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Resources for SEAL: Delivery

Delivery Methods for SEAL Items

This page includes information on the different delivery methods that can be used for SEAL items. The delivery method you choose for a particular item depends both on your library and the library you are sending materials to.   

The boxes on this page touch on each of the following delivery methods in more detail:

Public Library System Couriers: Mid-Hudson Library System and Ramapo Catskill Library System members have access to their system courier. The courier can be used for mailing SEAL items to select libraries. These include libraries that belong to the other public library system (the system couriers meet regularly to exchange materials) and participants in Empire Library Delivery.  

Empire Library Delivery: Several libraries using SEAL are participants in Empire Library Delivery (ELD), a statewide delivery service managed by the 9 library resources councils. SEAL libraries that are members of Empire Library Delivery can use the service to send items to other member libraries. Several of the academic libraries using SEAL participate in ELD, as well as RCLS and Mid-Hudson.

FedEx, UPS, USPS: Any deliveries that cannot be made via ELD or a system courier need to be made with shipping vendors such as UPS, USPS or FedEx. This is the method that will used to send items to and from school and special libraries.

Empire Library Delivery

Empire Library Delivery LogoEmpire Library Delivery (ELD) is a courier service connecting libraries across New York. It is managed by the nine library resource councils, which are collectively known as the Empire State Library Network (ESLN). Libraries that are ELD members can use the service to send SEAL items.

The following SEAL members are currently members of ELD:

  • Columbia-Greene Community College, SUNY
  • Dutchess Community College, SUNY
  • Mid-Hudson Library system member libraries
  • Mount St. Mary College
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • New York State Library
  • Orange County Community College, SUNY
  • Ramapo Catskill Library System member libraries
  • Rockland Community College, SUNY
  • Sullivan County Community College, SUNY
  • Ulster County Community College, SUNY
  • Vassar College

MHLS and RCLS member libraries should use their system courier with a routing slip to send items to ELD libraries. (See individual sections for details). All others should package and send items according to the regular ELD guidelines. Note: when creating labels for public library systems, address the item to the system and not the individual library.

Quick ELD Links: FAQ  Roster  Policies and Procedures

Mid-Hudson Member Libraries

Mid-Hudson Libraries have a few different delivery options available to them. The system courier can be used to send items to RCLS member libraries. You can also use the courier to mail items to participants in the Empire Library Delivery (ELD) program. 

To determine the delivery method you should use:

  1. Check to see if the item belongs to an RCLS member library, or one of the academic libraries participating in Empire Library Delivery. Search the SEAL directory to see which system a library belongs to. You can also see all RCLS libraries here. For a complete list of ELD libraries, see the roster, or the current list in the ELD section of this page.

  2. If they are members of either system you can send the item through the Mid-Hudson Courier with this slip:

  3. If they are not an RCLS member or a participant in Empire Library Delivery (i.e. a special library, school library, etc.), you will need to send it using UPS, USPS, or a similar method.

For more information, see the Mid-Hudson Resource Sharing Guide, which has information on delivery with SEAL, as well as some general MHLS ILL procedures. 

Best Practices for Mailing through UPS / USPS / FedEx

Any deliveries that cannot be made via ELD or a system courier need to be made with shipping vendors such as UPS, USPS or FedEx. This will often be the method you use to send items to school or special libraries. Lending libraries would need to pay to mail items, while borrowing libraries would be responsible for mailing items back. There is no standard or required vendor for SEAL users; instead, you should choose the company that best meets your library’s needs.

Some overall best practices when shipping via these services:

  • Use wrapping and packaging materials that are appropriate to the size of the material. Include cushioning materials if there is any extra space within the package.
  • Use an address label that has clear delivery and return information. Cover the addresses with clear tape to prevent it from smearing or being damaged in transit.
  • You can re-use shipping materials such as boxes and envelopes that are in good condition. However, it is important to remove or mark out any old addresses or postal marks on the packaging to avoid any confusion. 
  • Avoid using any shipping materials that are ripped, frayed, or otherwise in poor condition.
  • Don’t use staples to close shipping materials. It is recommended instead to use reinforced packing or paper tape that is at least 2 inches wide.
  • Include a document inside the package containing the receiving library's address. This can be useful in case of any damage to the outside of the package. Many libraries print out a copy of the initial SEAL request email and include it in the book.
  • If you are sending an item to a library that is part of a larger institution, such as a college or school, use the library name as the first line of the address.

RCLS Member Libraries

Members of RCLS libraries have a few different options for delivery when using SEAL. The RCLS courier can be used to send items to Mid-Hudson libraries, as well as members of the Empire Library Delivery program (ELD).  RCLS uses two different routing slips: a SEAL routing slip for all MHLS libraries, and an Empire Library Delivery slip for ELD libraries. RCLS slips are color-coded for easy sorting, so be sure to use slips printed on the appropriate color. (More information on RCLS ILL services can be found here.)

See the instructions below for more details:

1.    Determine if the item belongs to a Mid-Hudson or participating Empire Delivery library and mail using the appropriate slip (either ELD or SEAL).

  • To see if they are a Mid-Hudson library you can search the SEAL directory or access a full list of MHLS libraries here.

  • To see if it is a participating ELD library, you can check the roster, or check the current list in the ELD section of this page. 

2.    If they are not a participant in Empire Library Delivery or an Mid-Hudson library (i.e. a special library, school library, etc.) you will need to send it using UPS, USPS, or a similar method.

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065