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Finding Books

Search Omni to find books, journals, videos and other materials owned by the Library.  You can search by keywords, author, title or subject headings.

To find a specific known item, search by title or author.  To find books on a topic, either try a subject or keyword search.

Subject Headings vs Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 

Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics and need only a few books. 

For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

Searching Omni

Start with a keyword search, but expect to revise it. 

Keyword Searching TIPS

Search Technique  

What It Does

quotation marks

Searches for exact phrase

Truncation *

Searches for all forms of a word

Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Lets you broaden or narrow your search


The first step in formulating a search strategy is to take your topic and break it into discrete concepts or keywords. Identify key words and phrases and brainstorm alternate spellings, related terms, broader terms, or narrower terms.

Boolean operators or connectors are tools that allow you to narrow or broaden your search. For information on how to use boolean operators, check our guide. 

Topic:  male characters in animated films 

Search for keywords "Motion Pictures" or "Cinema" or "Film" to get the broadest possible view of the material. Consider other synonyms for male.
(masculinity OR men OR male) AND "animated films"
(masculinity OR men OR male) AND animation AND ("motion pictures OR cinema OR films)
Other Searches to consider: 
For works by a particular person (director, actor, etc.), do an author search, e.g. burton tim

To search for a movie, search the film title as either a title or keyword search and select Resource Type: Video/Film.
To find books on a film topic, either try a subject or keyword search.
Subject Searching
Most film-related books are given the subject heading motion pictures or motion picture [noun]. Certain subject headings use film in the subject field - usually for genre terms. Some books (mostly French) have the word cinema in the subject field. 
If you are looking for criticism or the technique of motion picture reviewing, use film criticism
If you are interested in movies made in a particular country, e.g. japanese cinema, use "motion pictures" and the name of the country, e.g. motion pictures japan
If you are interested in a particular type of movie (genre), try using "films" in your search, e.g. animated filmsfantasy films, silent films, western films
If you are interested in the technical aspects of making movies and their projection onto the screen, use cinematography.

Subject Headings

Animated films
Animation (cinematography)
Computer animation
Cartoon characters
Cartoons animated (motion pictures)
Cartoons (televison programs)
Clay animation films
Computer art
Computer games--Programming
Japanese animation
Motion picture cartoons
Stop motion animation films
Television cartoon shows
Walt Disney Company
Disney, Walt, 1901-1966--Criticism and
Disney characters
Video games--design
Video game characters

Browsing the Library Shelves

Browsing the library shelves is another strategy for locating information on a topic. 

GV 1469 | Video & computer games, fantasy games

KF 2765 | Copyright, Licensing & Media law

NC 765-825 | Drawing figures, Anatomy

NC 1320-1428 | Cartooning techniques

NC 1764-1766 | Animation in general
Comic books, strips, history of animation, animated films, animators, animation art

PN 1992-1999 | Television, motion pictures, scripts, storyboards

PN 6710-6736 | Cartoons & comics, particular characters

QA 76 | Software, programming, computer games, user interfaces, multimedia systems

T 385 | Computer graphics & how-to guides