Archive for the ‘search’ Category

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

New Feature: Advanced Search

A few months ago we introduced a new search syntax, allowing you to execute complex searches like:

tag: history author: gibbon

We’ve now added a handy, “Advanced Search” feature, more like that offered by many traditional library catalogs.

You can find it in the search options in “Your Books”:

Screenshot 2015-05-14 10.48.42

It opens up a box like this:

Screenshot 2015-05-14 10.48.14

When you search it converts your advanced search options into the text syntax, so it’s also a way of showing how that works.

Let us know what you think on Talk.

Labels: new feature, new features, search, small libraries

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Better “Your Books” searching

Back in September, we debuted the beta version of a new “Your Books” search system, based on Elasticsearch. The new Your Books search has now replaced the old, and it’s live on the site for all members.

The new system brings with it a number of improvements, including:

  • It’s much faster.
  • No more “reindexing” process—you’ll never see that green “loading” bar when searching your books again.
  • It handles accents and other “special” characters much better; you can search for “resume” or “résumé”, etc.
  • The search syntax is much expanded (see below), allowing for explicit AND, OR and NOT searches, as well as term “nesting.”
  • Searches are echoed back with fields and operators specially marked, so you can see if the system understood the search as intended.
  • Hyphens are normalized, meaning a search for “science-fiction” will return the same results as “science fiction”.
  • The system allows for “stemming,” so a search for “automobiles” or “singing” would also return results for “automobile” and “sings”. You can see which fields are stemmed and which are not here on the wiki page.


Along with our new Your Books search, we’ve revamped the search syntax, which now allows for searches that include operators like AND, NOT, and OR, as well as field-specific searching. You can now search all of Your Books for things like:

  • history AND NOT art (all books with “history” and not “art” somewhere in the data)
  • tag:history AND NOT art (all books tagged with “history,” and not tagged with “art”)
  • hist* (all books with words beginning with “hist” somewhere in the data)
  • (history AND (greek OR roman)) (all books with “history” and either “greek” or “roman” somewhere in the data)
  • review:“” (books with no review)

For a full rundown of the advanced syntax now at your disposal in Your Books search, see the wiki page. There, you’ll find lists of all operators you can use, fields you can search directly, etc.

You’ll notice that, once you’re done with a search, the same ‘X’ the upper-left of Your Books will clear and remove your search. Next to that ‘X’, you can now see the full details of your search, written out as it was interpreted. So, a search for tag:history AND NOT art should display Search: tag: history AND tag: NOT art.

If you’d rather not type out the names of fields you’d like to search, the drop-down menu next to “Search” is still available. The default is, as always, “All fields.”

What else is new?

We’ve also extended our new and improved search abilities to searching the books of your fellow group-members, your connections, and Legacy Libraries. Wondering who in our Legacy Libraries shares your love of The Hobbit, who else in the 75 Books Challenge is a Frankenstein fan, or who among your LibraryThing Connections has a copy of Ivanhoe you can borrow? You can find all three of these on one page, here, where you can switch between them using the tabs at the top of the page.

As mentioned above, new search is now live on the site and has fully replaced the old. Your Books search should be working much more smoothly and efficiently now, so let us know what you think! If you’re having any trouble, feel free to post your questions in this Talk topic.

We’d like to thank all the members who’ve been testing the system, but especially the clever and indefatigable bnielsen.

Labels: new feature, new features, search, small libraries

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

New: Search your groups and connections

We’ve added a new cross-library search feature. You can now search:

This opens up all sorts of possibilities: you and your family members or friends can create a group together and easily search across the all the books in your libraries, or start a neighborhood group*. You can look for interesting books within a given group. For example, Tim enjoys searching for “Alexander the Great” in the Alexander the Great group.

Be creative, and if you do something really nifty with this feature, make sure and tell us about it!

Come discuss it on Talk. Many thanks to members of the Board for Extreme Thing Advances for help developing this feature.

* I’m already seeing Tim combining this new feature with the “what should you borrow?” recommendations so that he can plunder my bookshelves!

Labels: connection news, features, groups, new feature, new features, search

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Search redesigned, improved

Casey and I have completed work on a cross-LibraryThing search system.

Key features:

  • Search is now available from every page.
  • It searches one type (like works or authors) at a time, but always gives you result-counts for all types on the left. Click on the type to pivot off it instead.
  • It’s blazingly fast (as vaneska wrote, “The speed of the search is just a little bit scary.”)
  • It includes a number of elements not formerly searchable (or searchable well), like member reviews and words in tags.
  • Tabs have been reorganized a bit. The search tab has been removed and the “More” tab moved left. The “Zeitgeist” tab has been removed. It will probably be available under “more,” from the home page and at the bottom of every page (like “about,” which was a tab once).

Find out more, and talk about it on Talk.

Labels: new feature, new features, search

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

New search, now with “working-ness!”

I’ve changed how the “all fields” search for your library works. It’s new and still being worked on—you can discuss problems and requests here on Talk. But it’s faster, solves most character set issues and allows “fielded” queries.

Example queries:
greek history
“greek history”
greek history -war -“peloponnesian war”
gree* history
tag: greek author: homer
title: finger* subject: pick-pockets
source: amazon all: history

Update: It supports “all,” “tag,” “title,” “author,” “ISBN,” “subject,” “dewey,” “LCCN,” “source,” “date,” “review” and “comment.” (You can use plural for all names too.) By default, it now uses the field “most,” which is “all” minus subjects, reviews and comments.

Labels: bugs, features, search