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Physical Delivery Working Group


Patron borrowing and lending is skyrocketing; in one state, borrowing of returnable items increased by 107.4% in six years. A recent study found that 77% of academic libraries participate in state or provincial resource sharing networks above and beyond the 10,000,000 interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions that OCLC annually processes. The rapid growth in resource sharing is causing similar growth in both the use and costs of delivery systems. The increased volume and costs of library delivery is creating a demand for more information about how to run efficient and effective delivery operations.

This project will build on the efforts of three recent projects: Moving Mountains, Rethinking Resource Sharing's Physical Delivery Committee, and the American Library Association's ASCLA ICANS' Physical Delivery Discussion Group.


PhysDelInfo: Interest Group List
PhysDelinfo is an open list available for anyone interested in NISO's Physical Delivery of Library Materials Working Group. PhysDelinfo communicates regularly and solicits feedback about the work of the group, is as a forum for questions, and more. To subscribe send an e-mail to Archives are available on the PhysDelInfo Interest Group webpage.

Press Release: NISO to Develop Recommended Practice for Physical Delivery of Library Materials (November 11, 2009)
NISO is pleased to announce that the Working Group roster for this project is now finalized, and work will be commencing with a kick-off call of the group on November 18, 2009.

Physical Delivery: NISO New Work Item Proposal
This new work item proposal accompanied the NISO Voting Member ballot opened August 3, 2009, and approved September 2009. The full ballot results are available here. Negative votes and their comments will be reviewed by the Working Group and responded to; the comments and responses will be made available on the NISO website.


The following bibliography was supplied in large part by the Moving Mountains group. We would like to thank that group for allowing us to build from their work here.

If you have a resource you would like to suggest, please contact us at

Ayre, Lori Bowen. “Library Delivery 2.0: Delivering Library Materials in the Age of Netflix.” Library Philosophy and Practice (2007): n. pag. Web. and

Ayre, Lori Bowen, and Melissa Stockton. Massachusetts Regional Library System, Library Delivery Services: Final Report. Western Massachusetts Regional Library System: November 13, 2008. Web.

Bennett, Marsha. “Johnson County Library Truck Campaign.” The Unabashed Librarian 151 (2009): 3-4.

Bessant, Ruth. Delivery of Library Materials in Wisconsin: Prepared for Division for Libraries and Community Learning, Bureau for Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing. Madison, WI: Department of Public Instruction, 1997.

Bland, Robert, et al. “Truck and High-Tech: Document Delivery in the ’90s.” The Serials Librarian 28.3-4 (1996): 275-281.

Burkholder, Sue A. “By Our Own Bootstraps: Making Document Delivery Work in Oregon.” Computers in Libraries 12.11 (December 1992): 19-20, 22-24.

Chen, Chao-chen and I-Hsiu Wu. “The Delivery of Library Materials to End Users: Taiwanese Libraries Address Special Information Needs.” Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 10.1 (spring 2009): n. pag.

"Copenhagen Public Library Foreign-Language Collections and Paid Express Delivery to Homes and Offices." Public Library Quarterly 24.4 (2005): 111-12.

Fiels, Keith Michael, and Naylor, Ronald P. Delivery of Information and Materials Between Libraries: The State of the Art: Proceedings of the June 1990 ASCLA Multi-LINCS Preconference. Chicago: Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies: American Library Association, 1991.

Gardner, C. A., and Cy Dillon. “Openers.” Virginia Libraries 53.2 (2007): n. pag. Web.

Geiser, Cherie, & Miller, Rachel. “GMRLC Negotiations for an Interstate Courier: History, Results, and Trends.” Journal of Library Administration 23.1/2 (January 1997): 5-22.

Graham, Amy. “Resource Sharing Within the Western North Carolina Library Network: Faculty and Student Perspective.” Journal of Library Administration 31.1 (January 2000): 41-54.

Helmer, John F. “Orbis Courier Service: The Resurrection of a Collaborative Success.” OLA Quarterly 5.1 (Winter 1999): 8-10.

Horton, Valerie. “CLiC Announces New Courier Codes!” Colorado Libraries 34.1 (2008): 35-6.

Horton, Valerie, and Bruce Smith. Moving Materials: Physical Delivery in Libraries. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010.

Horton, Valerie. “Moving Mountains and Crossing Rivers: A Report from the Second Conference on Library Physical Delivery.” Collaborative Librarianship 1.1 (2009): 18-26.

Howard, Dan. “Mail Order Library Delivers for Rural Readers.” Alki 23.1 (March 2007): 15.

Isele, E. “Letters to the Library: Home Delivery Service.” The Unabashed Librarian 134 (2005): 12-13.

Jahr, M. H. “Far lage boken kommer-register!” Bok og Bibliotek 64.3 (April 1997): 10.

Jones, Carolyn. “Services to the Housebound in Adelaide’s Metropolitan and Regional Public Libraries: Current Practices and Future Needs.” Australian Library Journal 55.1 (February 2006): 30-47.

Jordan, Robert T. Tomorrow’s Library: Direct Access and Delivery. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1970.

Kim, Choong H. Books by Mail: A Handbook for Libraries. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977.

Kurutz, Gary F. “’It’s a Long Trip from Headquarters’: An Exhibit Celebrating Early County Library Service in California.” California State Library Foundation Bulletin 92 (2009): 13-19.

Library Research Service. “Courier Service by Regional Systems Saves Libraries Millions of Dollars Annually Over Alternative Delivery Methods.” Fast Facts: Recent Statistics from the Library Research Service ED3/110.10/No.191. (March 26, 2003). Web.

Library Research Service. “Statewide Courier Saves Libraries Thousands in Shipping Costs Each Year.” Fast Facts: Recent Statistics from the Library Research Service ED110.10/No. 251 (April 24, 2007). Web.

Massie, Dennis. “The International Sharing of Returnable Library Materials.” Interlending & Document Supply 28.3 (2000): 110-116.

Mazurkiewicz, Karen. “Sending Interlibrary Loan Books the Cheapest and Smartest Way.” Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve 17.4 (September 2007): 11-14.

Morris, Leslie R. “Mailing ILL in the US.” Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Information Supply 4.1 (1993): 1-3.

Myers, Jim. 2009. “Home Delivery at the Orange County Library System: An Exemplar from the USA.” Interlending & Document Supply 37.2 (2009): 84-86.

Nix, Larry T. “Cultural Record Keepers: The New York Mercantile Library and Its Home Delivery Service.” Libraries & the Cultural Record 42.4 (2007): 452-455.

OCLC Delivery Services. Montana NCIP: Home Delivery Report. OCLC, January 2009. Web.

Pierson, Samantha K. Montana Library Courier System: Is There Potential? University of Southern Mississippi, 2007. Web.

Priebe, Lisa. “Could Your Library Courier Benefit from a Courier Management System?” Collaborative Librarianship 1.2 (2009): 72.

Reed, Mary Jane. Books by Mail Services: Moving the Library to Disadvantaged Adults. Morehead, KY: Appalachian Adult Education Center, Morehead State University, 1974. 

Rosen, Franca. “A CLiC Story: The Colorado Library Courier Users Manual.” Colorado Libraries 33.1 (2007): 30-31.

Russel, Becky, and Keith Curry Lance. Colorado Courier Cost Comparison Study. Central Colorado Library System, 2003. Web.

Sampson, JoAnn. “Outreach as Virtual Branch.” Public Libraries 48.1 (2009): 23-24.

San Antonio Public Library. Books by Mail: An Experimental Project Sponsored by the Council on Library Resources. San Antonio, TX: San Antonio Public Library, 1970.

State Library Services & School Technology, Department of Education. Resource Sharing Among Minnesota Libraries: Inter-Library Delivery Services Structure, Costs, and Current/Future Funding. Management Analysis and Development Team, State Library Services and School Technology, Minnesota Department of Education, October 2004. Web.

Shrauger, K. J. “Courier Services Come to Arkansas.” Arkansas Libraries 59.6 (December 2002): 4-8.

Stevens, Wes. Oregon Statewide Interlibrary Delivery of Materials: Research and Planning Project. Oregon Library Association Resource Sharing Committee, 2003. Web.

Strauss, K. “Your Books Are in the Mail: Launching a Books by Mail Program [At San Francisco Public Library].” Public Libraries 42.1 (January/February 2003): 47-50.

“The Book’s in the Mail for Children in Maine [summer reading club].” School Library Journal 41 (September 1995): 110.

Weaver, Barbara F. “Outsourcing—A Dirty Word or a Lifeline?” The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances 7.1 (1994): 26-29.

Weaver-Meyers, Pat L., Wilbur A. Stolt, and Yem S. Fong, eds. Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery and Customer Satisfaction: Strategies for Redesigning Services. New York: Haworth Press, 1996.


Committee Roster



Chaichin Chen

Library Program Specialist
State of Rhode Island, Office of Library & Information Services

Kathy Drozd

Assistant Director
Minitex Library Information Network

Paol Erlandson

Head of Document Access Services & Collection Management
National Library of Education

Michelle Foss

Assistant University Librarian
University of Florida, Marston Science Library

Franca Rosen

Head, Interlibrary Loan Services
Jefferson County Public Library System

Former Member