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Delivery Guidelines

General Delivery Guidelines

For quick and efficient interlibrary delivery service that keeps both library items and library and IHLS Delivery staff safe, IHLS libraries are asked to abide by the following Delivery Guidelines:

Items Eligible for IHLS Delivery

Only materials that fit the following descriptions are eligible for transport through library system delivery:

  1. Library materials that are classified, cataloged, and available for loan.
  2. Items sent out from the Illinois State Library, the Illinois Secretary of State, or a library system.

The following item types are not eligible for transport through library system delivery:

  1. Items that are individually addressed and can be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service.
  2. Library newsletters which may be mailed, exchanged at networking group meetings, or obtained online.
  3. Bulk items intended for distribution to the public.

Delivery must be used for the transport of requested library items only. For more information, please refer to the Illinois Secretary of State memorandum "Delivery of Library Materials."

Contactless Delivery Exchange Points

As of April 13, 2021, IHLS will no longer quarantine items within IHLS hubs or require libraries to do so. Additionally, IHLS will no longer date tubs. However, IHLS will continue to pick up and drop off items to your library’s pre-arranged contactless exchange point. It is still important that IHLS delivery staff remain out of contact with library staff and out of the library as much as possible. Please continue to place tubs in the pre-arranged contactless exchange point.

Transit Labels

IHLS Delivery sorters and drivers rely on the accuracy of transit labels to get items to their intended recipients. When your library sends interlibrary loan items through IHLS Delivery, please follow the following transit label guidelines for all IHLS Delivery transit. Additionally, please follow the guidelines below specific to IHLS member-to-IHLS member library delivery, ILDS delivery, and Delivery on the Go (DOG).

  • ALL items must have a completed transit label attached to the front of the item(s) (including packaging/envelopes). Please use only the correct and approved transit label:
    • IHLS “Transit Slip” label or printer transit slip label
    • ILDS transit label
    • DOG label

      More information on specific labels needed can be found below

  • Do not insert labels inside books. With the high volume of books going through IHLS Delivery, putting labels inside books creates a risk for lost labels during sorting.
  • Use only official transit labels. These can be found on this page of the IHLS website
  • To and From fields are required. The To [Library Full Name] is the most important to the IHLS delivery staff and should contain the full name of the library to which the item is being sent. Full names are important, as many libraries have similar names (i.e., Mississippi Valley Library District – Collinsville, Mississippi Valley Library District – Fairmont, etc.).
  • Hub Code fields are required. Hub code is critical to getting the item to the right geographic region as quickly as possible. To find a hub code, use the SHARE Library Codes list or the L2 Member Directory.
  • To avoid damage to books, use removable tape to fasten labels on items. If your library does not have removable tape, it is acceptable to tape your label to a rubber band around the item
  • Do not reuse transit labels. Do not cross out or double-highlight/circle items on transit labels—use a new transit label.

In case of missing or incomplete labels, the item will be returned to the owning library.

Transit to Another IHLS-Member Library

Transit to CMC, RAILS, or CPL

  • Materials going to the Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC), Reaching Across Illinois Library System libraries (RAILS libraries), or Chicago Public Library (CPL), require the official ILDS routing label. (To find RAILS hub codes, use the L2 Member Directory.)
  • When sending materials to the Cataloging Maintenance Center, write “CMC” in the To field.
  • Always circle or highlight one ILDS destination code.
    CMC rails

Transit to Out-of-State Libraries

Illinois Heartland Library System does not deliver to out-of-state libraries. View other options.

DOG – Delivery on the Go

Please place a note on the item stating (1) it’s for DOG and (2) listing the receiving library. This note/label is in addition to the regular transit slip. Then, place the item on top of your regular outgoing delivery tubs/containers so that the item is clearly visible to our drivers. Learn More About Delivery on the Go.

Delivery Tubs/Containers

Items will be delivered in a variety of containers, with 10-gallon tubs and nylon tote bags being the most common. When your library staff pack tubs/containers with library materials, please follow the following tub/container guidelines:

  • All containers, empty or full (and with closed lids, where applicable), should be placed at your library’s designated delivery exchange point on your library’s designated delivery days.
  • Tubs and other containers should be filled only as much as they can be properly closed. Improper filling of tubs and improper closing of lids may result in weather damage to items. IHLS is not responsible for damage to your library’s items due to improper packing by library staff.
  • Loaded containers must weigh no more than 40 lbs (for the safety of Delivery staff).
  • If you need additional tubs/containers, your library can request them as needed by contacting your Delivery Hub Manager the day before your scheduled delivery. Alternatively, you may send items in a sturdy box or other sturdy container. If you want the box/container back, please place a “property of” note on the container (either directly on the container or on a note attached to the container).
  • IHLS and ILDS tubs/containers are to be used for transport of library items only. Tubs/containers are the property of IHLS.

On Demand/On Call Accounts

If your library is an “on demand/on call” delivery stop, you will receive a stop on your designated day only when we have items to bring to you.

When you have items to pick up, please contact your Delivery Hub Manager.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these guidelines, please contact your Delivery Hub Manager directly. Delivery drivers are not equipped or authorized to answer specific questions regarding the delivery guidelines.