As we enter November, library courier service schedules have yet to return to normal. Indiana State Library staff continue to meet with NOW Courier, our current service provider, at least weekly to receive an update on progress since NOW assumed the contract in September.
To help alleviate some of the volume, Evergreen Indiana libraries underwent a second transit pause for two weeks in October to reduce volume in the system and allow the courier additional time to get caught up. This was helpful, and as of this week, NOW Courier staff tell us they have sorted through all parcels picked up from the previous courier. Even with this backlog resolved, many items shipped this summer are still in the system (either at the warehouse awaiting delivery, or at the shipping library awaiting pickup). Indiana State Library staff are asking libraries to refrain from submitting lost item claims until we have been notified by NOW Courier that only new items are in the warehouse.
NOW has been prioritizing locations with a large volume of items for delivery in order to clear space in their loading dock and annex locations. Most libraries have received at least one visit, and in some of the hub libraries schedules are drawing closer to normal. Unfortunately, we are aware that some library locations have yet to receive a visit, due to route staffing issues or volume prioritization. NOW reports they have hired four additional permanent drivers to the routes serviced by the central Indianapolis hub. This will helpfully improve service to Indianapolis libraries, the donut counties and even those further out serviced by this hub.
Indiana Humanities and the Indiana State Library have temporarily suspended their book club kit and other circulating kit services until service normalizes.
We are still far from normal service as subscribed. We encourage libraries that have not had any service since Sept. 1 to please contact InfoExpress. The Indiana State Library will continue to share updates with the library community at least weekly.
This blog post was written by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office.