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Banner: Canadian Library Gateway

Search Strategies

Searching within the Canadian Library Gateway is not complex, but large result sets may be returned.  To avoid this, follow the strategies outlined below.

Choosing a word or phrase from the library's name:  Name searching is performed against library name information held in the Canadian Library Gateway database.  You may specify a single word or a phrase.  Avoid using generic keywords such as public or university as the only word, as this generates large result sets.  Instead, add surrounding words to extend a generic word.  For example, rather than using only the word public, use Toronto public as a phrase; instead of using only university or Alberta, use Universityof Alberta.

Selecting type of library:  Searching by library type alone creates browsable lists of libraries grouped by type, but will result in very large result sets if used as the only search criterion.  Choosing a specific geographical location in addition to library type will reduce the size of the result set.  Additional types of libraries will be added to this list as they are defined in the Canadian Library Gateway database.

Selecting location:  This criterion should be used in combination with others to limit the size of the result sets obtained.

Selecting type of catalogue:  Requesting library information by indicating type of catalogue ("Web", "Telnet", or "Z3950") limits the result to libraries having accessible online catalogues and, as well, provides click-through access to the catalogues.  Choosing "Special collections" finds libraries which have an entry in the National Library's Directory of Special Collections of Research Value in Canadian Libraries.  These criteria are valuable limiters for decreasing the size of result sets

Interlibrary loan (ILL) information

To retrieve information relating to a library's interlibrary loan policies and procedures, use the Search for ILL Information form, which permits ILL specialists to quickly access ILL contact and policy information using library symbol and other specific criteria and which retrieves links to library websites and online catalogues if those exist.

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