / Walter G. Kelly, Allen C. Peterson

Modify/limit your search

If you have completed your search but you get too many items showing in your results, you can modify your search to reduce the results.

When the results are listed, click on the Modify Searchbutton. The following screen will allow you to limit your search results by:

  • year of publication
  • book or journal (serial, periodical)
  • material type
  • language
  • location.

Limit search 

Use the Ctrlkey to select multiple values e.g. DVD/video and music recording.

You can also sort the results so that they are ordered by date (newest first) or alphabetically by title.

Print, save or email results

When you have completed your search and found the items you want to use you can save them to disk, or print or email the details to yourself for future reference or to include in your bibliography.

  • When the results are listed, select the checkbox to the left of the items you want to save.
    Mark items
  • Click on Add to listbutton for each page.
  • When you have added all the records, click on View listView Listbutton.
  • Select the format of the list you need. Refer to the library's Academic Referencing Tool for accurate examples of how to format your bibliography. (link)
  • Select what you want to do with the list:
    Print or email list
    • Click on emailand add your email address.
    • Click on screenand then use your browser's print option.
    • Click on local diskand choose where to save the file.
  • Remember to clear your list before doing another search.

What does 'STATUS' mean?

The status of an item in your search results indicates the availability of the item.


Term Meaning
Available The item is available for loan.
Due (Date) The item is out on loan and due to be returned on the date noted. You may place a hold on this item.
Due (Date) + 1 recalled The item is out on loan, due to be returned on the date noted and has been reserved for a specific patron. You may place another hold on the item, but you will be placed in a queue.
Recently Returned The item has just been checked in and is currently waiting to be shelved. It is available for loan. Check sorting shelves.
On Display A new item, on the display shelves (not available for loan this week). You may place a hold on this item.
Lib Use Only The item must only be used in the library.
Ref Reading Room This is a special collection item, ask at the Inquiry Desk.
Ask Info Desk There are specific limits on the use of this item. Ask at the Inquiry Desk.
In Transit The item is currently being transferred to or from another La Trobe University campus.
En Route The item is unavailable while en route to another location.
Exhibition This item is currently being used for an exhibition. You may place a hold on this item.
In Process A new item, currently being processed for library use. You may place a hold on this item.
Damaged While this item is available for use, it has suffered some minor damage, or may be incomplete.
For Repair This item is currently unavailable as damage is being repaired.
Out to Bindery This item is currently unavailable as it is being bound.
Being searched This item recently cannot be located but a searching process is underway.
Missing The item currently cannot be located.
Lost and Paid The item was not returned and the patron responsible has paid for it. Its re-order is under consideration.
Billed as Lost The item is unavailable.
Withdrawn This item has been withdrawn from the collection and is no longer available.
Hosp Use Only This item is housed at a Melbourne hospital library and is available for staff and students at the hospital.

Find streaming videos

Use Advanced Search to find streamed online videos.

  1. Type in your keyword eg. nursing
  2. Type in 'Streaming or Online'
  3. Limit to DVD/Video
Finding online streaming video