I was in a local bookstore (chain) and overheard a woman describing a book to the staff person at the information desk. She did not remember the author or the title but knew the book was about prion disease. I waited a few minutes as the staff member searched the computer without success and then offered that I thought the title might be “The Family That Could Not Sleep.” He typed in family and sleep and after a few more minutes finally found the title, “The Family That Couldn’t Sleep"
In the library’s catalog you can find the title very quickly by typing in either prion or prions in the Keyword field or in Subject. In the Keyword field the results are automatically in reverse year order and this title is the first one. In the Subject field the results are alphabetical by title but you can sort them into reverse year order. There are only six titles in this case anyway.
We are always trying to improve the catalog but it was good to discover that the library catalog was much superior to the database which the staff member in the bookstore was using. In addition to being able to search by author or title (or partial author or partial title) the catalog provides four subject headings: prion diseases; fatal familial insomnia; prions; and sleep disorders. The Keyword field in the catalog can be used to search for individual words in the author, title, and subject fields. You can limit your search in the Keyword field to author, title, or subject by prefixing the word with the first letter of the search field and a colon. For example, if you enter “s:prion”, then the catalog will find all materials with the word prion in the subject field. You can also truncate by adding an asterisk to your search term. If you enter s:prion*, then the catalog will find all materials with the words prion or prions in the subject field. The asterisk allows you to search for words with one to four more letters than your root term.
The book sounds fascinating.