Navigate Up
Sign In

Searching the Catalogue

How to use the library catalogue to find books and other items in the Library.
Updated: 28/05/2020 4:08 p.m.

How to find items in the library using the catalogue

The library catalogue contains everything we have at Whangarei District Libraries. You will find links to it on all pages throughout this website:

  • the purple Library Catalogue button at the top of each page
  • at the bottom of each page in the dark grey area under Using Libraries heading

Library Catalogue

Note: Log in to your library account before you start searching so you don’t lose your results when you want to request items. The search results are lost if you log in halfway through a search.

Quick Searches

To begin looking for an item, type a word or a phrase from a title, name of an author or series in the search field with All Fields displaying in the adjacent dropdown box. You can combine words e.g. vegetables, growing, zealand.

Library catalogue search fields.

Searching with Limits

Use the Limits drop-down (1) to limit your search to a specific location, database or format:

  • Library: for just the main catalogue
  • Databases: MasterFILE Complete or Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre
  • Library branch: Central, Kamo, Onerahi or Tikipunga
  • Digital Catalogue for eBooks
  • CD or DVD title
  • or search Everything.

Searching by field

Use the Fields drop-down (2) and select a specific field for your search:

  • Author: type the author’s surname first, e.g: Gee Maurice will find all items by Maurice Gee

  • Title: to search for items containing words or a phrase in their title.

  • Subject: this will find items with that subject term, e.g. ‘Mediterranean cooking’ will find all the items about this subject

  • Series: to find items in a series of publications, e.g. typing ‘Discworld’ will find all items by Terry Pratchett

  • ISBN: to find an item with a specific International Standard Book Number  

  • Magazine title: the quickest way to find a particular magazine title. 

Using Advanced Search

If you want more search options to help you find exactly what you're looking for, click the Advanced Search option (3) to open the Advanced Search page.

Picture of the library catalogue advanced search screen.

With Advanced Searching, you can search exact phrases or exclude terms from your search

E.g: If you do a search on “potters” but do not want results for "Harry Potter," enter the term "potter" in the All these words box and enter "Harry" in the These unwanted terms box.

Use Additional limits to apply any combination of limits on your search including format type, language, Library branch, title, author, subject  and targets.

Once you have set up your search terms click the Advanced Search button to get your search results.

Note: While there are many options to limit your search, there is the likelihood that selecting too many limits will not return any search results.

Power search tools

Use symbols to refine your search

Unsure of the spelling of a word – use the ? symbol:
For example: if you enter ‘wom?n’, search finds records containing either ‘woman’ or ‘women.’

Search words have different spellings or endings – use the $ symbol:
For example, if you enter ‘organi$ation’, the search finds ‘organisation’ and ‘organization.’
If you enter ‘child$’, the search finds records containing ‘child,’ children,’ or ‘childhood.’

  • The ? and $ symbols  can be used together or separately at the beginning, middle, and end of a term.
  • To literally search these symbols, enclose them with quotation marks.




Whangarei District Council owns this website and the information, images and photographs in it are subject to copyright. No portion may be copied or republished without prior permission of Whangarei District Council. We have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and reliable information. The use of any information is at the website visitor’s own risk and discretion.