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


There are two different colors and a variety of sizes of bags. Please use a bag closest to the size of the materials you are sending.

  • Small and large brown ILL bags that should be used when sending materials to or from affiliate libraries that are not members of the Orbis Cascade Alliance
  • Gray Summit bags that come in 3 different sizes that should be used when sending materials between two Alliance member libraries

Place your books and media snugly into the appropriate bags. Pack books with spines facing each other (spine-to-spine). Seriously damaged or dirty bags should be sent to the Alliance office (dropsite code University of Oregon, participating library Alliance Central Office).


  • 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 or lifts. Maximum weight: 35 pounds.
  • Use heavy-duty packaging tape to seal your box so it doesn’t break open in shipping.

Media and Fragile Materials

Use AV boxes, cardboard boxes, or courier bags with significant padding for fragile materials, including items with plastic or spiral bindings, kits, and AV materials. Creating a padded bag also provides added protection. If you need more AV boxes, please contact and request them.


  • Envelopes or mailers of any size must be sent in courier bags. Envelopes or padded mailers are not able to be sent through the courier individually. They must be included a courier bag, or a cardboard box if too large for a courier bag.

2. Use an Expak printed address label

  • Expak barcoded printed labels are required on every package, regardless of type.
  • All items must be addressed to a dropsite, with a participating library selected where appropriate.
  • Please do not tape address labels to bags, or use tape to secure the address label windows. The tape leaves residue and is hard to remove and the bags have to be replaced more frequently as a result.
  • If sending materials in a box, completely cover all edges of the label with clear packaging tape.

3. Finish and send

  • Place all items in the designated Expak pickup location.
  • Put only Expak courier items in that area to avoid confusion.
  • Notify Expak using the Courier Problem Reporting Form if you need to change the regular pickup location.

Requesting Materials

Bags & AV Boxes

Email the courier list ( for these supplies. Be sure to indicate gray or brown, sizes you need, and approximately how many you’d like to have. If you are unable to get resupplied from partners on the email list, contact Lori Hilterbrand.


Request bins from Expak using the Problem Report form – select ‘Request Bins’ from the dropdown. Be sure to specify how many you’d like them to supply.