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Searching the Library Catalog: Keyword Search: Basic Keyword Search and Results

Basic Keyword Search and Results

How to perform a simple keyword search for resources in the Online Catalog and understanding the results.


On the library homepage enter your search terms in the search box.  The default is a keyword search which means your results will contain ALL the words you have entered. If you are looking for a specific title or author it is better to use the Advance Search option (see Searching the Library Catalog: Advance Search).

The default format is for print books. If you want to search for eBooks, for example, select that tab above the search box; _Gray tab color_ indicates the "active" format choice.

  • Do not enter initial articles or common words like:  A, AN, THE, FOR, TO, etc.
  • Limit your terms to significant words for your topic (e.g. Bible Hermeneutics Old Testament).  
  • Limit the number of terms you enter; 3 or 4 at most is best; remember, the more words you enter the fewer results you may receive.  


The results screen will display all the records that contain your terms; the number of results is listed at the top of the page.  You can limit your results further by using the options on the left side of the screen under Refine This Search.  

  • The title of the item is hyperlinked to a fuller description of the work.
  • The author name(s) are hyperlinked to find other titles written by the same author.
  • The record indicates if the item is held by Luther Seminary or another library. 
  • The record indicates if the item is currently available or checked-out.
  • The call number is listed so you can find the book on the shelves.
  • Not all books are available online, however, if there is an eBook version available you will see the following link: