To begin, identify the main ideas or concepts of your topic. Simplify each idea to one word or a short phrase, and make a list. These are the keywords that you will use to search for information. Next, brainstorm related words or synonyms for each keyword. Think of various forms of your keywords. Add these words to your list.
Now you can design your search. Most of the time, you will be using the library's OMNI search tool. This is the Nipissing Search or Canadore Search access links. The best strategy is to keep it simple! Start your search with one keyword, two keywords joined by "AND", or a short phrase. You will probably need to do a few searches to find what you need. Refine your search by adding or removing search terms, or trying alternate keywords.