Skip to main content

Courier Service FAQ

Courier Basics

Do I have to use the courier zipper bags?
Every item needs to be in a bag inside the bin. You can put items going to the same library in the same bag if they fit. All items must be in a bag! Some exceptions can be made if you run out of bags before your next courier delivery.

If you are low on bags please email contact the courier listserv ( to request more. VTLIB is on this list as well, and will respond. Please do not request more bags over the statewide ILL listserv.

What do I do with the mailing labels?
Each bag must have a mailing label in the vinyl pocket on the bag that specifies where the item is to go. Priority Express will look at this to determine which bin to put the item into. Mailing labels can be found on the Courier Service page. Please include a return courier label for the item to be sent back to your library.

How do I know what days each library has stops?
The delivery service schedule is available on the Courier Service page. There is no same day delivery; Packages will be picked up, sorted at the vendor facility and sent to the library on their next scheduled stop day. For example, if Library A sends a package on Monday, and Library B only has a stop on Monday, they will not receive it until Monday of the next week.

What and who are the sharing libraries?
A few libraries are sharing a delivery stop because they are not on a pre-existing route. Items to these libraries must be addressed on the bag to the stop that the library is sharing. There are labels created for these partner libraries included with the courier labels, each partner label lists the library the bag is being delivered to, then in smaller font the partner library. This is for easier sorting at both the warehouse and the delivery library. These libraries and stops are specified on the schedule. If libraries are interested in creating partnerships with those already on the service, some tips and feedback from partnership libraries is available here.

Can AV items be placed in cardboard boxes and then in a bag?
Libraries are encouraged to place AV and other potentially fragile items in boxes or padded envelopes, and then inside the bags to prevent damage.

Size & Weight

Is there a weight limit on bins?
The bin should weigh no more than 50lbs when loaded.

How much does a bin hold?
How much a bin will hold is variable based on the size of items being placed in the bin and the number of bags. We estimate it will fit around 28 items in medium bags, but again, it depends on the sizes of the items and bags being used so your amounts may vary! Please do not load the bins to more than 50lbs!

What size are the bags?
The bags come in 3 sizes: 10 x 12, 11 x 14, and 14 x 18 inches. Bags are the only packaging that is to be used for sending items.

What size is a bin and where do I get them?
Each bin exterior is 27.9 X 20.6 X 15.25 inches. The interior of each bin is 26 X 19 X 14 inches. Bins are 4 cubic feet. All bins and bags will be provided by VTLIB at no cost to participating libraries. These will be the only totes/bags accepted by the courier. Loaded bins cannot weigh more than 50lbs.

The bins are so big!
Bins need to be standard size for stacking for delivery and warehouse storage. Because of the one bin pickup maximum included in the per-stop cost, larger bins were chosen so more materials could be moved at the same cost. These are the only bins that are to be used for the delivery service.

Timing & Schedule

How many times does the courier service stop at my location?
It is up to each library to determine the number of stops they would like a week. Stops will only occur on weekdays, so a library can sign up for 1-5 stops a week. Current pricing is available on the Courier Service page.

How long will it take for a package to arrive at my location?
This depends on the sending and receiving libraries’ delivery days, as well as the sending library’s internal schedule for handling ILL’s.  

What happens if we will be closed on our normal delivery day?
If you are scheduled for a pick up and your library will be closed due to a holiday that Priority Express is closed for, then that stop will not be billed and your delivery and pick up will resume on your next regularly scheduled delivery day. If you are closed for weather or an emergency, please alert Priority Express by emailing to let them know.

Cost & Statistics

What statistics need to be captured?
VTLIB requires each participating library to provide information needed by the federal government for grant purposes. It is crucial that they have this information as requested. The statistics required include reporting of incoming and outgoing interlibrary loans through the delivery service and postal service, the amount spent on sending items through USPS, and noting of any significant issues with the service vendor. The reporting form is available here.

What is the cost for the service?
Current pricing per stop is available on the Courier Service page.

Funding is made possible through the federal LSTA (Library Services & Technology Act) program from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

How am I billed for the service?
Billing will be between the courier service and the library. Bills will be emailed each week and may be paid monthly (Net30). Bills paid late may be subject to a late fee as outlined in the billing agreement between the library and Priority Express.

Are there any discounts available for smaller libraries?
Unfortunately, additional discounts are not available. The discounts are equally divided by library stop.

Can donations for ILLs still be solicited?
As federal money is being used to help fund the project, donations cannot be solicited for ILLs. Libraries are allowed to fundraise and put any funds towards the overall cost of the courier service or postage.


Problems & Communication

I need more bags!
We first suggest posting a message to the VTLIB Courier listserv asking if anyone can send you more bags (VTLIB is included in this listserv and responds to requests for bags). You can also contact April Shaw at VTLIB directly to request more

Who do I contact if I have a problem with a delivery?
In the event of an issue with a delivery Priority Express should be contacted by email at This email is monitored by more than one person to ensure a timely response. Please report any issues with your delivery to VTLIB using the Report an Issue form.

What happens if something en route is lost or damaged?
Vermont Interlibrary Loan Code rules apply for lost or damaged items. This code states:

“The requesting library is responsible for borrowed material from the time it leaves the supplying library until it has been returned and received by the supplying library.”

What happens if an expected item does not arrive?

  1. Email the sending library to verify if and when the item was sent.
  2. Use the delivery schedule to determine if it should have arrived. Keep in mind that items are not picked up and delivered on the same
  3. Send an email to the google group stating the item being looked for in the subject line. Keep the email short and to the point. As an example:

    Subject: Missing Book "The Help" for Williston

    Missing book: The Help
    Sent from St. Albans to Williston 2/6

    If the steps above do not help locate the item, please contact April Shaw at VTLIB.

  4. Vermont Interlibrary Loan Handbook rules apply for lost or damaged items (see above)

Priority Express did not show up on the scheduled delivery day.
The time given for delivery is only an estimate. If Priority Express does not arrive by end of day on your scheduled day, please contact them at to report the missed delivery and see if rescheduling is possible. Weather and other unforeseen problems can unfortunately play a part in unexpected delays. Please report any missed stops or other issues to VTLIB using the Report an Issue form.

I have a general issue with the delivery service or delivery person.
Please contact April Shaw if you have an issue with Priority Express or your delivery person before contacting Priority Express. Issues can also be reported to VTLIB using the Report an Issue form.

I need to change my delivery day(s).
Please contact Priority Express to see if it is possible at

I sent multiple bins out but only 1 came back.
If your extra bin does not come back, please contact Priority Express and they will bring it back on your next delivery date.


Can other items that were mistakenly dropped off at our library be sent in the bins?
You are welcome to send whatever items you wish in the bins. Keep in mind that if this is offered as a service more bins or stops may be required.

Will this change the way Home/One Card works for ILL service?
There are no changes to the ILL system occurring with the delivery system, Home/One Card still work the same.

Can other items be sent in the bins besides books, audios, etc.?
Yes, as long as the items fit in the bin, are in a secure package and very clearly labeled, they can be sent in the bin.