Courier Service FAQ

Courier Basics

Do I have to use mailing 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!

If you are low on bags or run out, please email April Shaw directly at to request more. You can also ask other libraries to send you any extras they may have on the courier listserv. 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. GMM will look at this to determine which bin to put the item into. Mailing labels can be found on the Courier Service site. It is suggested that the mailing library include some of their labels for the borrowing library to use. .

How do I know what days each library has stops?
The delivery service schedule is available on VTLIB’s website. A direct link is available here. 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 GMM 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 mileage 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. Each stop will cost $15 and entitle the library to send out 1 bin and receive 1 bin. Extra bins sent or received will be an additional $5 each.

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 GMM 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 GMM 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. Information and forms can be found here. 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?
The annual cost for the delivery service will be (assuming a maximum of 1 bin in and 1 bin out per stop):

1 weekly stop - $780 (adjusted with VTLIB funding is $390)
2 weekly stops - $1, 560 (adjusted cost is $1,170)
3 weekly stops - $2,340 (adjusted cost is $1,950)
4 weekly stops - $3,120 (adjusted cost is $2,730)
5 weekly stops - $3,900 (adjusted cost is $3,510)

Additional bins are billed at $5 each 1 bin per stop. There is not an additional state discount for extra bins.

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. Billing will occur at the first of each month. To set up an account with Green Mountain Messenger your library must fill out and fax in this form. The fax number is on the form.

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.

What happens if fuel rates rise?
In the event of high fuel prices, the delivery costs will be adjusted accordingly. Please see the attached Fuel Surcharge Schedule.

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 GMM should be called directly at 862-7662. 

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)

GMM did not show up on the scheduled delivery day.
The time given for delivery is only an estimate. If GMM does not arrive by end of day on your scheduled day, please call them at 802-862-7662 to report the missed delivery and see if rescheduling is possible. Weather and other unforeseen problems can unfortunately play a part in unexpected delays.

I have a general issue with the delivery service or delivery person.
Please contact April Shaw if you have an issue with GMM or your delivery person before contacting GMM.

I need to change my delivery day(s).
Please contact April Shaw about changing days for deliveries. VTLIB will work with GMM to see if it is possible and get back to you.

I sent multiple bins out but only 1 came back.
The warehouse has developed a procedure for handling incoming extra bins to stack them with the outgoing bins right away, so they make it back even if you have nothing coming back in the bin.

If your extra bin does not come back, please contact GMM 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.

Please keep in mind that there is a 2-bin maximum per stop included in the standard price, and libraries are charged $5 extra for additional incoming or outgoing bins, so please check with the receiving library about their delivery volume and to avoid extra expense.