How to use Argos


Searching is very easy with the library's Argos search box! Just enter one or more words and hit enter. You'll get results that contain all of your search terms automatically - if you're familiar with Boolean searching, this means all of your search terms effectively have "AND" between them. 

There are a lot of other ways to search the library's resources! You can:

Search for a phrase
To search for a phrase, put it within quotation marks. If you don't use quotation marks, the system will search for those words individually, not next to each other.

Search for multiple words or phrases
Not sure what terms to use? You can search for resources that contain any (not all) of your search terms using "OR". You'll get results that contain either of your words/phrases.

Exclude words or phrases from your search results
You can remove certain words or phrases from your search results by using "NOT". Any results containing the word or phrase you've put after "NOT" won't be shown, so be careful when using "NOT"!

Search using wildcards
You can use wildcards to search for variations on words and phrases. For example:
  • ? — enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the strings womanwomen, and so forth.
  • * —enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culturecultural, and culturally.
Note that the system ignores wildcard characters placed at the beginning of search terms. For example, the system treats the search terms ?aying and *aying as if you had searched for aying.

Group terms within a search
You can use parentheses to group terms within a query. For example, to search for Shakespeare and either tragedy or sonnet, type the following in the search box:

Change the scope of your search
If you want to search a specific set of items (reserves, catalog, etc), you can change where you're searching. This works best when you're already on a results screen.



The Browse search option allows you to browse library material in order to find relevant information quickly. You can browse material by author, title, and subject. "Browse" can be found either on the upper-right corner of the initial search page or just under the search box on any result page.

In the results, you can click an underlined entry to see its associated records. It is also possible to browse by call number, which returns a list of associated records in brief format. Clicking a title displays its full record. 

Using My Shelf

When you sign in, you can use "My Shelf" to save and organize items. To use "My Shelf", first login, either through the main library page (select "Accounts" from the upper right hand and choose "Library Account") or after performing a search (click "sign in" in the upper right hand corner). 

Saving items to My Shelf

When you've found an item you want to save, click on the bookmark icon next to the title:
When added to your shelf, the bookmark will be filled in. To remove an item from your shelf, just click the bookmark again. 

Saving Searches to My Shelf

If you've found particular searches to be successful, you can save them by clicking "Save Search" on the results page. This will allow you to re-run that search later, which may bring up new results. You'll be asked to name your search as well. You can also use "Add page to my shelf" to add every item on that search result page to your shelf, but it won't update with new items, and if you want to remove items you'll have to do that one at a time.

If you save the search, you'll have the option to set up alerts. If you set up an alert, the system will periodically re-run your search terms and email you if there are any new results. To view your saved searches, go to "My Shelf" and select the "My Searches" tab. From this tab you can click to searches to re-run them, edit alerts, or delete your searches.


Looking at items

From the results page, you can get more information about items by clicking on them. You'll get different information depending on the type of item.

When you click on a book, you'll be able to get the call number, location, and item status from the "Locations" page. You can click on "SMS" to get the call number texted to you. If you click "Available /Map" you'll see a map of the library showing the book's exact location. The Locations tab is also useful for placing requests.

You can click on "Details" to see what subjects are associated with the book, as well as a table of contents and description:

The "Virtual Browse" tab shows which books are shelved around the title you're looking at:

Ebooks have a "Preview" tab that may allow you to look at or download the item. The "Details" panel will give you more information about the title, including subject terms, and link to the item.

When looking at the record for an article, you have a couple of choices. Clicking on the title of the article should open it. If not, clicking on "View all versions" will give you options for accessing the article in different databases. "Preview" will show you part or all of the article (you may need to sign in again). "Details" will give you information about the article, including the author, subject terms, and source.

Search Argos

Why sign in?

Signing in is important! When you sign in, you'll see a more complete list of results. But that's not all! If you sign in, you can also:
  • Set preferences for your current and future sessions. You can set your preferences so that they reflect the way you usually search, and save them for future sessions.
  • Add items you found and searches you submitted permanently to your shelf. Saved searches can be re-run at any time.
  • Set alerts for your saved searches. You can set a search to become an alert, that is, to run automatically and send you email notification once it locates new items answering your search criteria.
  • Use library services. You can benefit from library services such as requesting or recalling items and seeing the due dates of items you have checked out.
  • Tag and review items. You can assign words or phrases to items to help you organize and locate items later. Since tags are made public, other users can view your tags and use them. Additionally, you can review items to share your opinions with others.

Managing items in My Shelf

Once you've placed items on your shelf, there are a few things you can do to them:

Managing folders in My Shelf

You can use folders to organize the items on your shelf. Here are some things you can do to folders:

Not seeing what you need?

If you have more questions about using Ithaca College Library's search, check our Frequently Asked Questions page, or Ask A Librarian.

If you prefer, you can also search the catalog directly. Note that your results will be limited to books and audiovisual materials.