Imagining Tomorrow, Delivering Possibilities Today
Thanks to leadership and funding from the Illinois State Library and the Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois has an interlibrary delivery service that spans the entire state, making it one of the most robust and efficient interlibrary delivery systems in the country. Resource sharing has been the foundation of statewide library service in Illinois for over 50 years, allowing any Illinois resident with a library card to freely request and obtain materials from any other library in Illinois. This statewide delivery is facilitated and serviced by Illinois Heartland Library System, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Chicago Public Library System (CPL), and Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois (CARLI).
Welcome to IHLS Delivery!
In southern and southeast-central Illinois, Illinois Heartland Library System is the heart of interlibrary delivery, providing interlibrary pickup, sorting, and delivery of library items at no cost to the member libraries of Illinois Heartland Library System.
As members of the Illinois Library Delivery System (ILDS, managed by CARLI), IHLS Delivery also facilitates the transport of interlibrary loan items from IHLS-member libraries to RAILS and ILDS libraries and back again.
Funding for all Illinois library systems and interlibrary delivery systems—IHLS, RAILS, CPL, and ILDS—is provided by the Illinois State Library and the Illinois Secretary of State from revenue appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly or granted under the federal Library Services and Technology Act.
1840 Innovation Drive
Box 2, Suite 105
Carbondale, IL 62903
ph: 618.985.3711 (local)
or 618.656.3216 (main)
1704 West Interstate Drive
Champaign, IL 61822-1068
ph: 217.352.0047 (local)
or 618.656.3216 (main)
6725 Goshen Road
Edwardsville, IL 62025
To learn about Community Delivery Partnerships and community drop points, please refer to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.
For information about delivery in the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) service area, please refer to RAILS Interlibrary Delivery. For information about the Illinois Library Delivery System, managed by CARLI, please refer to IllinoisDelivers.net. To learn more about the Illinois State Library and statewide delivery, please refer to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.
The IHLS Delivery Team sorts and ships
3.5 million* items annually
between IHLS libraries.
*Number includes FY2020, during which the impact of COVID-19 resulted
in a significant decrease in materials delivered from the previous year.
Empowering Libraries with Fast Functional 5-Day Delivery, Delivery on the Go, and a Modern and Efficient Delivery System
Functional 5-Day Delivery
because all library patrons deserve to receive their holds quickly
Illinois Heartland Library System's reliable five-day delivery service is offered to all member libraries at no cost to them through their free system membership.
What does this mean for patrons?
Fast transit of requested items
If the requested item is available, an item could be at the requesting library location in as few as one or two days.
Equity of service
High-volume and low-volume libraries have the same access to a five-day-a-week service.
Some libraries are pre-scheduled for five-day item pickup/delivery, while other libraries have requested fewer days or demand-only delivery. At any time, libraries can contact their designated IHLS Delivery hub manager or submit a help request to request additional or fewer pickups as needed, either on a permanent or temporary basis.
Delivery On the Go: Same-Day Delivery for Down-Route Libraries
Items can be delivered to your interlibrary patrons even faster with Delivery On the Go. Delivery On the Go (DOG) enables qualifying items* to be delivered to the receiving library that very same day. *DOG deliveries are available to lending libraries when the requesting library is down-route from the item’s owning library and delivery is scheduled to arrive at the requesting library later that day.
Modern, Efficient, Reliable
Protection for Library Materials
Waterproof tubs keep library materials protected and free from damage during inclement weather.
Recognizable Delivery Staff
Delivery drivers are easily recognizable by their uniforms, and our vans are clearly marked as IHLS vehicles. Librarians can feel secure knowing who is entering their buildings.
Reliable Delivery Fleet
Our fleet of delivery vehicles is maintained with high standards, and aging vehicles are replaced regularly. This minimizes the risk for mechanical-related delays. Patrons shouldn't have to wait for school or business materials because of a mechanical failure.
COVID-19 Safer for Staff & Patrons
All IHLS employees follow COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks and regularly cleaning or sanitizing hands. We also deliver to prearranged contactless delivery exchange points libraries whenever possible.
Custom IHLS Delivery Data Software
Custom data software allows IHLS to accurately track pickups and deliveries to libraries, helping us see how changes in delivery and in the world affect interlibrary loan.
Partnership with Libraries
Partnership with Libraries
The best people to tell us what we can improve and how our decisions will affect librarians and patrons are the library staff. We work directly with our members to get feedback on important delivery procedures. We also solicit feedback at IHLS member events and survey members annually to determine what we're doing right and what could be done better.
Communication with Members
Several communication media are utilized to get important information to members as quickly as possible in ways convenient to librarians:
- Text messaging
- Social media
Delivery Team Communication
Internally, we have monthly delivery staff meetings to keep an open line of communication between hubs and to set standards across our locations.
Equity of Voice
One of our guiding principles is equity for all library patrons. This allows small-volume and high-volume libraries to have equal say in delivery concerns and encourages libraries of all sizes to reach out.
Delivery Resources for IHLS Members
Delivery Guidelines & Acceptable Items
For quick and efficient interlibrary delivery service that also keeps library items safe from damage and people safe from injury, IHLS libraries are asked to abide by a set of Delivery Guidelines.
Are you missing an item? Does one of these items belong to you?
Forms and Documents
Looking for a transit slip, request form, or another interlibrary delivery resource?
- IHLS Delivery Transit Slip
- ILDS Transit Slip
- Items Damaged or Lost in Transit
- "No Delivery" Request Form
- Quarterly Delivery County Form
- FY2016 Delivery Survey
- Illinois State Library Delivery
- Illinois State Library Delivery Map
- Illinois State Library Delivery Best Practices
Delivery Help Desk