Moving Materials: Physical Delivery in Libraries—print/e-book Bundle

This specially priced bundle includes a print copy for desk reference along with the e-book version. The download link for this product can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account Profile; the print copy will be shipped to you. For more information about ALA eEditions file types and how to view them on eReaders, desktop computers, and other devices, see this page.

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both members and non-members.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Picking, packing, delivering, and returning library materials can be very time consuming and expensive; yet, it is one of the most important and least understood functions within a library. Until now, little time has been spent studying, exploring, or writing about the physical delivery of library materials.

Moving Materials is the guide to contemporary logistics management for libraries. Eleven experts in the field explore every aspect of this multi-million dollar function, so readers will learn

  • The impact of pricing on delivery services
  • Managing in-house delivery systems
  • The value of outsourcing physical delivery to a carrier service
  • Details about routing and materials management systems
  • New technologies and the impact of library 2.0 on physical delivery
  • The how-to's of home delivery

    Moving Materials is a practical, useful handbook for library managers who want to save money and offer quality materials to their patrons.

  • Preface

    I. The Current Landscape of Physical Delivery

    1. Delivery: The Forgotten Function

    Valerie Horton

    2. Factors Influencing Delivery Options

    Valerie Horton and Brenda Bailey-Hainer

    3. Physical Delivery Ser­vice Orga­nization

    Bruce Smith

    II. Library Delivery Service Models

    4. Creating an In-House Delivery System

    Bruce Smith

    5. Outsourcing Delivery Ser­vices

    Valerie Horton and Greg Pronevitz

    6. Contractual Vendor Relations

    David Millikin and Brenda Bailey-Hainer

    III. Managing Physical Delivery Services

    7. Routing and Materials Management Systems

    Bruce Smith and Valerie Horton

    8. Growth Management Solutions

    Valerie Horton, Ivan Gaetz, and Bruce Smith

    9. Managing Participating Libraries' Relationships

    Valerie Horton

    10. Managing the Delivery Ser­vice

    Valerie Horton, Lisa Priebe, and Melissa Stockton

    IV. The Future of Physical Delivery

    11. Home Delivery

    Lori Ayre and Jim Myers

    12. Connecting Courier Ser­vices

    Valerie Horton



    List of Contributors


    Valerie Horton

    Valerie Horton is a library consultant. She has served as the director of two library consortia: Minitex and the Colorado Library Consortium. She was also the library director at Colorado Mesa University, and worked at New Mexico State University and Brown University. In 2018 she was awarded the ASCLA’s Leadership and Professional Achievement Award. Horton received an ALA International Fellowship to automate libraries in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. She has authored or co-authored three books for the American Library Association and was the co-general editor of the journal Collaborative Librarianship.

    Bruce Smith

    Bruce Smith is the Delivery Services Coordinator for the South Central Library System (SCLS). Bruce has been employed by SCLS Delivery Services for 14 years, serving as the Operations Manager and Coordinator since 1996. SCLS is a regional public library system serving 52 member libraries in 7 counties with headquarters in Madison, WI. SCLS Delivery handles approximately 6 million shipped items sent by its member libraries. SCLS also serves as the primary statewide library delivery service for the Wisconsin Libraries' Delivery Network. SCLS provides transport for more than 750,000 ILL items sent by the more than 700 libraries connected to the statewide network. SCLS operates it own delivery service at a centralized sorting facility using a fleet of 24 vehicles that make more than 50,000 annual stops and travel more than 750,000 yearly miles. Bruce has six previous years of experience in the transportation business in the areas of building supply, grocery and expedited package delivery.

    "In these days of shrinking budgets and rising user expectations, information professionals are finding new ways to provide resources. Electronic delivery is now the preferred option for materials such as journal articles. But we are still moving plenty of physical volumes around, either between different branches or between independent libraries. What are the best ways to accomplish this? Should we consider possibilities beyond the U.S. Postal Service? Perhaps this book will provide some insight … The authors not only provide practical tips about negotiating and interpreting contracts, evaluating the costs of services, and managing a courier service, they also balance it with ideas about how such services may evolve in the future."
    --Information Today

    --Russell Palmer, Educational Services Librarian, Lyrasis, Chair of the Rethinking Resource Sharing, Physical Delivery Task Force

    "...immensely helpful. Thank you so much for shining some illumination on this topic for me! Before I began, I never really thought about just how important the physical delivery of library materials is – it was just one of those things that as a library manager I took for granted."
    --Julie Craig, Library Manager, Andrew & Laura McCain Library, New Brunswick, Canada

    "This book is highly recommended for library managers and staff in the initial stages of implementing or making changes to a physical delivery system. The editors' knowledge and interest in delivery of library materials is demonstrated throughout the book ... a valuable resource."
    --Internet Reference Services Quarterly

    "A rich source of practical information replete with citations to further resources, brief bibliographies at the end of each chapter, an annotated bibliography by top names in the field, a glossary of terms, task inventories, and contributors' profiles. This is sure to become a well-worn reference on the library manager's bookshelf."
    --Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services

    "A quick read packed with tons of valuable information that will help library managers learn how to provide high-quality delivery service that is faster and more cost efficient."
    --Technical Services Quarterly