Searching Using Summon

The library's new search tool, Summon, allows you to search for books, journal articles, media, and more with a single search. You can access Summon from the library's homepage.  Also try the Advanced Search.

When searching Summon, consider the following:

Once you have your results:

  • To see only BOOKS click on Book/eBook.
  • To see only JOURNAL ARTICLES click on Journal Article and click on Scholarly & Peer-Review.

Because there will be many results, it is important to narrow your search.

Narrow by:

  • Content Type
  • Discipline
  • Publication Date
  • Subject Terms
  • Language
  • Library Location

Discipline and Subject Terms are particularly useful. 

Discipline allows you to look at those resources classified as belonging to one specific field of study; e.g., Indigenous Studies, Public Policy, Law, Sociology, Health Sciences, etc. This can be very helpful when researching an interdisciplinary topic from a particular angle; for example, the topic indigenous health care woud span multiple disciplines.  It is also useful when one term is used in multiple disciplines to mean something very different; for example, social media research in sociology is very different from social media in business. 

Subject Terms are like additional keywords that have been indexed, or tagged, for each document. They can be helpful to further narrow down your results list, or to suggest terms you hadn't thought of that are related to your research.

When to Use Summon:


I want to... Use this Why?
Search for articles and/or books on a topic Summon Summon searches a wide range of sources and will bring you books, articles and other useful resources on your topic
Get started on an interdisciplinary topic Summon Summon will find resources from databases covering many topics, so can be much more efficient than searching several databases
Narrow a topic down Summon Summon lets you narrow down your search by subject or discipline, using facets on the left side. Each facet shows you how many results you'll get if you select it, so you can see in advance if you're narrowing your topic down to only 2 or 3 items.
Search for a specific book, video, journal title, game, etc. Library catalogue The library catalogue lets you do more specific searches and has up-to-date information about whether items are in the library or checked out. This information in Summon may be a few hours old.
Renew my library books Library catalogue You can only access your library account through the library catalogue, not through Summon.
Use specific search options available in a database Specific database Summon doesn't let you search by specific fields like methodology, NAICS code, jurisdiction, etc. so you need to go directly to a specialized database to do that kind of a search.


Content last updated: February 14, 2019