Searching Your Catalog from LibGuides

The process of configuring LibGuides to search your library catalog can be a little tricky.  Here is a step-by-step guide to assist you with the process:

1) Start off by browsing to your library website and locating your catalog search page.

2) Set any search preferences that you would like to use, and enter a simple search term into the search box.  For this example, we will use the word “hamburger” as our search string.  Once your search string has been entered, click the provided button to submit your search.

3) The next screen you see should be your search results page.  Copy the URL from the address bar, open your favorite text editor (Notepad, TextEdit, MS Word), and paste the URL into a new document.  This will allow us to easily view and edit the URL in the upcoming steps.

 4) Look at your URL, and try to locate the search term that you provided in step #2.  When you have found the term, replace it with the word {search}, leaving all the surrounding text intact.  Here is a before and after example of what the URLs may look like:



*Note – if your URL did not contain your search term, please contact us at for assistance.

5) Copy the updated URL containing the {search} placeholder, and then login to your LibGuides system using an account with administrator access.  Click on the “System Settings” tab and look for an entry labelled “Catalog Search URL”.  Click in the space provided, paste your new URL into the box, and click the “Save” button to save your changes.

6) Once the new URL has been provided, you can test the catalog search feature from any of the search boxes provided within LibGuides.

Some catalog vendors include session or request information in the search URL to help keep track of each search that is submitted.  In some cases this can cause problems when trying to search from within LibGuides.  If you followed the steps above, and are still running into problems configuring your system, please let us know and we will be happy to help you troubleshoot!


  1. brekhusr says:

    Sorry to be sense, but I’m with you as far as Step 5 but am lost with Step 6. What do you mean by “any of the search boxes provided within LibGuides?” When I go to create a new box, I have options to create Google search boxes but no option to create a catalog search box.

  2. brekhusr says:

    oops, “dense,” not “sense.” Still being dense. 😉

  3. marc says:

    These instructons are for how to configure the search box that is included automatically on the homepage as well as the top of each of the guides. So once you have done those first few steps, and you want to test, you can do so by going to the homepage and entering your search term into the box at the top/center of the page. Be sure to select the “catalog” option and your search should open your catalog in a new window, passing along the search term you have entered. If you need help setting this up, please send an email to support so we can give you a hand.

  4. brekhusr says:

    oooh. OK. Yes, that works; thanks.
    However, there is absolutely no way for the user to know that search is “under there.” So is there a way to “foreground” the catalog pass-through a bit more by creating a box that will search the catalog, as there are Google search boxes now? I’m thinking this may be a new feature request.

  5. marc says:

    If you want, you can make the catalog search the default option by changing the setting on the “system settings” page. We can also help you create a simple catalog search box as well, which would allow you to embed the search box anywhere within LibGuides.

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