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UC Library Search

This guide will introduce you to the features of UC Library Search and help you find items more effectively!

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Start Your Search

The simple search in UC Library Search allows you to search for items by all fields. To start searching, simply begin typing your search terms in the search box. Notice that as you type, options for searching will appear under the search box. More information about these options is available below.

There are two main ways to start a search:

  1. Go to the Library homepage or
  2. Navigate directly to the UC Library Search homepage (

Go to the Library homepage:

  1. Visit
  2. Find the search bar at the top of the screen
  3. Start typing your search into the box
  4. Click enter to be taken to UC Library Search and see your search results

Go directly to the UC Library Search homepage:

  1. Visit
  2. Start typing your search into the search box at the top of the screen
  3. Click enter to see results for articles, books and more.

Learn more about the different scopes you can search below. If you want to search a specific field (e.g. title, author), learn more about advanced search from the tab on the left.

Where to Search

Search scopes help you limit your search to specific sets of resources available in UC Library Search. 

In simple search, when you start typing your terms into the search box, a list of search scopes will appear along with autocomplete or suggested terms. If you run your search without selecting a scope, it will search articles, books, and more, which is the broadest search scope.

An example search in UC Library Search showing the dropdown options for different search profiles.


You can also use the dropdown menu to the right of where you enter your search terms to select a scope. After running your search, you can always change the scope using this dropdown menu.

A screenshot of UC Library Search showing the dropdown menu to select a search scope.

Select the scope most appropriate for what you are looking for:

  • Articles, books, and more searches all 10 UC campus libraries, the electronic resources subscribed to, as well as electronic resources that may not be in the UC libraries, but that can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Course Reserves searches material put on reserve by your professor. Search by course number, title or instructor.
  • UCLA Library Catalog searches just material in the UCLA Libraries, with the exception of journal articles.
  • UC Libraries Catalog searches all 10 UC campus libraries, with the exception of journal articles.
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive searches only the holdings of the Film & Television Archive.
  • WorldCat Global Catalog searches material in libraries throughout the United States and some foreign countries.

Search Basics

Search Tip Symbol Result
Truncation - broadens your search to include various search endings and spellings Asterisk: *

child* will search child, children, childbirth, childbearing, childish, childless, childress

Note: this might retrieve words you weren't expecting

Wildcard - takes the place of a letter in a search term Question mark: ? wom?n will search woman, women, womyn
Phrases - searches words in a particular order or for a particular known phrase Quotation marks: " "

"social justice" searches for the specific phrase 

social justice will return results as if you've typed social AND justice, which means that other words could appear in between the words social and justice.

Boolean Operators - connect search words together using different logic




intersectionality AND feminism will return results that include both search terms (fewer results)

intersectionality OR feminism will return results that include either search term (more results)

intersectionality NOT feminism will return results that include intersectionality but no results that include feminism. Be careful when using NOT because it may remove more results than you realize.

When typing Boolean Operators, be sure to make them CAPITAL LETTERS.

Grouping terms and applying precedence - combined a variety of terms and boolean operators in your search Parentheses:( ) intersectionality AND (feminism OR womanism) will return results that include the term intersectionality and at least one of either feminism or womanism.