Packaging Your ILL Items

How do I package items?

Read our guide on how to package and label materials such as envelopes, book bags, and larger boxes.

Where do I get packaging envelopes and bags?

As stated in the INFO Resource Sharing Network Participation Policies and Standards, libraries are responsible for the costs of interlibrary loan delivery packaging.  SOLS is not involved in any bulk purchase of mailing bags for individual libraries or groups.  Some libraries have come together in the past to buy bags and share them, but in our experience, making sure that the bags are used/returned within the purchasing group of libraries can become onerous.


Based on feedback from libraries, here are some typical packaging options:

  • Libraries can purchase bags from library supply vendors (e.g. Brodart, Carr McLean, etc.). We offer a number of discounts from library supplies vendors through our Collective Purchasing Agreements - look in the category "Library Services & Supplies".  Cloth bags are not mandatory for shipping books
  • Many libraries find it more economical to purchase padded envelopes or bags in bulk from discount/dollar stores.
  • Other libraries ask staff in other departments to forward any gently used padded envelopes. Library patrons are often happy to recycle gently used padded envelopes or bags they receive at home by dropping them off at the library
  • Libraries are also encouraged to post queries for extra bags to the INFOuser discussion list

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