Visual Media Services

Visual Media Services

USING Visual Media Services ONLINE CATALOG

Accessing the catalog search screen
Keyword, title, and series title searching
Subject searching
Qualifying a search
Wildcard characters and advanced searching
Executing the search
Tips for successful searching

Detailed HELP is available on all aspects of a search.


From Visual Media Services homepage, click on the Search Tab to reach the Quick Media Catalog Search screen.

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Keyword searches, the default selection, will usually yield good results. If the user knows a word in the title of the desired item, typing that in with Title selected under the Keyword drop-down menu will find all items with that word in their title. To find all titles in a particular series (eg. Reading Rainbow), use the Titles by Series selection under the Keyword menu and type in the series name. Use Series browse if you only know a word in the series name to see a list of series titles.

Example: Series with "canada" in the series name, found using a series browse search.

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For subject searching, avoid the Titles by subject selection from the Keyword menu. Instead, select Subject browse. For example, if Subject browse is selected and "German history" is searched, the search will return no results. This is because "German history" is not a recognized Visual Media Services subject. Try again with just "history" and the search will display all history subject headings. From this list, the user may select Europe History and European Culture or World History 20th Century and click the hypertext. The display will show all titles classified under these subjects.

Example: Entering a subject browse search on "history".

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Save time by qualifying searches. For example, a fourth grade teacher doing a unit on snakes could do a more efficient search for materials by making selections from various drop-down menus. First, she enters snakes in the keyword box. Then, she selects Intermediate(I) from the Audience Level menu. This finds items specific to her fourth graders. She chooses Video (VH) from the Format menu, since her school is only equipped with VCRs. Finally, she is concerned about obtaining more current science material. She selects 1997+ from the Year menu. This will restrict the search to items produced since 1997.

Example: Results of a qualified search on "snakes".

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The use of the * wildcard character can simplify a search. To search for anything relating to revolution, try revolution*. This will return items dealing with revolution, revolutions, or revolutionaries.

Sometimes better results can be obtained by combining terms and selecting Advanced search mode from the Simple search menu. Usually this is necessary only to exclude a search possibility. For example, to search for political, as opposed to scientific or astronomical, revolutions, try advanced searching with revolution* not (science or astronom*). For more information, consult the Medianet HELP screens.

Example: Intermediate level search for moths and butterflies using wildcard character.

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After clicking the Submit button, the default setting (Brief display) will provide a a list of the results.
Each line will display:

The item title (title number, media format abbrev.) grade level abbrev., production year:
example: Causes Of The Civil War (15400,VH) MS 1996

Clicking on a brief display line will bring up the Full display, including the description.

Advanced users, familiar with Boolean search techniques, may wish to try an Advanced search rather than the default Simple search methods. Consult HELP for more information.

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  • Check your spelling. If you have misspelled a word, the entry may not be present in the index.
  • Check your menu selections. Be sure to clear any search qualifiers you may have set previously. It's always wise to click the Reset button prior to starting a new search.
  • Avoid overly-specific search terms. The size of our collection does not require extreme specification when searching. Rather than searching on "italian renaissance artists", try "ital* renaissance" for better results. The search will find any item with the words italy, italian, and renaissance in the title, series title, description, or subject names.
  • Search term order and position is ignored. The search engine does not differentiate between words in different order or their location in the title, series title, subjects, or description.
  • Clicking on the Reset button cancels any changes made to the search methods drop-down menus and returns all values to the defaults.

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Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday Year-Round
Located at 14603 E Fremont Ave, Centennial, CO 80112
Need to extend your due date? Call us by 4 p.m. today.
Contact Visual Media Services: Phone: (720) 554-5870  
Visual Media Services General Information