Packaging and labelling materials are provided by libraries as part of their particpation in interlibrary loan.  Here are a few guidelines on how to prepare items:


Interdepartmental envelopes

  • Put a single line through old addresses.
  • Check both sides of the envelope to ensure that previous addresses are crossed out.

Other envelopes and padded envelopes

  • Make sure old return addresses are crossed out.
  • Remove old labels, extra tape, and old staples.
  • Discard torn envelopes, or padded envelopes losing their stuffing.

Book Bags

  • The cloth book bags are still an effective method of delivering materials. Some have clear windows with pockets for labels.
  • If the bags do not have a window, or the window has become obscured, tape on label or 1" masking tape. A black magic marker makes the address stand out.

Lids on Containers

  • If you use plastic containers with lids, the flaps must open to the outside of the container, so any liquid accumulation (rain/snow) runs off the outside edge of the container.


  • Try to distribute the weight in the carton evenly. Center the main weight in the carton and surround with filler. The filler may be foam chips, popcorn, or paper for recycling.
  • If using a large box for a small shipment, adapt the box by slitting the corners down to the top of the contents, then scoring the box vertically on all four sides. Seal by folding all four sides down and tape shut.
  • When possible the best method of making sure the shipment stays intact is to encircle the box length and width with 2" wide clear tape.
  • Cartons should not weight more than 50 pounds. A simple guideline is this: if you cannot lift the fully packed carton, divide its contents into two boxes.
  • Remove all old labels. Labels that are clearly marked, ideally with thin or thick black magic marker, ensure prompt delivery. The following information is all that is necessary:
Library Name
Route Designation*
Contact Name (optional)
Library Name
Route Designation*
Contact Name (optional)

Box x of x

*Route designations can be found by linking to: SOLS Delivery Routes

Do not reverse the To and From on return shipments. This is confusing and may create a delay in the delivery of the item.

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