Skip to main content



Q. How do I request a digital item through Prospector? 

A.  You request digital items just like a physical item.  The status will show "available".  Click on the Request button and complete the authentication form.  The request will show up on the owning libraries paging slip.  The owning library retrieves the item from their database and sends the borrowing library contact (Prospector contact list) an email which includes a link to retrieve the item and the expiration date. The borrowing library contact forwards this email onto their patron.  

Q.  What does the borrowing library need to do to check the item out to their patron?

A.  The borrowing library doesn't need to check the item out to their patron.  The lending library does a quick check out and check in before they email the borrowing library contact.  

Q. What is the checkout period for digital items?  

A. It depends on the resource. Typically 2-3 weeks with no renewals. 

Q. Can there be simultaneous checkouts of digital items? 

A. Yes, the owning library checks the item out and then in again which frees it up immediately for another request. 

Q. Can digital items be renewed 

A. No

Q. What are the different Ebook ILL models?

Direct delivery of PDF (or ePub)

  • Requires a transport service (e.g. Hightail) since files too big to send as email attachments
  • DRM free and patrons may keep after downloading from transport service
  • Examples include Springer & Elsevier

In-situ Ebook Access

  • Delivery of tokenized URL to publisher or aggregator portal
  • Patron reads the ebook in the portal with all of the advantages that the portal provides
  • Ebook access automatically disappears when time-period ends
  • Downloads, if supported, often require something like Adobe Digital Editions
  • Examples include ProQuest Ebook ILL Pilot, AVON & Swank (Streaming Video)

Q.  Which streaming videos allow public performance rights

A. Alexander Street Videos 


Q.  What are some talking points to publishers to encourage Ebook ILL? 

  • Libraries have been doing ILL since the 1800s and it has been codified in US Copyright Law
  • New formats should not lead to loss of traditional library services
  • Libraries do not have the funds to purchase in multiple formats (print & digital) to support ILL
  • Trend with publishers to support ebook ILL, don’t be left out!
  • The pandemic has highlighted the need for digital delivery
  • We’ve found that ebook ILL provisions have increased ebook package sales in the consortium
  • With limited funds we will give preference to those that allow ILL

Q.  Which libraries lend digital content through Prospector? 

A.  See Digital Lending through Prospector

Q. Which publishers participate in the ProQuest Ebook Central pilot?

A. List includes:

  • Bloomsbury
  • Brill
  • Duke University Press
  • NYU Press
  • Oxford University Press
  • Taylor & Francis

There is plan to add more publishers in 2023. 

Q. Can short term loan (STLs) be borrowed through ProQuest

A. No, only "owned" titles may be requested. 

Q. It looks like the request disappeared from my patron record as soon as it was filled. Correct?

A. Yes, the patron request is removed from Prospector and the ILS once processed, at the email is sent, the request  is considered filled from Prospector's point of view.