Catalog: Completed catalog records

Inprocess: Books that have not finished production, or which are not completely cataloged.

Both: Searches both files.


The screen has seven search boxes. Enter search terms into one or more boxes. Word order is important. The system will retrieve records only if the text in the search box matches the word order of the record itself. Therefore search personal names in the Author field last name first. Do not mix the names of two authors (i.e., gilbert sullivan) You can leave out parts of names, titles, subjects, etc., for example: "wonderful oz" would retrieve The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The * can be used as a search truncator or wild card. For example fish* would retrieve fish, fishing, and fishes. It will not work unless you place following at least three letters. It does not work with numbers.

If you are ready to search, tab or cursor to the Submit button on the screen and click on it to start the search. But you can also Limit results by using the drop down boxes described below before hitting the submit button.


Enter personal names last name first. Enter names of corporate bodies in direct order. This field can be used to search for narrator names as well.


Enter words in the same order as in the title. You do not have to enter the complete title.


This searches the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Because subject headings can be hard to guess, a good way to do subject searches is to first use the keyword search, and find out what subject headings were used on the books you are interested in. Then use these subject headings in your subject searches.

Book Number

Enter book number searches here. Place a space between the prefix, if it is only two letters long, and the number. For example rc 12345. But three letter book number prefixes, such as bra12345 require no space.

Annotation, Notes

This searches the text of the general notes, and annotation. It is an excellent way of searching for works of fiction by character name. You enter short story titles here, most NLS short story collections, but not necessarily other collections in the Union Catalog, have contents notes.

General Keyword

Because of the importance of word order, this can be tricky to use for more than one keyword and search results may be misleading. It allows general searching of all of the previous fields. It is useful when other searches have not produced any hits, or if you do not know the exact subject heading that was used.


You can optionally limit your results by using one or more of the drop down list boxes that follow. Each of these will automatically default to the widest possible selection if you do not make any changes. At this time only one choice per list box is possible.

Format: You can limit to braille, or cassette or other types of book format listed.

Language: You can limit your results to just the language that you select here.

Additional characteristics: This lists a number of characteristics, including grade level, that you can limit your search results to.

Characteristics NOT present: This allows you to exclude certain characteristcs, such as presence of strong language.

Holding Code: This allows you to restrict your search to a single owning agency. NLS books that are held by regional and subregional libraries are listed only for NLS.

Intellectual Level: This allows you to restrict your search to juvenile or adult.

Fiction: You can limit your results to just fiction or just non-fiction.

Music: You can use this to limit your search to just music scores or to exclude scores from your search.

Hit the Submit key that follows.

The Reset button clears the screen of all your search criteria.


The system will return with a list of books that have met your search criteria. Click on the title to retrieve the full record. Each screen will list twenty brief records or one full record. Buttons at the bottom of the screen allow you to start a new search (which eliminates the search terms you entered) go to the full record, or go to the next screen.

If you retrieve no records, use your browser's Back key to return to the search screen. You must then clear out some or all of your search terms and limits.

The system will retrieve a maximum of 5,000 records.

NLS lists records for titles that have not been completed.

Records for books that have not begun production have the note: "Title under consideration."

Records for books that are actually in the production process have the note: "Title in production."

Locally produced network books that have not been completed have the note: "Network in-process record."