The Prospector union catalog is the de facto resource sharing for returnables (e.g. books, DVDs) and ebooks in the state of Colorado (and the University of Wyoming). It was founded in 1999 and has grown to include most academic and public libraries in the state. The system is currently based on the INN-Reach software produced by Innovative Interfaces a business division of ProQuest and operated by the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries in collaboration with the Colorado State Library and the Marmot Library Network.
K-12 schools and their libraries are key to the proper education of children in Colorado and act as on-ramps for higher education as well as other professions. As such, all residents of Colorado should have access to the system. Public and private school libraries have historically not been included in Prospector due to the high entry costs from our vendor, lack of staffing in many school libraries, limited (or no) courier deliveries at schools, and the need for year-round participation in the system for both borrowing and lending.
To provide support for K-12 students, Prospector encourages all students and school libraries to work with their local public library, community college, or college/university. Library cards at any of these organizations will allow students to use Prospector for discovery and requesting materials. In some instances, the local public or academic library can also work with the school system to add a “pick-up” location for a school if they are on the courier system. These partnerships will help strengthen the relationship between schools and their local public and academic libraries.