Searching and Browsing the Catalog

Searching and Browsing the Catalog: FAQ and Guide

Navigating the Basic Search Screen, (Catalog Homepage)

The home page of the online catalog is also called the Basic Search screen. When you go to , this is the screen you will see:

There are three sections to the page. The upper part of the page is the top navigation

The center part contains the search features and New Titles Carousel

The bottom part of the page is the footer navigation and contains links to other sites and to Help.

The Top Navigation

These are the parts of the top navigation (from left to right and up to down):



The Search Features

The search features consist of


Below the Search Features section at is a carousel of New Titles in CW MARS. The carousel is updated nightly and will contain the most recent 200 items added to the shared catalog.

To navigate the carousel, you can click and drag it left or right, click Next or Prev, or use the Left and Right keyboard keys.

To find out more details about a title, click on the cover or title.

Library-specific Carousels

Libraries can also create and maintain their own carousels. To see carousels at a specific library, click New Titles at Your Library in the catalog footer and choose your library from the list.

The Footer Navigation

The footer navigation contains additional links.

Search Tips

Here are some useful tips for successful searches in our Online Catalog. 

The web address for the CW MARS online catalog is

What Do I Do If There Are No Results For My Search?

Like other things in life, searching in the catalog doesn’t always produce the results you’re looking for. If nothing is found for your search, you’ll see this message (or something very much like it): 

Sorry. No entries were found for your search.

In this case, we did a search for All Formats - Frodo Baggins - Title - All C/W MARS Libraries. What this tells us is that there are no books in all the libraries of the consortium that have “Frodo Baggins” in the title. 

(If we did a search for All Formats - Frodo Baggins - Keyword - All C/W MARS Libraries, on the other hand, we get over one hundred results.) 

There are many reasons why a search can return no results or not the results you were looking for. Here are a few: 

While we can often find things on our own, we should always remember that our local librarians are also happy to help.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search screen offers an in-depth search interface. Advanced Search can be used to search multiple search types, (i.e. title and author), as well as filter by format, language, publication year, and more.

The Advanced Search interface can be useful if Basic Search does not limit your results enough. Keep in mind though, that, in general, the simpler you can make your search the better.

Navigating Search Results 

After you have performed a search, your results will display as a list.

The Search Results page is designed to help you find the record you want. It is split into three categories:

The search results themselves display in a list. By default, they are sorted by a combination of popularity and the relevance to your search terms.

Across the top are search refinements.

The blue-headed left column includes filters and other facets for narrowing your search results

Search Results

To view a record's details, click the record's title, (listed in blue). Viewing records in the catalog is discussed further down on this page.

You can also page through your results as needed using the navigation tools at the top of the list. Quick Tip: You can adjust the number of results that appear per page through your preferences in your account. Check out our Help page on My Account for more information.

Click on the author, located under the title to view more titles associated with the author.

There is a series of links that appear to the right of every record:

Search Refinements

Viewing a record in the Catalog

After performing a search, you can view more information about a specific record by clicking on its title. Doing so will take you to the detailed listing for the record. The page you see will look similar to the following image. Depending on the specific record and other factors, records may vary slightly in their look and available information.

This page will list the record's title, author(s), physical description, and more. There is a lot of information stored on this page. We will only talk about some of it.

More Details button. Click on More Details to see additional information about the title. This can include:

Available Copies | Holds. Here you can see how many copies are available and how many people are waiting for a copy. This can give you an idea of how popular the title is and if there may be wait when requesting it.

Place Hold and other links will appear on the right. See Navigating Search Results above for a discussion on these links as they work similarly to their entries on the search result page.

Item List. Here all the items attached to the record will be listed. You will see the owning library, call number, shelving location, availability and more. The libraries will display in alphabetical order. You can page through the list if desired. 

Quick Tip: If you have a preferred library set in your account preferences and they have items on the record, their item(s) will appear at the top of the list. Depending on your initial scope, only some libraries may appear in this list.

Quick Tip: To limit just to libraries with items immediately available, click on Show Only Available Copies.

If you scroll further down on the record, you may come across enriched data, as shown here: 

Enriched Bib Record Data

Powered by NoveList, with additional content provided by Baker & Taylor, this section will list similar titles and authors, ratings and reviews, and more. 

Click around to perform related searches in the catalog or view more information in the NoveList Plus database, provided by CW MARS. Links to GoodReads and other sources may also be provided.

Note that not all records have enriched data.

Group Formats and Editions

Within the Search Results page, you can refine your searches by selecting the Group Formats and Editions checkbox. 

Checking the Group Formats and Editions box will alter the look of your search results. Records will be rearranged into groups. Some groups are small. They might only have one item in them. Others might have many items in the group. 

For groups having more than one format, you'll see the icons for the formats displayed under the title as in the picture below.

You may want to group items like this if you're looking for a title, regardless of its edition or format. Perhaps you want to read Huckleberry Finn but have no preference for the edition you receive.


Using Baskets

While exploring the catalog, you'll notice a basket icon that appears in the top right.

Baskets can be used to perform batch actions on a list of titles selected during your current log in session.

To add titles to a basket...

You can click on the Basket icon to perform the following actions on the titles within the basket:


Baskets are temporary. Contents will be removed automatically after your current session expires. To save the contents of your basket, you can add them to a list.

Baskets cannot be used when using "Group formats and editions" as this option groups records together. Only individual records can be added to baskets.

Action: View Basket

Clicking the action to View Basket will open the basket in a new screen that allows more title-by-title control over the records in the basket.

Most actions described above can also be taken on titles on this screen, as well. This menu offers additional flexibility, as users can select some or all of the individual titles in the basket to place holds, print or email details, or remove from the basket.

Sending Yourself a Text Message from the Online Catalog

A feature of the online catalog is the ability to send a text message to your mobile device. The text will contain item identifying information that can help you find the item on your library's shelves.

First, perform a search. Once you find the title you want, click on the title to pull up more details.

Within the item list, next to each call number will be an option to Text. If you click the link corresponding to your local library, you will see specific location and call number information. You can have this information sent to your phone via text message.

From the Mobile carrier dropdown, choose the carrier for your mobile phone.

In the Mobile number textbox, enter your telephone number, without spaces or dashes.

Click the Submit button and the text message will be sent to your mobile phone.

Click Return to record or your browser's Back button to return to the item record.


If you choose the wrong mobile carrier from the Mobile carrier dropdown list, you will not receive a message, even if you enter your telephone number correctly.

If you are logged into your account when you go to this screen and you have a default mobile carrier and phone number listed in your account, the mobile carrier and number specified in your library account should pre-populate the dropdown box and the Mobile number box.

How to Browse the Catalog

You can see the link to Browse the Catalog at the top of the catalog. 

Clicking on the link brings you to the catalog browse window. 

Under the dropdown -- Browse for -- you can choose from Titles, Authors, Subjects or Series

Let's look at an example: Here we're going to browse for Subjects starting with sports.

After typing "sports" into the starting with text box, we click on the Browse button.  

We get these results: (This is only an example screenshot - your results may look a little different.) 

Clicking on any entry in the list brings you either to a single record, (if the number after the listed item is 1), or to a longer list of search results.

The number in parentheses after each line shows how many titles were found for that particular subject. When you see the words "At least", this means there may actually be more than that number.

You can use the Back and Next buttons to move forward and backward in the browse list.

Accessing the Kids Catalog

The Kids Catalog can be accessed by clicking the Kids Catalog link found in the footer of the catalog. It can also be accessed directly at:

The Kids Catalog provides simplified search and browse functions. It also features bright colors and large images for easy navigation.

Kids Catalog Screen