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Thorncat Help

Search Tips


Capitalization is ignored. 

Maine woods will get the same results as maine Woods

Dashes and hyphens are ignored.

well-being will get the same results as well being


Phrases, Words & Word Order

Phrase searching is recognized. Use double quotes to search for an exact phrase.

"democratic education"

Word order is ignored.

organic grower will get the same results as grower organic

a, as, and, the, not, of, or are not ignored, i.e., every word you enter is searched. (This is not the case in most databases.)

A title search on golden and compass will not find the title Golden Compass because "and" is not in the title


Author Searches

Word order, capitalization and commas are ignored. 

abraham Lincoln and Lincoln, Abraham and Lincoln Abraham will all get the same results

Basic Search

Here is some information about Thorncat's Basic Search options:

  1. Search Thorncat using the search box on the library's website. 
  2. Enter your search terms.
  3. The Keyword dropdown box gives you several options to limit your search.
    1. Keyword  - searches your terms anywhere in the item record
    2. Title - finds words in the title field
    3. Author - finds words in the author field
    4. Subject - finds words in the subject field of the item record
    • Note:  When you first begin searching, Keyword searching can take awhile to give you results.  If this is the case, we suggest you switch to searching on Title, Author or Subject and then try Keyword searching again.
  4. You can limit your search by library. We are part of the Balsam Consortium which consists of a number of Maine public, school, academic, and medical libraries. 

Advanced Search

Advanced Search link is below the Thorncat search box on the library's website. This is similar to the basic search, but you can add additional search boxes and select from a series of filters to narrow down your search. With search filters you have the option to put limits on your search.  Note that the filters are helpful, they may not always bring back complete results. 

Search Results


Options in Gray Bar at top of page

  • Sort By - in addition to sorting by Relevance, you may sort by Title, Author, and Publication Date
  • Show More Details - this will allow you to see more information (isbn, publisher, etc) about the item in the results list
  • Limit to available items  - this will show you only those items that are available for check out and aren't already checked out to another patron

Search Results (in the main body of the page)

  • Title - This is listed first.  By clicking on it you will see more details about the item
  • Author - This is listed after the title.  By clicking on the author, the system will do a search on other items in our collection by this author.
  • Call Number - This is necessary to find the item on our library shelves.  Be sure to jot it down.
  • Available Copies - In the example above, there is one copy in our library and it is available for check out.  The reason for the multiple listings is because we belong to the Balsam Consortium of libraries that are using this system.  The system is set up this way due to the consortium.  By default, we have set things so that you will only see what is available in Thorndike Library.  If an item is checked out, you would see this message:
  • "0 of 1 copy available at Thorndike Library, College of the Atlantic"


Left Side Bar

This provides a way for you to filter through your results. By selecting one of the options in the various filters, the results that match that filter will be displayed.


Right Side Bar

This allows you to put a Hold on an item. However, we are not currently recognizing this feature, so please do not use it. You can also save this item to your own personal list, provided you are logged in under My Account.