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Search & Discover How-To Guide: Home

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What is Search & Discover?

Search & Discover provides sweeping access to books, ebooks, articles, movies, music, and more through a user-driven platform supporting your research interests.


You are welcome to use Search & Discover without signing in. Sign-in prompts, which you may dismiss, occur when conducting a search. The benefits of Sign In are:

  • Save Query allows you to save a search to a favorites list
  • Search History provides a detailed record of past searches
  • Resource Sharing accesses the collections of all SUNY libraries and allows you to initiate borrowing requests
  • Renew your active loans 

Using Search & Discover

There are two main ways to use Search & Discover.

Everything allows you to search simultaneously for books, ebooks, articles, movies, music, and more. You may use keywords, titles, authors, or phrases. Refine your results using the choices on the left. For example, if you want to discover the newest results then select Sort by. Explore Resource Type, also on the left, to get a sense of the various materials available to you.

Library Catalog is commonly used to search the physical collections of the James M. Milne Library, including ebooks, by an author’s name or a book’s title. You may also use keywords to search the library catalog, which contains the table of contents for many records. Subject headings are included in keyword searching and are assigned to all library catalog holdings.


Other Collections: 

While Everything and Library Catalog are two of the main searching functions in Search & Discover, there are others available for use. Child Collection, Course Reserves, EMC Media, NY State Collection, Reference, Special Collections (SCC), SUNY Catalog, and Young Adult (YA) are all options to choose from. These collections can be searched exclusively by selecting them in the top menu. For example, selecting Child Collection will include results only from that collection. 


Librarians are available to help in several ways: 

  • Visit the Reference Desk in Milne Library
  • Call the Reference Desk at 607-436-2722
  • E-mail a question to a librarian and receive a response within 48 hours
  • Request a Research Consultation to meet individually with a librarian

Helpful Searching Tips

Boolean operators are words or symbols that are used in conjunction with words to refine searches. They can typically be used across most platforms, including specific databases like Academic Search Complete, Google, or Search & Discover. Listed below are six common Boolean operators.

  1. AND - narrows 
    • Ex: ADHD and boys (this narrows down our results to include only results with ADHD and boys) 
  2. NOT - excludes
    • Ex: ADHD not boys (this narrows down our results to include items about ADHD excluding those that mention boys) 
  3. OR - expands
    • Ex: boys or males or guy (this expands to search for multiple possible terms) 
  4. * - expands 
    • Ex: motivat* (Asterisks are called wildcards. They expand a search by finding words that start with the same letters. In the example here, the search results would include such words as motivate, motivates, motivation, motivational, motivated, etc.)
  5. " " - exact phrase
    • Ex: "Lord of the Rings" (this pulls up results that are stated in the item exactly as written) 
  6. ( ) - confine
    • Ex: (ADHD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) AND (boys or guys or males)     - (this will instruct the database or search engine on what parts go together in your search phrase)