Advancement of the ILDS

As the Illinois library network continued to grow, usage of the Illinois Library Delivery System rose steadily. From 1981 to 1990, the system experienced an increase of 90 percent in deliveries, although the shipment costs remained remarkably stable. From 1989 to 1992, the average cost per shipment remained at $2.50 per bag, while charges for national carriers such as Federal Express rose. Like most other State Library departments, the delivery system budget flattened by the end of the 1980s, growing only slightly to $414,000 for fiscal year 1990. A total of 163,149 shipments were made via ILDS that year. Most delivery routes operated daily, with some having a backup vehicle available to prevent service interruptions.1016

On Jan. 2, 2008, a revamped version of ILDS went into effect with an emphasis on technology and efficiency. Under the old system, nearly all paperwork, including packing slips, was done by hand, and fewer direct delivery stops of materials to public libraries were made. Under the new system everything is computerized, including such documents as shipping lists, which can be printed quickly and easily. More direct deliveries and five-day-a-week, 24-hour turnaround service were enacted. The system was a collaboration of the State Library and the University of Illinois, in conjunction with the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries (CARLI). Users found the system faster and more efficient than its predecessor and represented another component in the State Library’s leadership in networking and resource sharing.1017