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FY2017 Delivery Changes Coming

Illinois Heartland Library System

Published : Jul 28, 2021
Delivery News

You may have heard about the exciting changes coming in delivery! The end result of these changes will be more service for you, our member. I wanted to provide you an overview of what is happening and a general timeline. There are a couple of external factors that are driving IHLS to re-evaluate and modify our delivery service.

Dedicated Sorters/Drivers

As IHLS continues to evaluate efficiency and effectiveness, some processes will change. By July 1, 2016, we will have adjusted the roles of delivery personnel to staff who will drive and staff who will sort in all three of our hubs. There are two strong motives behind this workflow change. One is a cost savings and the second is an increase in our accountability for the items that are being sent out in the tubs. The results of the delivery survey you participated in over a year ago indicated sorting accuracy was an area in delivery that could use improvement.

Community Delivery Partnerships

The Statewide Delivery Committee in 2013 developed recommendations that library systems were charged with implementing in order to standardize delivery across Illinois. One of the mandates is to promote Community Delivery Partnerships (CDPs). We are putting a call out to any community that is willing to partner together to create one drop off spot for delivery. Please check out the Illinois State Library’s website, for more detailed information or give me, Susan Palmer, a call. We are hoping to get at least 20 new Community Delivery Partnerships in FY2017.

24-Hour Access

Along those lines, the Committee also determined that library systems need to have 24-hour access to their libraries for delivery purposes only. I realize this is near to impossible for school libraries. We will be working on another solution for school libraries. The reason behind this directive is that in order for delivery to run as efficiently as possible, we cannot run the routes based on when our member libraries are open. We cover quite a diverse group of libraries with various open and close times. We are going to be asking for access as we formulate new routes. Again, we need to have access to libraries by July 1, 2016, otherwise we will be discussing alternative options to get your items to you.

ILDS (Illinois Library Delivery Service)

Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), our sister library system, was awarded the ILDS (state route) contract. IHLS will be a sub-contractor for delivery to academic libraries that are members of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) inside IHLS service boundaries. This means additional 5 days a week stops being inserted into routes. This will change the times that we are currently arriving at your library. We will no longer be able to give an exact delivery time, but rather a morning or afternoon delivery timeframe.

Delivery Frequency

As we considered the above changes to delivery, we took advantage of this opportunity to provide more delivery service to our members. We are moving all current 4 day a week libraries to 5 day a week service. And as we move forward through the next fiscal year, we have a goal of providing functional 5 day a week service to all of our members. We will be able to do this by creating more CDPs (which equals less stops but more frequent delivery at the primary location), monitoring via the SHARE software when a library has something for pickup, and only stopping at a library when there is something to return or deliver to the library. We will no longer be using the volume chart to determine how many days of service the library is entitled to receive. The reality is that ALL patrons should have access to what is normally reserved for high volume libraries. What is good for the patron in say, Urbana, is good for the patron in Rosiclare. This is also why there is the push for the CDPs. It is a team effort to increase service between public, school, academic and special libraries within IHLS.


The final change in delivery concerns system hub boundaries. In July your library may be associated with a different hub than where you are currently. IHLS worked with the Laboratory of Applied Spatial Analysis (LASA) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, on a mapping project to help determine where IHLS boundaries need to be in order to support all of our members. As a result of the project, routes for each of our hubs have been generated based on the assumption that all libraries should have access to functional 5 day a week delivery. So, route changes will be shared with every member library before July 1, 2016 regarding the projected start date. We will try to accommodate any requests so feel free to share with your current delivery manager any ideas that you have. We will consider requests and determine if, with an eye to efficiency (with both time and money), we are able to incorporate the request.

We truly have lots of exciting things happening with delivery these days! So to recap…

  1. Drivers will drive, sorters will sort.
  2. Community Delivery Partnerships = more days of service.
  3. Access is needed to libraries.
  4. IHLS will now be delivering to the IHLS CARLI members.
  5. Current 4 days a week libraries will be moving to 5 days a week.
  6. IHLS hub boundaries will be changing.
  7. New routes across IHLS.
  8. Now is the time for input, before July 2016.

This is a lot to take in and process, and I hope I haven’t overwhelmed anyone. Feel free to reach out to me directly. I would love to visit any group meetings that are happening in the system in order to share this information in person. Just let me know when and where, and I will be there. These changes will affect everyone. I am reminded by what Robin Sharma said, “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and glorious at the end.” I can’t wait for the glory days to be here!

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, comments and ideas.

Susan Palmer

618-656-3216 ext. 409

Last Updated :Mon, 01/23/2023 - 10:28