Help

Searching Prospector

Prospector now includes over twelve million unique titles including books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks and electronic resources. The new interface supports an easy-to-use single search box in which you can type titles, authors, subjects or just keywords that represent your area of interest. To order an item just select “Request It” on the screen and follow the onscreen prompts. You can narrow your search by selecting a facet on the left of the screen to filter your search by format (e.g. DVD), language, date or other elements.Digital or electronic resources owned by libraries in the region are also shown in Prospector. In some cases anyone may access them (e.g. federal or state documents, public domain items) but in other cases, you must be a member of that institution or library to gain access. If you are not sure just follow an online link. If you get access to the resource you are fine. If not, in some cases, you may be able to get a borrowers card from that library to gain access.If you prefer the original Prospector classic interface it is still available at http://prospector.coalliance.org/search~S0

Requesting Items Through Prospector

While you are viewing the results of your search or the full record describing a book or other item, you will see a link labeled “Request it.” Clicking this link will take you through a series of forms, asking you which library you are affiliated with, your name and library card number, and possibly, which branch of your library you want the item delivered to.In most cases, you cannot request an item through Prospector if your local library has a copy that is still available on the shelf.You cannot request an item through Prospector if your library card is blocked at your local library, so be sure that you are in good standing with your local library.Once the request has been completed, Prospector will tell the library that has the book to send it to your library. Once it arrives at your library, you can pick it up there. Most of the participating libraries will notify you by mail, email, or phone that the book has arrived. This part of the process usually takes 2 to 4 days, but can take longer in some situations.

Prospector Lending Policy

There are some exceptions, but most items in Prospector are loaned to you with the following policies:

  • 21 day loan period (1 week for most DVDs, CDs, and videotapes)
  • 1 renewal (No renewal for most DVDs, CDs, and videotapes)
  • Up to 70 requests/check-outs per person (limits set by your local library)
  • Overdue fines and lost item fees will be the same as at your local library (the library whose card you used to check-out the item)
  • If all copies of materials are checked-out a hold may be placed although books may not be recalled
  • Springer ebooks are requestable through Prospector and have the same checkout period as print books. ¬†They are downloadable as PDF files. Other ebooks from publishers or vendors are not available through Prospector.

Cancelling a Request

You can cancel a request that you have placed through Prospector by using the catalog at your local library. While at the website of your local library catalog, view your patron record, or account information, and it will display a list of the items you have requested through Prospector.Using this list, you can view the status of your requests, or you can cancel one or all of your requests.

Searching Classic Prospector

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Subject Searches

Number Searches

There are many ways to search the library’s catalog. Each type of search has its own search form on its own page. You can get to each of these pages by clicking on the corresponding tabs on the home page. The links on the left will also take you to the page for the selected search type. There, you will find tips on searching for specific kinds of items.For example, the help on the Author search form will tell you that you should enter author’s names with the last name first, followed by a comma and a space, then the author’s first name. For example, “Camus, Albert.” When using the Subject search or Number search you will have to select the type of subject or the type of number you w