Shipping materials via a library courier service is much cheaper than shipping via the U.S. Postal Service. Most library delivery services are regional or state-based. This article illustrates how two separate services combined to development the multi-state courier system COKAMO. COKAMO is moving tens of thousands of items between three states at a fraction of U.S. Postal Service rates. Within one year of implementing the system, over 57,000 items have been shipped, creating savings of over $215,000 for participating libraries. Significant changes in the behavior of interlibrary loan staff throughout the region are evidenced in statistics which show an increase in borrowing between participating states and a decline in interlibrary loan to adjacent states not in COKAMO.
Lisa Priebe reviews Quipu Group's Library2Library software. For most people the acronym CMS refers to a system that manages website content updates. However, for those who use Library2Library software the term refers to a courier management system. Developed in 2007, Library2Library is a web-based tool used to manage the daily activities of a library courier service.
As much as we like to think that libraries are unique, they actually operate much like a supply chain system with central distribution centers and retail outlets. Obviously, there are differences but when it comes to materials handling, an area in which I do a lot of consulting, the similarities are striking. Both industries distribute material to outlets, require complex logistics systems, require accurate sorting and picking, and employ self-service technologies. As such, I spend a lot of time learning about warehouse management, logistics, supply chain technologies and best practices, and I use that knowledge in my consulting. Supply chain and warehouse management systems occupy adjacent niches to library materials handling. Not exactly the same industry but lots in common.
This article is a summary of the second Moving Mountains Conference on the physical delivery of materials. The Conference was held in Cincinnati in September 2008. An ad hoc group of librarians involved in delivery regularly meet to discuss best practices and new applications. This article covers similarities between the logistic industry and libraries, a survey of physical delivery practitioners, and new trends in home delivery and automatic material handling systems. The growth of physical delivery, models of delivery, vendor relationships, and the Rethinking Resource Sharing group are also discussed.