800.245.9540 Help Chat Open Chat Closed Chat Busy

Search for Items

Print Topic

The database is the largest of its kind. Finding the titles you need begins on the Advanced Search page.

Log into, mouse over the Advanced Search dropdown menu and select Advanced Search. You may also access any of your last five searches, including Easy Searches.



Enter keyword queries when using Title Contains, Author Contains, Sets and Series, Subject, and Keywords. There is no need to worry about commas, quotation marks, word order or case. Use the Title Begins With, Author (Last, First), ISBN, and Title, Author fields for more precise searches.

Return to a fresh Search page by clicking the Clear button.


NOTE: Please be aware that the Search Page Preferences you select on the My Profile page may cause future searches to come back with “No Results” when in fact the title is in the Mackin database (e.g. if you have your interest level set at K-2, the Harry Potter series will not come up when you search). If you can’t find the title you’re looking for, please alter your Search Page Preferences to be less specific and see if the title is retrieved.

Keyword Queries

It is helpful to understand how the database interprets keyword queries. The system automatically inserts an implicit “AND” between the words in your keywords queries (Title Contains, Author Contains, Subject Series and Keywords). For example, entering the words looking glass in the Title field prompts the database to find all the title records containing both keywords. The search results will include Lewis Carroll’s classic Through the Looking Glass as well as the titles Looking Glass Wars, Looking at Glass Through the Ages and Looking Through Grandmother’s Glasses.

Search Tips

Keywords: Searches for keywords, matching titles, alternative titles, series titles, authors, added entries and subjects in the database.

Title Contains: Searches for keywords matching titles in the database. Also searches through the Alternative Title and Series Title fields.

Title Begins With: Searches the database for precise matches to titles, subtitles, alternative titles and series titles in the database.

Author Contains: Searches for keywords matching authors in the database. Also searches through the Added Entry field, which often contains the names of illustrators and other contributors. There is no need to use commas in the authors’ names or to put names in any certain order.

Author (Last, First): Searches the database for precise matches to the author query, which requires the author’s last name followed by the first and separated by a comma and a space (e.g. shakespeare, william).

Title, Author: Searches for matching keywords in all the titles, alternate titles, authors and added entries in the database. There is no need to separate query terms with commas or to enter them in a particular order.

Subject: Searches for matching keywords in all the subject headings in the database – the actual Library of Congress or Sears subject headings in the MARC Records.

Sets and Series: Searches for keywords matching the managed sets and series records in the database.

ISBN: Searches for matching 13-digit and 10-digit ISBNs in the database. The system automatically removes hyphens from the query. On the Advanced Search page, you can enter or paste a list of ISBNs into the search field and return a result.

Combination searches: Use the Keywords field for combination searches, such as Title/Subject or Title/Author (e.g. sunset sailing or dragon smith).

Be specific:Dog training” will yield better results than simply “dogs.” Similarly, “Battle Bunker Hill” or “Crossing Delaware” are preferable to “Revolutionary War.” Ideally, your searches will generate 20 or 30 titles – that’s one or two pages of titles to peruse. Even 100 search results occupy more than six pages of titles.

Use multiple search parameters: To achieve a more manageable search result, we recommend including at least two parameters in addition to your query.

Select a binding/format preference: From library and trade to DVDs, maps and kits, you can choose from a variety of bindings and formats in this dropdown menu. You can also narrow your search with the Best Bind option.

Take advantage of My Profile: You can set various search preferences on the My Profile page such as interest level, publication year and Preferred Format Order. These parameters will appear on the Search Page whenever you start a fresh search.

Select your favorite review sources: If you trust particular review sources or you recall reading about a title in a specific journal, you can narrow your search accordingly. Simply enter a minimum number of reviews per title, or select a specific source from the dropdown. You can also use the two features together (e.g. enter “2” in the Number Per Title field and highlight Booklist. All the titles in your search results will have a minimum of two reviews, one of which will be from Booklist.)

Choose the ‘Compendium Titles Only’ option: This option will limit your search to titles found in current and past issues of Compendium, Mackin’s semi-annual publication of highly-reviewed titles.

Languages: Terms such as bilingual and dual language are effective keyword searches in addition to the specific languages listed in the dropdown menu.

Graphic Novels: To search through a selection of available graphic novels, enter “graphic novel” in the Keywords field along with other relevant keywords (e.g. graphic novel naruto or graphic novel princess).

Large Type: To search through a selection of available titles in large type, enter “large type” or “large print” in the Keywords field along with other relevant keywords (e.g. large type mystery or large print school).

World Wide Rights (WWR): It is now possible to search with the WWR parameter for Online Databases and Digital Audiobooks.

Related Articles