MLS Service: MLS Delivery
by Christina Stoll, MLS
One of MLS’s most popular services, MLS Delivery has the numbers to prove it. The 2,200 stops and over 8,000 miles of road covered every month add up to over 2.5 million books and audio visual materials delivered yearly to MLS member libraries.
Structured around four routes, MLS Delivery consists of daily, on-demand and indirect delivery stops. The type of delivery a library receives is based on that library’s circulating volume, which is reviewed annually by MLS staff members. Daily delivery is currently provided to 102 MLS members, while 115 MLS libraries receive on-demand delivery. On-demand delivery provides next day delivery service to members when materials arrive at MLS, and provides next day pickup when requested by members using a form on the MLS web site. The request must be in by 4:00 p.m. to receive next day pickup.
Want to see if your library receives either daily or on-demand delivery? Check the list of libraries receiving delivery http://www.mls.lib.il.us/delivery/DeliveryReport_DailyAlpha.asp.
Indirect delivery involves libraries where the van drivers do not have direct access to the physical location of the library. Libraries receiving indirect delivery partner with a daily delivery stop library, which receives the materials on their behalf. Through their own internal system, the drop-off library then delivers the items to the indirect library.
Check this list http://www.mls.lib.il.us/delivery/DeliveryReport_Indirect.asp to see if your library gets indirect delivery and where your drop-off library is located.
The delivery of materials through the Illinois Library Delivery System (ILDS) also takes place within the MLS Delivery department. An ILDS van arrives daily with materials from other parts of the state, where they are sorted and included in the delivery to MLS libraries. Additional information about ILDS can be found on the Illinois State Library’s web site http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/whats_new/home.html under programs and then delivery.
Service with Value
On the road at 4:00 a.m., the MLS Delivery fleet and its drivers brave the elements and the roads to deliver materials to member libraries. Grounded only for the few holidays that MLS is closed, the delivery department understands the importance of this service and its value to members. In fact, the drivers continually look for ways to give members the most value from this service.
With the purchase of a new truck in 2006, the MLS Delivery trucks will slowly be replaced with vehicles that are lower in cost, get double the gas mileage and have a larger capacity to allow for the delivery of more materials. A second similar truck has already been purchased for 2007. To reduce book damage and the resulting costs, the original canvas bags used for delivery were also replaced in 2006 with blue and white plastic totes. In fact, for the entire year of 2006, less than $1000 worth of damage to delivery items was accrued. Not only cost-conscious, the Delivery department staff are dedicated to providing customer service above and beyond the norm.
In October of 2006, a pipe burst at the MLS’s Burr Ridge location, flooding the delivery room. By quickly relocating Delivery to another area of the building, the drivers were able to continue with their work, delivering all materials within the same day and with little damage.
Delivering More Than Just Books
Often the MLS drivers are the only connection some of the member libraries have with MLS, making the reliability, thoroughness and accuracy of this service even more important. The drivers' efforts do not go unnoticed by members.
Allison Heard, Director of the Dolton Public Library, has only great things to say about her delivery driver and the MLS Delivery Service. “If it wasn’t for the delivery service, our patrons wouldn’t have access to the materials we don’t have the budget to purchase and carry ourselves. Tom Pettke, our delivery driver, does a great job!”
Library Director Andrea McCoy for the International Truck and Engine Corporation states, “the MLS Delivery service provides tremendous benefit to our organization; it brings us a wealth of materials that may otherwise be inaccessible, in addition to the convenience of not having each patron physically out there trying to locate needed material. This is invaluable, as it saves our patrons search and retrieval time and allows for more innovation and creativity.”
MLS Delivery and Interlibrary Loan Service is so important to the Downers Grove South High School that the library has incorporated it into their freshman curriculum, where they explain the connection between school and public libraries and show students how to order their own books. “Our entire school community, the staff, students and administration, use the service”, says Library Director Mindy Null.Kim Pakowski, the school’s interlibrary loan librarian, adds, “We’re able to do more for our students with the added resources that we would never be able to buy ourselves. The service is invaluable.”
Behind the Wheels
A department manager, four full-time drivers, an on-call driver, as well as two full-time mail clerks and a part- time clerk keep things running like clockwork in the MLS Delivery room. Together the drivers have over 50 years of service to MLS. The next time you see one of the white and multi-colored MLS Logo delivery trucks, please give these hard working guys a friendly wave.For additional information or questions about the MLS Delivery service, please contact MLS staff member Randy Patka, firstname.lastname@example.org.
MLS Delivery Staff (from left to right): Mike Schmit, Jerry Pospisek, Ed Tucker, Bruce Kremer, Tom Silingo, Mark Gomez, Tom Pettke
Published January 24, 2007 in vol. 1, iss. 1 [View]