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When to put on a trace/search:

  1. When you have checked the stacks and it is not there.
  2. When you have checked the shelving carts.
  3. When you have checked the reference collection.
  4. When you have checked the special areas of the collection (Oversize, Mini-scores, Cataloging Office, etc.)

How to go about it:

  1. Fill out Green tracer card (Have patron fill out all parts for their information).
  2. Put a Hold on the book, or Staff person will do it.
  3. Then look up book in tiger to see where it is located. (If it is at another location, call them – Tutt, Fine Arts Center, Barnes, Palmer, etc.)
    Check and make sure that the status is not Mending, Processing, or Bindery.
  4. Make sure the right information is correct and on the card.
  5. Fill in date and your initials.
  6. On back of card, write “N.O.S.” (Not On Shelf), the date and your initials.
  7. Then put in new tracers box on Circulation Desk.
  8. Item then goes “on search” in status.
  9. After 3 months, item is considered “missing.”


Tracers will be kept for 3 months. Periodically search for these items and date and initial on back of card. If item does not appear after 3 months, cataloging will change status to missing and discard the tracer.

Things to do when searching:

  1. Take 3 tracer cards at a time.
  2. Search everywhere in the Library (Tables, Book Carts, Mending Shelf, Workroom, Catalog Office, etc.)
  3. Initial and date back of card.
  4. If found put in Cataloging Office.
  5. If not found, return card to box in call number order.