NISO Publishes "Recommended Practice on Physical Delivery of Library Resources"

Today the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced the publication of the new recommended practice: Physical Delivery of Library Resources (NISO RP-12-2012)

The document focuses on three key areas: the physical move, automation, and the management of physical delivery ranging from labeling and containers to automation and contracting with courier services, this Recommended Practice addresses both the lending and the borrowing library’s activities related to delivering and returning a physical item.

I laud the effort made in putting these recommendations together.  There is a lot of detail and you are bound to pick up some new good ideas.  However, there were also a lot of "it depends" and I found it descriptive in places when it should be have been prescriptive. As we all know, just because many libraries do something a certain way, doesnt' make it a good idea!  Still,I think the work is useful and certainly a worthwhile read for anyone involved in library delivery.

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

This article is the culmination of my three year project with the Massachusetts regions as it pertains to their delivery operations. The 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.

Library Materials Handling and Collection Management Study

Multnomah County was suffering from overcrowding.  There were too many books for the shelves despite their aggressive weeding protocols.  To assist in finding solutions, Lori Ayre conducted a comprehensive materials handling and collection management analysis resulting in multiple recommendations falling into six categories:

  1. Automate the sort and delivery operations
  2. Create an off-site, just-in-time storage and retrieval system that is integrated with the sort operation.
  3. Add automated materials handling systems (sorters and self-service check-in) at the Central and regional libraries.
  4. Add stand-alone bookdrops and expand the size of the Delivery team.
  5. Make policy and procedures changes
  6. Expand self-service options.

Statewide Library Delivery Automated Materials Handling Consultation and Procurement

Assisted with development of RFI/RFP to implement central, automated sort for all Massachusetts regional systems. Assisted with research, RFI and then RFP development, evaluation, and procurement. The project is a follow-up to the delivery evaluation performed in 2008.  

Library Materials Handling and Delivery Consultation

Evaluated materials handling operation including delivery and processing of deliveries at each branch, plus technical services. Provided recommendations for improving efficiency, automating sort, and reducing repetitive steps involved in processing materials. Assisted with planning for new building to house technical services and delivery operations.