- Delivery Policies – Approved January 2013
Fragile, Rare, and Valuable Items
Lost and Damaged Items
Delivery Eligibility and Scheduling
Shipping for Non-Library Organizations and Not-For-Profits
- Maximize effectiveness of statewide delivery contract
- Enhance efficiency for library staff
- Move toward MLS statewide standards that control costs to allow for expansion of services to enhance resource sharing in Massachusetts
MLS Library Delivery Services are provided to support library resource sharing. Resource sharing requires reciprocity and we encourage it.
Delivery service is provided to over 500 libraries. This service is not to be used to ship items to non-participating libraries. A list of participants is available on our Delivery Index.
Shipments discovered in delivery service that are designated to libraries that are not included on delivery routes may be handled in one of two ways:
- The item will be returned to the shipping library
- MLS or the Contractor will contact the owning library and arrange shipment at the library’s cost.
Books recovered in delivery from out of state libraries will be treated in the following manner:
- Both ILL Centers will be contacted to verify that a Mass. Library did not borrow the item. If this was an item borrowed by a Mass. Library the item will be returned to them and they will be responsible for postage.
- If we can determine the name and contact information of the owning Library they will be contacted and asked to pay postage for the items return.
- Items of which we cannot discern the owning library or are unable be donated to a member library. Unwanted items will be discarded.
Participating libraries and networks will assign appropriate staff to monitor MLS and Contractor communications about delivery services and agree to:
- Inform MLS and/or Contractor about scheduled changes and closings in a timely manner
- Respond to MLS requests for volume and other sampling in a timely manner
At least one staff member at each library will be required to receive MLS-Delivery announcements via the Delivery listserv. For information on how to sign up for the Delivery listserv, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
MLS will work with networks and our Contractor to determine when a network is prepared to begin label-less shipping. Eligibility criteria include:
- All network members adhere to MSDC barcode placement policy for new items
- Network shipping attains an average of 75 percent external barcoding
- SIP2 (or mutually agreeable) network/contractor communications protocol is successfully tested
- All items shipped without a properly placed external barcode shall be labeled.
All items shipped must be clearly labeled with a standard preprinted label
Unlabeled and mislabeled items will be returned to the owning library
For more information or to download slips, please click here.
Most items are shipped without packaging or rubber banding. Exceptions include magazines which are likely to be damaged and media cases that may open during shipping. A reasonable amount of wear and tear during shipping is expected and is part of doing business.
Do not ship fragile items that cannot withstand the wear and tear of delivery service handling. MLS and Contractor cannot take responsibility for damage during the normal course of business.
Do not ship valuable or irreplaceable items. Replacement cost maximum is $250 per item for items damaged or lost with proof that the Contractor was responsible.
Damaged Items: Damaged items claims will be submitted for each individual item via our online damaged item claim form.
All damaged items must be forwarded to the MLS – Marlborough office. Claims will not be processed until the damaged item is received.
Damaged item claims will be processed on a monthly basis for reimbursement. Consequently, it may take up to two months for reimbursement depending on the timing of when the claim is submitted to when the check is delivered to the library. Processing may take longer due to incomplete claim forms or delays in receiving the damaged items.
Lost Items: Lost items claims will be submitted for each individual item via our online damaged item claim form.
Due to the frequency of lost items turning up over time, lost item claims cannot be submitted until they have been determined lost for two months from their in transit date. Lost items claims submitted before two months will not be processed until two full months have passed. The Library is responsible for making every effort to track down the item(s) prior to submitting claims. Lost item claims submitted after the two month waiting period will be processed on a monthly basis. Consequently, it may take up to two months for reimbursement from when the claim was submitted to when the check is delivered to the library. In the event an item turns up, the library should contact MLS to cancel the claim. Processing may take longer due to incomplete forms.
MLS will not consider claims for lost items after one year from the in-transit date.
The Library is responsible for repayment of lost item reimbursements for items that turn up after reimbursement has been remitted.
Libraries that are unable to meet the requirements set out here are encouraged to contact MLS to determine solutions that encourage efficient resource sharing.
Libraries that do not comply with MLS Policies are subject to delivery service restrictions.
Libraries that are full members of a network are eligible for at least two delivery days per week. New network member libraries will be added at two delivery days. Additional delivery days will be assessed at the library’s request based on delivery survey statistics and the volume requirements outlined below.
Non-network libraries committed to resource sharing will receive delivery based on volume. New non-networked libraries to delivery will initially receive one delivery day per week. Volume of resource sharing will be assessed at the library’s request based on delivery survey statistics and the volume requirements outlined below.
All other adjustments to the number of delivery days scheduled, whether networked or not, will be at the request of the libraries. Approval of additional delivery days will be determined based on average volume per days of delivery from the most recent delivery survey results. An average of 25+ items each day currently scheduled will warrant an additional day of delivery, up to five days of delivery. An average of 15 to 25 items each day currently scheduled will result in monitoring volume for 2 weeks to ensure average is consistent. If the average is found to be consistent, it will warrant an additional day of delivery, up to five days of delivery. An average below 15 items per day will not warrant additional delivery days. Preference will be given to libraries that adhere to delivery and resource sharing policies, libraries that lend library materials and that provide access to their holdings via an online catalog.
Only in extraordinary circumstances will delivery days be reduced. Reduction of delivery days will be determined based on average delivery volume after average volume is below the threshold for at least two delivery surveys for which the library has reported statistics over the course of two years. An average volume of fewer than five items per delivery day will be used. MLS reserves the right to assess delivery volume and delivery days at its discretion. If a library is determined to be below the threshold outlined, all pertinent information will be provided to the Delivery Advisory Committee in writing and will be reviewed. The Delivery Advisory Committee will make final recommendations for reduction or cancellation of delivery prior to any reduction of delivery is made.
Due to the complexity of delivery routes, timing of delivery cannot be easily adjusted. Timing adjustments to current schedules will only be made in extraordinary cases and at the discretion of MLS, assuming the changes do not incur additional costs.
MLS will not ship any items for non-library organizations or not-for-profits.
MLS reserves the right to adjust these policies when budgetary pressures require it.