Delivery Service Statistics Illinois State Library

FY2021 Delivery Statistics

During FY2021, approximately 11.5 million items were delivered by Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS), Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), and the Illinois Library Delivery Service (ILDS).

IHLS covered an average of 24,832 miles per week, with an average of 1,223 weekly stops at libraries in southern and central Illinois. IHLS delivery included the physical transportation of cataloged library materials from one library to another in order to fulfill the information or reading request of a library user. 50 staff served 18 delivery routes from three hubs located in Carbondale, Champaign and Edwardsville delivering 2,915,665 items. 89% of the libraries served a population of 15,000 or less.

RAILS maintained 29 delivery routes with a staff of 43 team members plus the services of an outside contractor. An average of 23,530 miles per week were driven with an average of 2,348 stops per week, to provide weekday delivery services between its member libraries. The RAILS service area covered northern and western Illinois and served more than 1,286 private, public, and university library members in a 27,000 square mile area. Items for delivery were processed in seven centers in Burr Ridge (outsourced), Coal Valley, East Peoria, Geneva, Rockford, Shorewood and Wheeling (outsourced).

ILDS is the backbone for statewide delivery connecting the regional delivery routes. The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries (CARLI) facilitated the efficient movement of library materials statewide between their 129 member libraries including state universities, community colleges, private colleges and universities, professional schools, the Illinois State Library, several research libraries, the two Illinois regional library systems, and the Chicago Public Library System. CARLI member libraries serve over 90% of Illinois higher education students, faculty and staff.


Delivery service enabled the sharing of over 11.5 million items between public, school, special and academic libraries across Illinois, and increased access to information for Illinois residents. The COVID-19 pandemic affected the way that systems could deliver materials safely. As libraries reopened, systems responded to health and safety concerns by consulting national, state and local best practices, and member feedback. Examples included contact-less exchange points, logistical route changes, increased sanitation, and personal protective equipment. Despite these challenges, delivery increased from 9.6 million materials delivered in FY2020 to 11.5 million in FY2021.