Children's Literature - Fort Wayne

Searching the NE Juvenile Collection Through IvyCat

Premade resource lists are GREAT! ... until you discover that there isn't a list tailored to your needs. Now, you can always suggest a subject, but if you need books ASAP, that isn't going to get you the information you need when you need it (it's more likely to get you the information in a few weeks when someone else has done the research and pulled it all together, after your assignment is due).

This means that your best resource for the books you need is going to be IvyCat - Ivy Tech's online library catalog. The results from a general search can be daunting, but here are some tips that will help you construct a search to find the books you want for your assignment. These tips are tailored specifically towards helping you find children's picture books at the NE Ivy Tech Library.

First, you'll want to click this link to open IvyCat's Advanced Search (it will open into a new window/tab so that you can come back here easily to see more information). "Advanced Search" sounds a little overwhelming, but it's the best tool, and it's going to make your search easier in the long-run because you won't have to dig through a bunch of books for adults.

You'll see a screen that looks somewhat like the image to the left (though, yours won't have the numbers!).

IvyCat Advanced Search

To learn more about the settings numbered above, click the corresponding tabs at the below.

To run a quick search, open IvyCat Advanced Search and follow these steps:

  1. Type in your keywords. Less is more.
  2. Choose your phrasing.
    "All of these" is a good place to start, but you can try others.
  3. Choose how you're searching.
    "Keyword anywhere" or "Subject" are probably the best choices.
  4. Choose "Fort Wayne Juvenile" to search only our children's picture books.
  5. If you want more results at a time, choose "50 records per page" instead of 20

Hit search and browse your results! Remember, you need the CALL NUMBER for FORT WAYNE to find the books on our shelves.

This is where you'll type the subject of your search. You can be vague or specific - just remember that the more specific you are, the fewer results you'll have.

Type in tigers to find books about tigers, alphabet to find ABC books, and so on.

IvyCat gives you three boxes so that you can narrow your search, but you should probably start with one keyword. You can always go back to add more lines to your search, but each line you had will bring you back fewer and fewer results. If your first search only has a few results, there's no need to add any more lines to it! In fact, you might end up with zero results if you try.

REMEMBER! Spelling counts! If you're not getting the results you're expecting, use a dictionary, Google Search, or even Microsoft Word's spell check to make sure you're spelling the search correctly.

This box lets you choose how IvyCat looks for your search terms.


Perhaps you're looking for The Lady with the Alligator Purse. Here's how you'd search for the book with each of these options.


If you use "all of these" you can search for:

  • "lady alligator purse"
  • "alligator purse lady"
  • "purse alligator lady"

and find the book you want.

This option looks for any book that has ALL of the words in your search, no matter what order they show up in on the record. You just need the main key words to find the book.


NONE of the above searches would work if you use "as a phrase." This option looks for ALL of your words in EXACTLY the same order you typed them. Since the title of the book doesn't use those words in exactly the same order as the above searches, you won't be able to find the book.

Instead, one of these searches would work:

  • "lady with the alligator purse"
  • "alligator purse"
  • "lady with the alligator"

See how the words are in exactly the same order as the title?


Actually, you probably won't want to use "any of these" for this particular search. If you did, you'd pull up every single book with the word "lady," every single book with the word "alligator," AND every single book with the word "purse" - even books that only have one of those words and none of the others. That's a lot of books to go through to just find one!

A time when you might want to use this option would be if you are searching for picture books about disabilities. Some books might use the term "handicapped" while others might use "disability." To see all of these books at once, you could search for "handicapped disability" and choose "any of these" - it will bring up all of the books that use one or both of these terms.

IvyCat uses several fields to identify books, and this drop down lets you choose which you want to search. Your best choices are:

  • Title: Looks for your search tearms in the title of the books.
  • Keyword Anywhere: Looks for your search terms in the ENTIRE record.
  • Subject: Looks for your search terms in the Subjects assigned to books in the catalog.
  • Author: Looks for your search terms in the authors of the books.

Be careful! A title search might not bring up all of the books you want or need.

For example, if you're looking for alphabet books, a title search for "alphabet" would leave out the books Martha Blah Blah (about a dog who learns to talk after eating alphabet soup) and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (a great rhythmic book about letters racing up a coconut tree) because the word alphabet is not in either of these titles. A keyword or subject search would work much better for this topic because these searches would look at what the books are about.


This one's pretty straight-forward. In order to find children's books available at the Northeast Library, you'll want to select Fort Wayne Juvenile from the drop down list.

If you choose any of the other Fort Wayne options, you'll be searching our entire collection instead of just the children's books.


You probably won't need to do much with these options. Type and Format doesn't really apply to the juvenile collection because they are all books. You might, however, like to view more records on a page - which you can chance with the last option.