USING THE TRAC SEARCH ENGINE

Richard, CAP Youth Intern
 
What is TRAC?
The TRAC (The Regional Automation Consortium) search engine is a valuable tool for finding books and other library resources online. It is a searchable database of hundreds of books, videos, and audiocassettes from libraries across the province.
 
Logging In
The first thing you should do whenever you enter TRAC is log in. There are only a couple of steps.
  • At the top of the TRAC homepage, click "Login". You will be taken to the login screen.
  • In the first field on this screen, labeled "Library Barcode", enter the 14-digit number on the back of your library card with no spaces.
  • In the second field, enter the last four digits of your phone number. This is your PIN.
  • Press ENTER or click "Login", and you're done.
 
How To Perform a Basic Search
There are a few steps involved in finding what you are looking for.
  • Once you're logged in, enter search terms in as many of the fields (Title, Title Keywords, Author Keywords, Subject, and Any Words) as you feel necessary, then press ENTER or click the red arrow.
  • You will be taken to a page showing you the first ten results of your search. If you see the item you are looking for, click its link to continue. If you don't see it, check the rest of the results pages, or try altering your search.
  • At the information page, you will be shown more details on your selection, Including the Author, number of pages, publishing date, and the number of holds. You will also see a table below showing all of the libraries in the database that possess your selection, as well as the item's status at the location (Checked In, Lost, In Transit, Held, or the date it is due to arrive).
  • If the item is what you are looking for, you have two options: you can request the item or add it to your list by clicking the appropriate buttons. Adding an item to your list allows you to go back and review which items interested you after your search, or serve as a reminder if you log in later on.
 
Performing a Combined Search
A combined or Boolean search allows you to be much more specific in your selection criteria.
  • There are four fields you can use, selecting Author, Title Exact, Subject, Series, Author Keywords, Title Keywords, and others. However, the real feature of the combined search is the boxes to the right of these fields, which can be set to "and", "or", "not", and "XOR ("exclusive or", meaning one or the other). Example Search "Rowling, JK" and "Harry Potter" not "Chamber of Secrets" would look for Harry Potter books by JK Rowling, but not The Chamber of Secrets.
  • There are other limitations you can place on your search as well. You may choose to only search for books in a specific library, or only books in a specific format such as Large Print or Books on Tape.
 
Your Account Information
Your account has a lot of useful information, with easy access.
  • To access your account, simply login and click "My Account" from the tabs near the top of the screen.
  • Your account page displays a wide variety of useful information such as the number of books you have checked out, overdue, and lost, as well as whether your items on hold have come in yet. This page will also display any fines you currently owe.
 
Placing a Hold
  • A hold does just that, it holds a book for you, and as long as it is in effect, no one else can take that book out. Often there will be more holds than copies of certain books. The holds are given out in order of who first placed them.
  • If you haven't logged in yet, you will be taken to a new screen asking you to do so. You will need to give your library barcode and your PIN. The barcode is the 14-digit number on your library card, and your PIN is the last four digits of your phone number.
  • You will be taken to a new screen where you can specify the library you wish the book sent to. The page will also indicate how long the hold will last. Click on "Request" to confirm the hold. You will be notified once the requested book arrives.
  • You can now return to searching or logout.
 
Renewing a Title
  • If a title you have out is nearing its due-date, you can renew it from the account page. Click on "Items Out/Renew" to open a new page displaying all books you currently have checked out. To renew a book, click the box next to the title, then click "Renew".
  • A renew will give you the book for another three weeks, but there are conditions. You cannot renew a book more than three times, and you cannot renew a book at all if a hold has been placed on it.
  • If you are going to be late with a book and are unable to renew it, please contact your library.
 
Safety Warning
Always log out as soon as you are finished using TRAC. The system will log out automatically if the page remains idle, but in the interest of protecting your private information, always remember to be safe and log out.