There aren't many weeks that go by that I don't get at least one PM from a member who can't find a book on the board. Our Moderator, one of our Hunters, or I have left a post on their request that their requested title is already on the board with an active or inactive link. I've had a few tell me I should make a search myself instead of "pasting in a canned reply." Begging your pardon, Folks, we do search; that's why we told you it's already on the board. We don't paste in our replies to y'all unless it's straight from the Board Rules; otherwise, we wouldn't have left that statement on your request. Furthermore, after 17 months of repeatedly saying the same things over and over again, Caoimhe and my replies are all but memorized.
I had one person not too long ago who carried on and on about how inadequate and limited the search engine is. It's not. It's only as smart as you tell it to be. Feed it good information and it will give back great results. I tried to explain how to search but that person became short and huffy with me. There's no need to attempt to help someone who isn't willing to listen. I will explain how to use our search engine so that everyone will know how to use it properly to get the best and most useful results.
Our Board Rules state to do a board search using the author's name for best results rather than the title. Titles too often have too many common words that are ignored by the system - a, an, and, the, of, it, that and many other simple words. Don't search in a forum unless you are looking for a specific title you know for a fact is in that forum. There are three places where titles will be - all in one forum: Resources (Off-Site). The titles are in three different sub-forms: eBooks by Category, eBook Requests, and Fulfilled/Closed eBook Requests.
To do an effective board search, don't type in the search bar. Beside the magnifying glass is a gear shaped icon. Click that to get to the Advanced Search form. Below is a screenshot of how you need to set it up to search deep. Make sure that you have the radio buttons set where I have the red Xes. Leave all the other radio buttons as they are. You only want to reset the ones I have marked.
Don't use any punctuation (periods, apostrophes, commas, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, question marks, hyphens, etc.) because you are only wasting your time - the system ignores them. If the author has initials or hyphens in their name, don't use them. Initials and hyphens, too, are ignored. From the title select one primary word.
When I'm doing requests for the members, I keep a tab open for the Advanced Search form. It's so much easier when you are looking for more than one title. If you are one who follows the Board Rules, you search before making each request. When making more than one request of your daily four, don't close out that window when you are finished searching for the first title. When you finish one search, use your Back button to back up to the beginning so you won't have to set up the search form repeatedly. The system isn't case sensitive, so you can type in all lower case. I type in lower case in search engines simply for speed.
Example: You are searching for the second book in The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers. Type in the author's surname, tolkien, in the search field in the upper right hand corner. This is the result:
At the time of this writing, that's 22 matches on two pages that you will have to plow through. What a waste of time.
Here's how to properly search expeditiously:
Example: On the Advanced Search form that you've already set up as shown in the screenshot, type in the very top first field the primary word that's in the title - in this case, it's towers, space, then type tolkien and hit enter. The result?
search.php?keywords=towers+tolkien&term ... mit=Search
At the time of this writing, one single match.
Get into the habit of using the Advanced Search feature. If the book you're wanting is already on the board, regardless of whether it's a single title or in a collection that one of our Major eBook Posters has uploaded, or an open request, or a closed request with an active or inactive link, you will easily find it.
Happy searching and reading, Gang!
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