A new statewide library courier contract began on June 26. Over these past two months, the Indiana State Library has received feedback on the new service from the entire library community, including everyone from library patrons to directors and deans of academic libraries. Unfortunately, the new company was unable to keep up with the volume and complexity of Indiana’s public library routes. While their administration was capable and communicative and some promising progress was made during the two months, the impact on libraries was felt widely. Many deliveries were made in error or not at all, mostly due to staffing and driver issues. For these combined reasons, the Indiana State Library will be pivoting back to the previous courier service to carry out the current contract. NOW Courier will assume ownership of all library materials currently in transit on Sept. 1. They will utilize the week of Sept. 4 to sort materials received, and then begin delivering to library locations the week of Sept. 11.
In an effort to help the new courier start smoothly, resource sharing in state – including Evergreen Indiana, SRCS and Indiana Share – will be paused temporarily. Evergreen patrons may still borrow in person from all member libraries and place holds, but interlibrary transits will not be occurring until Sept. 17. Evergreen users will also have full access to the Indiana Digital Library eBooks and audiobooks during that time.
While not all details are known at this time (e.g., how long it will take resource sharing to return to normal), Indiana State Library staff will communicate these to library staff when known. Libraries are encouraged to make sure their contact information in InfoExpress is up to date, as well as subscribe to the InPubLib or INLibraries listservs. Unfortunately, this new contract will result in added expenses for the state library and subscribers. The Indiana State Library will assume the additional costs for the remainder of the 2023-24 service year, and State Library staff will communicate next year’s rates as soon as they are known.
Please note that there will be no InfoExpress pickups and deliveries the week of Sept. 4. Please enjoy the Labor Day holiday and continue to communicate any known issues with State Library staff via email.
This blog post was written by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office.