What's Up with Prospector?

What's Up with Prospector?

Good things often come to those who wait.  And you have been waiting a long time for the return of the Prospector service.  We have to assume that the original gold prospectors were patient folks much like library customers.  You may have given up, and for good reason, but we haven't!

The Library's previous automation system was connected to Prospector via a customized program that is no longer allowed by the system behind Prospector, requiring the creation of an entirely new connection process.  The effort to reconnect the Denver Public Library to Prospector has been technically challenging.  All parties involved have been working diligently to overcome integration issues, however, and together we have made significant progress.

We are actually blazing a trail for other libraries to use a standard protocol to connect two different circulation systems.  At the risk of getting too techie, we are implementing the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) to connect Denver Public Library's system with the Prospector system.  Using standard communication and transfer of data between the systems is the modern way to achieve the interoperability necessary for both staff and customer functions in both systems.  This involves modifications by both vendors, followed by extensive testing by our very dedicated staff, and further modifications and more testing.  You get the idea.

We are making progress every week and look forward to announcing a start date as soon as we can.  Thanks for your patience, and don't put down that pan.  We'll find gold in the Prospector system yet!


I found out about the restored relationship between DPL and Prospector when I was poking about in Prospector in November and saw, to my surprise, that some items lived again! in DPL libraries. Oh, happy day! For so long, I addressed my Prospector withdrawal by crying into my local-crafted beer, and also by acquiring what I needed through other library districts. I have no desire to disparage those other libraries--some of them are beautiful and efficient--but it was not. the. same. I treasure my ratty old DPL library card and yearned for all the rewards of membership.

So, hail and sincere thanks to you DPL technology brains who overcame the challenges to make this reunion possible. I apologize for the snarky doubts I harbored. And I regret any dependence I developed on the internet. (I had needs!)

Seriously, thank you!

Thank you for your kind words and also your patience. It's been a serious challenge. We haven't announced the return widely yet as we have been working out some small kinks. Soon, though! And in the meantime, please use it!

So, what's up with Prospector? I think this is a scandal! A honest-to-goodness conspiracy! DPL admin are obviously on some grassy knoll, drinking tea and not getting this service back that's chewin' up my hard earned tax dollars. I really need to get that copy of The Wizard of Id from 1977 that is shockingly not in DPL's collection. You need to be more suburban - and less urban - in your thinking about book collecting. Oh wait it's back... never mind...

Dear Cletus,
Your rapier wit is right on target. People who complain about having to go to the suburbs to find old standard or well-reviewed new books are mostly conspiracy theorists and nutty rightists, and their having to revert to suburban libraries to find such books is no reflection on DPL at all, but only shows that they lack urbanity. The acquisition policy at DPL is above criticism and actually quite flawless. Ask any politically and emotionally sound Simpson watcher who randomly posts on library message boards.


Well, I don't want to engage in any acrimony at all, but I must comment that it seems very unlikely that we shall ever have Prospector again, and that the library administration are for political reasons not being entirely frank about the situation.

Under these circumstances, can anyone give me a reason why the policy limiting ILL requests shouldn't be modified so that an infinite number of cheap local ILL requests are allowed (for items owned by libraries sharing the local courier), at the same time even more severely limiting the number of expensive out-of-town ILL requests?

The library's collection has become very shabby over the past few years, with standard books being discarded and well-reviewed new books not being acquired, and everything being done in a seemingly haphazard fashion. So to cut us off from the suburban libraries, which generally have better chosen and maintained collections, creates a real problems for Denver readers.

I'm sorry you are disappointed in the Library. I'm pleased to let you know that Denver Public Library returned to Prospector last week. We haven't announced this widely so that we could work any kinks out with a smaller number of users. Feel free to use it.

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for the good news! Where may I find a link to Prospector? It doesn't seem to be on the "Databases A to Z" list. I often miss obvious things on web sites sometimes, so I'll appreciate some help.

I didn't mean to be snippy about the collection, but it does seem to have the problems I noted, and it is often necessary to turn to Jeffco or Boulder Public for what would be pretty standard items at big city libraries.


Please go directly to http://prospector.coalliance.org. It's also on our Didn't Find It page at http://www.denverlibrary.org/content/didnt-find-it?ctx=1.1033.0.0.6. Once we have finalized all the workflow items, we'll post it in additional locations on our site and advertise it more widely.

Thank you.

We are approaching a year since the last update of getting Prospector back "as soon as we can". Fingers crossed for some good news...

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