Frequently Asked Questions - Interlibrary Loan and Van Delivery

1. What is the Statewide Interlibrary Loan Delivery Service?

The Maine State Library contracts with a courier to provide delivery of interlibrary loan materials for Maine libraries. All types of libraries - public, school, academic, medical, and special - are eligible to participate in this voluntary service.

Each participating library pays a fee based upon the number of stops per week. All material must be contained in special totes (see tote information below). Freedom Xpress (FX) is the current courier; they also provide service for URSUS libraries and Bates, Bowdoin and Colby Colleges.


2. What is a tote?

A tote is a plastic box-shaped carrier used by the courier to transport books and other library materials from library to library. FX will supply a sufficient number of totes to accommodate deliveries.


3. What are the fees and how are they determined for each participant?

Fees are based on the number of deliveries per week. Participants determine how many days a week, from Monday to Friday (or Saturday, for universities/colleges), they need pick up and delivery. The current rate is $15 per day; the rate for Colby, Bates and Bowdoin is $19.50 per day.

Rates by Number of Stops Per Week
# of Stops per week Daily Rate Quarterly Rate Annual Rate
One $15 $195 $780
Two $30 $390 $1,560
Three $45 $585 $2,340
Four $60 $780 $3,120
Five $75 $975 $3,900

Even if you have no totes going out, you still have the "stop" charge of $15.


4. How do participants pay for the service?

Libraries will receive a bill from the Maine State Library at the beginning of each quarter (Jul-Sept; Oct-Dec; Jan-Mar; Apr-June). Bills will credit libraries for official State of Maine holidays. If a library has a skipped delivery or is not able to receive a delivery because of weather, etc., those credits will appear on the following quarter’s bill.

Billing questions:

Please use online billing question form.


5. Who do I contact about customer service complaints?

Questions on delivery problems:

Please use the feedback form for comments, suggestions or complaints. The form will be sent to State Library staff and FX. They will respond within two business days or fewer.

General van delivery questions not in this FAQ:

  • Jamie Ritter
  • Maine State Library
  • 64 State House Station
  • Augusta , ME 04333
  • Tel. 207-287-5602
  • Contact Jamie via the Contact Us web page, choosing Jamie in the drop-down menu for email.

6. How can my library join the service?

Open enrollment periods to join the van delivery system are May and November.

Information below should accompany a request to join the service and will constitute a 6 month commitment. Please only use: Van Delivery Join form since this information goes to different people and saves duplication and time.

The following information is needed for your participation.

  • Name of contact person at your library.
  • Name of library
  • Phone number of the library
  • Street address of library city, zip
  • Days of the week your library wants pick up (Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, and/or Fri)
  • Hours your library is open to help match available delivery schedules.
  • Number of totes you anticipate will meet your needs per stop

If needed, please see more contact information under question 5.

When you join you will need to:

Use recommended labels which must be downloaded from the participant list.


7. How can I edit my contact information?

To change your contact person, email, and days of delivery, please use the edit form which will go to State Library staff. Someone will forward the necessary changes to FX and make changes to the Van Delivery pages.


8. Where do I send Interlibrary Loan requested by ITV sites?

Requests from students, faculty and staff of University College Centers and ITV Sites must be sent to the patron's home University library, not directly to the site or center. This is necessary because sites and centers do not have the capability to check material out. Any material sent to them without first being sent to an URSUS library for check out remains as a hold on the patron record.

Below is a list of the single letter codes that the URSUS system currently uses. If you have any questions, please call or email Brenda Sevigny-Killen at Off-Campus Library Services, 1-800-339-7323 or

  • A-UMA / OCLS
  • B-Bangor Public
  • F-Farmington
  • H-Maine State Library
  • I-Presque Isle
  • J-Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library
  • K-Fort Kent
  • L-Law School
  • M-Machias
  • O-Orono
  • S- USM

9. What happens if library materials that have been requested or that have been sent do not arrive?

There are times when materials which are in transit are not delivered to the receiving library. There are several things that can be done to determine where they might be.

FX cannot track individual items transported through the delivery. They will check with their warehouses and drivers for possible missing items, however.

Check your shelves to make sure items have not been mistakenly shelved at your library. Send a MELIBS message to alert libraries about items not received; have other libraries check their shelves and be on the lookout for materials that may be mistakenly delivered to them.

Materials are occasionally sent through the delivery to libraries that do not actually receive delivery. The delivery service will return materials to the senders if they can identify them. The service may go out of its way to make a delivery if the non-delivery library is near a library that does receive delivery.

The State Library is in contact with the delivery service regularly to see if there are any library materials marooned at the sorting warehouses. Any materials that can’t be identified by the delivery service will be sent to the State Library for identification.


10. On which holiday will there be no deliveries?

Libraries will not receive deliveries on holidays observed by the State of Maine regardless of whether you are open on those days.