Patron Search Stations - iPAC (Internet Public Access Catalog)

Navigating the iPAC

The iPAC has the identical appearance whether it is the internal iPAC or on a web browser. Unless your installation has been customized by your own technicians, the first page that displays for the iPAC is the home page. From the home page you have several options for moving between search types and a number of static links that appear on the toolbar.


Some links and options may not appear on your screen depending upon your licens­ing. For Example: Wide Area Searching drop down list, Log In, Location drop down, etc.

iPAC Toolbar

The iPAC toolbar remains consistent throughout all iPAC pages and appears at both the top and bottom of the page. To access the specific search types or links, simply click the preferred option.


Searching Techniques

L4U offers several ways for clients to search the Library collection, ranging from Easy Search or Quicksearch, to a complex multi-level search. Access to the more complex searches can be restricted by employing a modified iPAC skin. The Picture Search, Multiseek and Advanced searches are accessed through the toolbar or from the menu on the left of the homepage. On the standard iPAC skin, either Easy Search or Quicksearch is the default displayed on the homepage. Which search screen dis­plays depends on the iPAC Customization Settings. These settings are config­ured by the Library Administrator.

Easy Search

The Easy Search was introduced for patrons who are not exactly sure of how to phrase a query, but have a good idea of what they are looking for. Easy Search uses search techniques similar to the popular internet search engines. The most popular fields in L4U (e.g. title, author, subtitle, series, etc.) are searched and assigned a weighted value. The resulting list is then sorted on the total weighted value. For more information on how to change the weighting scale, please contact L4U Technical Ser­vices. To use Easy Search:


1.   On the iPAC homepage, Type in the search criteria in the field provided

2.   Click the magnifying glass icon

3.   The iPAC displays a list of items that match the search criteria


This search is the simplest of all the searches and will likely be the most used by your patrons. The search criteria entered for this type of search can be a single entry, multi­ple words or a phrase. Quicksearches  join the words in a phrase search with an AND, providing the settings have not been changed by the Library Administrator. To use Quicksearch:


1.   On the iPAC homepage, Type in the search criteria in the field provided

2.   Click the icon that represents the type of search to perform

3.   The iPAC displays a list of items that match the search criteria

Note: Searches are not case sensitive and do not recognize articles (the, and, a, etc.). Quicksearch & Authority Quicksearches work exclusively with keywords and not all words are keyworded. For more information, please refer to Excluded Key­words in the L4U Users Manual.



The keyword search is performed by entering the search criteria and either pressing the Enter key on the keyboard or by clicking the Keyword icon. When this option is selected, L4U searches the keywords of each item record looking for a match to the search criteria. Keywords are derived from various fields within the item record. Additionally, L4U applies the search option selected in Preferences when performing a keyword search. There are two search options that effect how the search is conducted. The comparison value between multiple words entered can be set to AND or OR. Selecting OR will return results that contain any of the words entered whereas, selecting AND will return results that contain all of the words entered. Using keywords results in a greater hit rate than using a single search cate­gory. The setting is configured by the Library Administrator and is usually set to AND. For more information, please refer to Keywords in the L4U Users Manual.


The SoundsLike search is a phonetic search tool. It is especially useful for those hard to spell terms and patrons who experience difficulty with spelling. To use the SoundsLike search, Enter the word as it sounds phonetically and then click SoundsLike. For Example: Entering elifant will produce those records with a keyword of ‘Elephant’. L4U searches a list of phonetic key­words that has been generated from the item keywords.

Authority Quicksearches

Authorities have their own keywords and these keywords are searched when using the following functions. Authority keywords are created from the respective Authorities and use the same Keyword Exclusion list in Preferences. For more information, please refer to Excluded Key­words in the L4U Users Manual.


To search for a Subject, Enter the Subject or a portion of the Subject and click Subject. For Example: plan would produce records with Subjects such as ‘Plants’, ‘Trips--Planning’ or ‘Planets’. Enter a complete term for more exact searching. If multiple search criteria has been entered, L4U will apply the Authority Keyword Searches preference setting and look for matching items in the Subjects keywords table.


To search for a Title, Enter the Title, or a portion of the Title excluding all articles (The, An, A, etc.) and then click Title. Example: enter cat and the results will include items such as ‘Cat in the Hat, The’, ‘To catch a mocking bird’ and ‘Catcher in the Rye’. Enter a complete term for more exact search­ing. If multiple search criteria has been entered, L4U will apply the Authority Keyword Searches preference setting and look for matching items in the Title keywords table. If an exact match is desired, please use the Advanced search. The Advanced Search doesn’t use keywords and looks at the complete title in the Library File.


To search for an Author’s name, Enter the search criteria and click Author. The name does not have to be entered completely or in direct order. For example: Entering alex smith can produce a result of ‘Smith, Alexander’. If multiple search criteria has been entered, L4U will apply the Authority Key­word Searches preference setting and look for matching items in the Author keywords table.


To search for a Series, Enter the Series or a portion of the Series and click Series. For Example: read would produce results such as ‘Reading rainbow’ or ‘Step into reading’. Enter a complete term for more exact searching. If multiple search criteria has been entered, L4U will apply the Authority Key­word Searches preference setting and look for matching items in the Series keywords table.

Editor Illustrator

The Editor/Illus search applies the same method as the Author search. To search the Editor/Illustrator field, Enter the search criteria and click Editor Illustrator.


Topic Search

Topic Searches are predefined searches that are executed by clicking on graphics displayed in the iPAC. Topic Searches are configured by the Librarian and allow quick access to relevant materials in the collection. These settings are config­ured by the Library Administrator. To execute a Topic Search:

1       On the iPAC homepage, click Topic Search

2       The Topic Search carousel appears.

3       Click on the appropriate Search icon

4       A list of search results is displayed



The Multi Seek option provides the client with the ability to search on multiple topics at one time. Boolean operators combine terms for more streamlined results. To per­form a MultiSeek search:

1.   On the iPAC homepage, click MultiSeek on the toolbar or the menu

2.   iPAC00019.bmpFrom the drop down menus on the left, Select the field(s) to search

3.   In the field(s) provided, Enter the search criteria

4.   From the drop down menus, Select the Bool­ean search operand

5.   Media and/or Level can be used in conjunction with the MultiSeek search crite­ria.

6.   Click Search

7.   The Results screen will display the number of hits in the Title Bar and list them in the main screen.

Note: Very specific searches yield a much smaller hit rate. To broaden searches, use the OR operand.


Advanced Search

The Advanced Search feature searches the fields of an item record directly as opposed to searching the keywords associated with the field. This means that users will have to enter more specific search criteria. This search is conducted in a direct, or left to right, order. For Example: entering cat would result in hits such as ‘Cats and Dogs’ or ‘Cat­erpillars’ but it will not find ‘Arthur catches a train’. This search type also includes the ability to do between searches for finding ranges of items. For Example: items with Deweys from 001 to 010. To use the Advanced search:

1.   On the iPAC homepage, click Advanced from the toolbar or the menu

2.   Select the field to search

3.   In the first field provided, Enter the search criteria

4.   Click Search


Between Searching

iPAC00021.bmpBetween search can be enabled to perform searches for items in a range. This could be items between a certain range of dewey designations or items entered into the col­lection between specific dates. To perform a between search using Advanced:

1.   On the iPAC homep­age, click Advanced

2.   Select the field to search

3.   In the first field provided, Enter the ‘from’ search criteria

4.   Click the Enable Between Searching checkbox

5.   Enter the ‘to’ value in the second field

6.   Click Search


Note: To clear the field selected and the value(s) entered, click Reset..


Viewing Search Results

By default the iPAC local collection search results are displayed in Detail view. By default this list includes the Title, Subtitle, Author, Publisher, Call Number, Status, Location, Book Cover and lists each individual item separately. This initial listing of found items can also be displayed as Authorities (Authorities display is available for List, Details & Bibliographic views). These settings are config­ured by the Library Administrator.


   Items Display (Details View)   vs   Authority Display


Note: If L4U is set to Item display and you have performed a Quicksearch on one of the Authorities (Title, Author, Subject, Series, Editor Illustrator), you can switch to the Authority view by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. In the case of a Subject search the link will read, Display by Subject.

The Authority display is a table containing only a list of hits and the number of items associated to each. For Example: a Title search would result in a list of Titles only and the number of items containing the search term in that Title. To view the individual items, you must click the Title link.

More tabs will appear at the top of the results list if licensed for Federated Searching and the Service Providers login credentials have been configured in Preferences by the Library Administrator.

Regardless of the view chosen, the total results are listed at the top of the table and the records are displayed 15 per page. To view the next 15 records, simply Click Next 15 Hits or the preceding records, Click Previous 15 Hits.

Search Results Options

Search results can be further refined with the following options. These options can be set in Preferences (either globally or homeroom specific)  to be the default when a new internet browser window is opened or modified on the fly in the current internet browser window (current session). The cur­rent session settings override the settings defined in Preferences. To modify the Cur­rent Session iPAC Customization Settings:


1.   From any iPAC page, hover the mouse pointer over the cog icon

2.   Select the desired option




1.   From any iPAC page, click the cog icon

2.   Select the desired options

3.   Click Apply



The settings are then applied to the current ses­sion. If the window is closed, these options will be discarded and any new internet browser sessions will use the settings in Preferences.


Default Results Display


This view is similar to the list of materials as presented in the Library File and other files in L4U. This view presents the most items on the screen with the minimum amount of space.



Detail display shows the patron the individual library items in more detail than the List results.



The results list is similar to the Details view but in bibliographic format.


Highlight Search Criteria

This option will highlight the search terms in the resulting lists. This allows patrons to quickly locate the relevant items on screen.


Spell Check Search Criteria

When performing a single field search (i.e.: not Multiseek), L4U will check the spelling of the search terms and suggest alterna­tive forms of the misspelled words from the collection’s keywords. For example, a keyword search of aro­ara boreealis will result in L4U suggesting aurora borealis.


Perform Similar Searches

If enabled, author searches will display other authors based on the subjects in the list of results. For example, a search for the author Anna Sewell, will list these authors because of the sub­jects associated with Anna Sewell’s found materials.


Display Search Suggestions

L4U will list different combina­tions of the search terms and the number of items found using those combinations. For exam­ple, a keyword search of civil war videos is too specific and returns no hits. L4U will suggest alternative search terms with the number of items associated with that search term.


Details Balloons

L4U will present a pop up bal­loon which contains the item’s bibliographic information when the cursor hovers over the title of the item. To dismiss the balloon, either click the close box or click on another item’s title.



Easy Search on Every Page

The Easy Search button can be displayed on every page of the iPAC.

Default Search Screen

Easy Search will present the iPAC user with one search field to search the collection. This may be the best solution for younger patrons. Quick Search offers more search options for the patron.

Default iPAC Languages

L4U can display the iPAC screens in one of three Languages; English, French or Spanish. The Language selected will affect the buttons and alert messages that appear when clients use the iPAC functions. This setting does not convert the data within your collection, only the interface that displays your materials. The Language selection will only apply to the iPAC, and will not affect any other levels of L4U. Both the default language display and the language used for a specific session can be modified.

Default iPAC Skin

The appearance of the L4U iPAC can be changed by simply selecting a differ­ent skin. A skin will change the look of the dialog boxes, buttons, etc. of the iPAC interface. The different skins available are selectable from the drop list.


Navigating the Results List

Standard internet browser window controls are available when the display is set to Item Display. Sort by, Records per Page and Go To a desired page allow patrons to quickly navigate the results list.


Sorting Search Results

While in the Item or Authority list views, it is possible to sort the search results. This is achieved by clicking the column label by which you wish to order the records. Clicking the column label once will sort the records in ascending order. If you click the same label again, the records will be listed in descending order. If you reorder a list while viewing any page other than the first results page, you will be returned to the first page with the new sort order displayed.


Viewing Item Detail

Once you have performed a search and have a list of results, you may wish to view the records in more detail. This is done by clicking the Title link of the item you wish to view. When using the Authority view, you will need to display the individual records by clicking the link in the authority list prior to select­ing an individual record.

The item detail display contains all the information specific to the item chosen. This can include: Title, Subtitle, Author, Local Call Number, Status, Pages, Pub­lishing information, Circulation (Loan period) information, Department, Media, Subjects and Description. Any data entered in the library file record will be displayed in the iPAC item detail. If a book cover has been saved to this item record, it will display as well.

Note: While viewing the details of a specific record you can return to the search results list by clicking Go Back.


Book Ratings

L4U allows for patron ratings of books and other library materials. It is based on a five star system, with one being low and five being the highest rating. L4U will average the rating based on the number of ratings received. The patron has to login to the iPAC to rate materials. To rate an item:

  1. Locate the item to be rated using one of the Search options

  2. Open the item

  3. Click Rate this Item

  4. Click on the desired rating

  5. The Item Detail screen is displayed with the current averaged rating.

Note: Only one rating is allowed per patron unless Group Login is enabled for the logged in patron’s Homeroom. These settings are config­ured by the Library Administrator.


Social Network Links

If enabled by the librarian, social networking links are available so library patrons can like and share their favorite books with friends via Facebook, Twitter, My Space and other popular sites. School district policies may block access to some of the sites or features.


Related Searches

When viewing the item details for an individual record, a related search can be con­ducted by clicking any field data that appears as a link. These fields will most often be Title, Author, Series, Ed/Illus and/or Subjects. By clicking one of these links a page will display showing that search criteria and the number of records that contain the selected information. Clicking in this list will display the individual records.













View MARC Record

Within the item detail view is a View MARC Record link. This link is used to view the MARC tagged display of the chosen record. This option is useful for using alternate L4U collections as a cataloging source. The process is similar to the Internet down­load described in “Import Tab” on page 103 in the L4U Users Manual, with the exception that your MARC record source is an L4U iPAC as opposed to the Library of Congress. To view the MARC record in tagged display, simply click the View MARC Record link in the item detail view of the chosen record.


If additional resources have been identified in the item’s record, they will be dis­played as links opposite the heading Resources. Additional resources may be pictures, music or other types of files and links to other internet pages. To access the resource, click on the link.

Federated Searches

Federated Searches can be best described as a simultaneous search of the local collec­tion(s) and a remote database(s). Search results are then displayed in the iPAC as sep­arate tabs. The L4U iPAC can perform Federated Searches if licensed for L4U Freedom. Searching remote databases is available if your site is licensed to search these content providers. The individual Content Providers login credentials have to be configured in Preferences before the Federated Searches will work. Please refer to “Federated Search” on page 19 for more information on Configuring Federated Searches.

Please refer to the Content Provider’s documentation or their online help for more information on their sites features.


















To use Federated Searching

1.   Login to iPAC, see page 66

2.   Perform a Quick Search (keyword) or an Easy Search, see page 39

3.   In addition to the search results from the local collection(s), tabs will allow browsing of the content as provided by the other sites

4.   Click on the Title or Click the Go Directly to Search Provider Interface for Search Results link for more information on the item

5.   iPAC00048.bmpIf the search provider allows search­ing of specific databases, make the desired choice from the Select Data­base drop down





iPAC00049.bmpLibrary patrons can access a message area from any page of the iPAC. To view messages:

1.   On any iPAC page, click Messages on either the top or bottom toolbar

2.   Select a Message Category.

3.   The message will appear.

4.   To exit the message screen, either click the browser Back button or Home on the toolbar


New Items


The iPAC contains a New Items link that can be used to display a list of items recently added to the collection. The number of days an item stays ‘new’ is determined by a Preference setting (see “New Items Search Options” on page 11) and the Entry/Issue field within each record. To access New Items:

1.   On any iPAC page, click New Items on either the top or bottom toolbar

2.   A page appears listing all items that are classified as new

3.   To exit New Items, click Home


Web Links

The library administrator has the ability to add customized Web Links to the iPAC. Any patron connecting to the library via the internet will also be provided with direct links to other web sites (as set up by the Library Administrator). These Web Links can be added to and revised as necessary. Web Links are maintained in the Library Pro­file. To add a Web Link to the Web Page, see “Creating Web Links” on page 19.

Viewing Web Links

Web Links are an excellent tool for directing patrons to areas of interest on the Inter­net. If a school or school district web page has been established, this is where a link can be set up. To view existing Web Links:

1.   On the iPAC home page, click Links on either the top or bottom toolbar

2.   To access a listed site, click the Link

3.   To exit web links, click Home


Using WAS to Search a Remote Site

For L4U Platinum Users

Wide Area Search (WAS) gives iPAC patrons access to multiple library collections individually or at the same time if they are licensed for WAS. The WAS feature must be set up at each of the participating libraries before this option will appear on the search pages. WAS results are cached internally in L4U for 7 days and are then auto­matically cleared. To execute Wide Area Searches:

1.   Launch L4U iPAC

2.   Select the search to use

   If using Quicksearch, this will be the main page

3.   From the lower left hand side, Select the location from the list of available sites.

   You can search individual sites or all the sites within a group.

4.   Perform the Search.

Note: Once a remote collection has been searched, the iPAC will default back to the local collection for further searches. 



Note: If you are using the WAS search feature it is recommended that you add Location to the iPAC Search Results Display. Search results will display the name of the library where the item is located. These settings are config­ured by the Library Administrator.


iPAC Voting

All voting in L4U takes place in the iPAC. Elec­tions are set up and monitored from the Administration area of the program; however, individuals cast a vote from the iPAC stations. When there are active elections taking place, a Vote Now link appears on the home page.


Casting a Vote

Voting takes place on the web client (iPAC). Depending on whether it is a free or restricted vote, all or only specific clients will be able to cast a vote.



To cast a vote:


1.   On the iPAC Home page, click Vote Now

2.   From the drop down list, Select the desired choice

3.   Click Vote!

4.   iPAC00082.bmpIf the vote is restricted, reg­istration is required. Enter the client code and pass­word (PIN)

5.   Click Login

6.   To continue with searching, click Home


Note: If concurrent elections are both free and restricted votes, each election will have a separate Vote but­ton. However, if all elections are either free or restricted, the patron can make a selection for all elections and click vote once.


Election Results







Once all votes have been cast and the election is complete, the results can be viewed and printed from the iPAC screen by clicking the Election Results link on the home page.


The election results can also be printed from an L4U Administration station with access to Preferences. The report is generated from the Election Management screen. For more information on Elections, please refer to the Elections and Voting Chapter in the L4U Users Manual.