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Library Research Guides

Library Guide for International Students

New to the Library? This Guide will help you navigate the library to find books and articles, study spaces, and different ways of getting in touch with librarians and other staff for specific research and writing assistance.


Basic Search

When you arrive at Mirlyn, the default search is a exploratory, keyword search labeled All Fields. This will search for your word(s) or phrase(s) wherever they occur, and is a great way to get started with your search.

You may also search by title, author, subject, academic discipline, ISBN or ISSN, journal name and call number. Use the pull-down menu to the right of the search box to change the search type. You may type multiple terms in the search box and combine them using AND, OR, and NOT (these combining terms must be capitalized).

Mirlyn Basic Search

The check boxes below the search box allow you to limit your results to  items “Available online” (when at least one complete volume, issue, or part of the primary content is accessible online) or "Search only (no full text)" (items that have been digitized, but due to copyright restrictions, are not actually viewable, but are searchable).

Advanced Search

Advanced searching allows you to combine two or more different types of search terms.  Click on the Advanced Search link to the right of the search bar at the top of the screen.  On the Advanced Search page, the three search boxes display three different search fields as defaults but all can be changed using the pull-down menu to the right of each text box.


How do I find e-books using Mirlyn?

  1. Go to
  2. Click the Limit to 'Available online' check box.
  3. Enter your search terms and click Find.

Titles are identified as “Available online” when at least one complete volume, issue, or part of the primary content is accessible online to all current U-M students, faculty and staff.

How do I find databases that have e-books?

To generate a list of library databases that contain e-books:

  1. Visit the Search Tools Database Search.
  2. Click on More search options.
  3. From the "Narrow your search by resource type" drop-down menu, select E-Books.

Screenshot of showing "E-Books" selected from the "Narrow your search by resource type" drop-down menu.

How do I find out if a database allows e-book downloads?

To find more information about a database, such as whether it allows downloads:

  1. Visit Search Tools.
  2. Type a database name into the search box and click Go.
  3. From the database entry, click the link for More Information.

Screenshot of the "Wiley Online Library" entry from

Search Tips

-When using Boolean search operators, make sure to capitalize them (AND, OR, NOT). AND is automatically implied between two word searches. 

- There are no words that are excluded from searching (these are called stopwords). Every word will be searched.

- Use quotation marks to search an exact phrase such as "adolescent psychology".

-Mirlyn uses something called stemming to modify your search to return more relevant results:
When you type bicycle in the search box, Mirlyn also searches for bicycles, bicycling, etc.

-You can use a plus sign (+) next to a word in your search string to ensure your results include that particular word

Advanced Search - Refine Further

In an Advanced Search you can choose to refine your search further by adding limits:

Year of Publication: Type in a year or a range of years during which the item or items were published.

Library: Select All Libraries, or choose from a list including the Bentley Historical Library, the Clements, the UM Transportation Research Insitute, and the Flint Thompson Library.

Location: Select a location (e.g. Fine Arts; Art, Architecture and Engineering; etc.) and a Collection associated with that Library Location. For example, select Hatcher Graduate as the Location and Reference as the Collection.

Academic Discipline: Select from a list of academic disciplines to narrow your search accordingly.

Language: Select the language of publication; if you select English, all of the items in your result will be at least in part in English.

Format: Select special formats, such as newspapers, DVDs, maps, etc.

Mirlyn Advanced Search Limits