Courier Procedures and Practices

If you have any questions about what is listed here, please contact Elizabeth Duell.

Shipping Procedures

1. Select the right container


Use the appropriate size and type of shipping container for the materials. Courier bags, and boxes all come in a variety of sizes; use the one closest to the size of the materials.

  • Courier bags: pack books with spines facing each other, to the inside (spine-to-spine).
  • Envelopes: No envelopes smaller than 8″ x 10″ Envelopes of any size must go in courier bags. Materials that don’t fit in courier bags must be either boxed, or a mailer created out of a flattened cardboard box.
  • Boxes and mailers: Limit size and weight so it can be easily lifted and moved by drivers and staff at the receiving libraries. Workers must be able to safely and comfortably move the materials without special equipment, lifts, etc. Maximum weight: 35 pounds.

Breakables (media)

Use boxes with padding for materials that can be crushed — for example, plastic binding, spiral binding, kits, compact discs, microfilm reels, etc. Creating a padded bag also provides added protection. If you need more DVD or VHS boxes, please contact and request them.


Placing items in bags: There are two different styles of bags: a small brown ILL bag and gray Summit bags that come in 3 different sizes (s,m,l). Place your books and media securely and snugly into the appropriate bags. If any bags are damaged or dirty, please send them to the Alliance office (dropsite code ALLIAN).

Fastening and sealing for boxes and mailers

  • Use heavy-duty packaging tape to secure packages.
  • Completely cover all edges of labels with clear packaging tape.

2. Use a pre-printed address label

  • Expak barcoded printed labels are required.
  • All items must be addressed to a dropsite

3. Finish and send

  • Make sure the package is securely sealed before sending.
  • Place all items in the designated Expak pickup location.
  • Put only Expak courier items in that area.

Requesting Materials

Bags & Other Materials

First email the courier list (

If you are unable to get resupplied, contact Elizabeth Duell.


Request bins from Expak using the Problem Report form – select ‘Request Bins’ from the dropdown.