Category Archives: delivery

Rethinking library resource sharing: new models for collaboration

Access the white paper for the presentation “Rethinking library resource sharing: new models for collaboration” from the IFLA World Library and Information Congress held in August 2013.

This presentation provides an overview of how resource sharing services are evolving to meet changing user needs for digital and global information. It also reviews some of the tools and standards that resource sharing practitioners are using to improve services, and highlights some of the emerging library partnerships/collaborations that are reshaping the boundaries of library and information resource sharing.

Future of Illinois Library Cooperation: Exploring Effective, Efficient Service Models

If you are interested in resource-sharing, this report is one of the most interesting studies to come out in years.  Some of the finding, particularly those related to interlibrary loan requests outside of a shared integrated library system, have broad implications across the country.  I highly recommend checking this report out at:  Valerie Horton

Excerpt: “Resource-sharing is complex. Illinois has a long history of strong state-level support for shared catalogs and delivery services. But as populations grow and resources decline, new models are needed. The consolidation of regional library systems is part of this, with implications at the operational and individual library level, and a goal to minimize the impact on patrons. This study begins from the premise that the purpose of delivery is to support resource-sharing, and the findings and recommendations stem from that fundamental premise.

The sample surveys that were conducted as part of this study reported a high level of patron satisfaction with current delivery services, but the underlying assumption is that costs must be contained in order to continue to provide sustainable and equitable service in the future. While the study does not cost out specific proposed operational or capital expenditures, it does make significant strides in providing metrics to evaluate current costs to compare to other models and best practices.

The following list attempts to capture key characteristics, trends, and directions of current practice as the former regional systems have begun to merge.

One-Size-Fits-All Solution Will Not Work
• Academic library delivery needs are different from publics
• Large public library needs differ from small publics
• Geography, individual library policies, and philosophical views of resource-sharing all play a role in differentiating “ideal” delivery for each library

Existing Models Are Heavy on Administration and Overhead, Short on Some Critical Information
• Too many hubs, too many delivery managers, not enough coordination (consolidation is under way)
• Overall lack of comparable data, especially in terms of true delivery volume and sorting metric

Lack of Shared Vision and Practice
• Inconsistent resource-sharing practices
• Not enough sharing of “best practices”
• Inconsistent reporting methods
• Inconsistent methods for packaging and transporting and labeling material

Resource-sharing (ILL) System Beyond the Shared ILSs is Cumbersome
• Unintuitive and difficult for users unless on shared ILS
• All requests beyond shared ILS must be staff mediated”

Collaborative Librarianship article of note!

Label-Less Library Logistics:  Implementing Labor-Saving Practices in Massachusetts’ High-Volume Resource Sharing System

Lori Bowen Ayre, Gregory Pronevitz, Catherine Utt


This paper presents important aspects and issues related to the merging of six regional library delivery services in a single statewide system that serves more than 550 libraries, that together circulate more than 15 million items annually throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The purpose of marrying the six distinct systems was to reduce redundancies and incorporate innovative features to improve library processing efficiency.  Most libraries are members of one of nine separate shared integrated library systems. The paper covers the background, objectives, benefits, issues, lessons learned, and a successful request for proposal procurement process for this complex project.

ASCLA Interest Groups

Some of the new ASCLA interest groups focus on collaborative activities.

“To join the groups, please click on the links for the groups below; you will be taken to the Connect workspace for the group (you will have to login to Connect first) – then click on the “join” button on the right side of the page to immediately become a member of the group.

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NISO August Webinar: Tangible Assets: Management of Physical Library Resources

NISO’s August webinar on Tangible Assets: Management of Physical Library Resources will be held August 10, 2011 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time).

Although access to digital information is ubiquitous today, there is still a very solid demand for material in physical form. Libraries spend significant time and resources in the storage, preservation, and delivery of physical items, which remain critical to the core library values of user access and resource sharing. Yet in today’s financial environment, libraries must find ways to be more cost-effective, ideally without reducing service levels. Presenters in this webinar will discuss their recent efforts in making their work with physical materials as efficient as possible and share their creative solutions for managing these still-valuable library assets.

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New Delivery Link-up between Two Western States

Launching Blue Sky Express: a new service from the Colorado Library Courier and the Kansas Library Express

The Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) and the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS) are pleased to announce a linkage between our statewide courier services.   Started in January 31, 2011, Blue Sky Express links the Colorado’s courier to many additional libraries in Kansas, and offers many Kansas libraries their first inexpensive, out-of-state delivery service.  Almost from day one, the service has been delivering three full totes across state lines. 

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ALA Midwinter – ASCLA ICAN Physical Delivery Discussion Group on Sunday, January 9

Please join us for the Physical Delivery Discussion Group on Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 8:00-10:00am in SDCC-Room 19 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

Discussion will include a round table discussion on topics of attendees’ choosing plus
Updates on two projects: National Information Standards Organization, Working Group on Physical Delivery of Library Resources Planned merger of six delivery services into a single contract in Massachusetts

 The group could use a co-chair.  If you are interested in getting involved, please let me know.    Network with colleagues and bring your best ideas and questions.

 Happy holidays,
Gregory Pronevitz, Executive Director
Massachusetts Library System, Inc. (and Discussion Group Chair)
135 Beaver Street | Waltham, MA 02452
Voice 781-398-1819 x303 | Fax 781-398-1821

Greening ILL Practices – Consortia Delivery is “Greener”

At ALA midwinter, Dennis Massie, OCLC Research presented on “Greening ILL Practices: Data’s, Do’s and Don’ts”.  This Powerpoint has great information about the environmental impact of our packaging materials and solid recommendations for being more “green”.   Among his recommendations: 

  • “Participate in a local delivery consortia; they are often cheaper, reduce book miles traveled, and do not require packaging other than a canvas bag or a paper routing slip rubber-banded to the books and dropped in reusable totes”
  • “Consider launching a purchasing consortium to lower costs of packaging materials, office copy paper, and overhead scanners”
  • It is better to use a local courier with reusable nylon bags  than Fed Ex with one time cardboard containers

I’ve included the major heading from his recommendations below, please see the PowerPoint to get full details.
“GOAL: Reuse packaging materials, minimize their size and weight, and utilize materials with maximum post-consumer recycled content.
1. Reuse materials
2. Procure materials that are durable, contain recycled content, and are recyclable
3. Recycle materials at end of life
4. Other innovative practices
5. Practices to avoid”

Valerie Horton

New Blog on Physical Delivery of Library Materials

A new blog has been created to address issues and trends related to the physical delivery of library materials.  It is part of the Moving Mountains Project — the only website dedicated to library delivery.  Tens of millions of interlibrary loan requests and patron placed holds are being delivered each year by consortia and other delivery services.   Check out the new blog to keep track of  library delivery issues.