nhsl header
NHSL Logo  NHSL Logo

 NHSL Home
 News and Events
 About Us
 Contact Us
 Search This Site
 Site Map

New Hampshire State Library

For Librarians - Services to NH Libraries - Van Delivery Service - Instructions
The purpose of the van delivery service is to support and expedite the sharing of resources via interlibrary loan among New Hampshire's libraries. Libraries must be members of NHAIS. In addition, libraries may use the service to send memos, reports, gifts etc. to other libraries.

Occasionally, the van service is used to deliver materials of interest to libraries on behalf of government agencies and non-profit organizations. Agencies and organizations must first secure permission from the State Library before using the Van Service to distribute materials.

Van Delivery Schedule

An up to date directory is available on the State Library's web page in both html and pdf formats.

Libraries will be notified via the NHAIS-L and NHAIS-ILL listservs of any changes.


The following guidelines must be followed when using the N.H. State Library Van Delivery Service.

1. Types of Material - The Van Service will accept books, videos, cassettes, films, envelopes of all sizes and boxes.* To send any other type of material, please contact the supervisor of Reference and Information Services at the State Library. The Van Service will not transport materials considered oversize or overly heavy.

*If the box does not fit in the bin, the library must notify the State Library in advance that there will be an extra box(es) to pick up. To make such a notification, call the Circulation Desk at the State Library (603-271-2616).

2. Bins - In order to expedite the delivery of materials, each library has two bins labeled with the library's name. One bin is supplied by the State Library and each library is asked to purchase the second bin from the State Library.

When making a delivery, the van driver drops off one bin containing the materials being sent to the library and picks up the second bin containing the materials being sent to other libraries.

Prior to the arrival of the van, libraries are asked to place the bin as close to the entrance of the building as possible.

Libraries are limited to a maximum of 2 bins at each delivery (both pick up and delivery). Libraries in the GMILCS consortium are limited to 2 bins or 1 bin and 5 GMILCS bags.

Bins should be properly packed with books placed (horizontally) in the bin to maximize space usage. Books should not extend over the top of the bin. Bins are stacked in the vans and need to be reasonably flat.

3. Addressing Material to Be Sent on the Van - To ensure that the material is sent to its proper destination, it is important to address the material correctly. Please follow these instructions.

Routing Slip - Use a routing slip, which is at least 2 inches wide and 11 inches long. The State Library does not provide these slips. A sample sheet of these slips appears in a PDF file at the end of these instructions.

The following information should be placed on the routing slip in this order (see sample sheet of routing slips PDF file at the end of these instructions).

Town - Enter the name of the town in which the library being sent the materials is located. Please do not abbreviate the name of the town. This may cause confusion (e.g. N. Hampton - is this North Hampton or New Hampton). It is important to include the town to assure proper delivery. For example there is a Weeks Library in Greenland and one in Lancaster.

Library - Enter the name of the library being sent the material. Abbreviations such as PL for public library and HS for high school may be used. If going to a college or school make sure this is clearly written.

Drop-Off Library - If the material is being sent to a library which receives its materials at another library, enter "FOR" followed by the name of the library to which the material is being sent. For example, if material is being sent to Taylor Library, East Derry via the Derry Public Library, the routing slip should be addressed as follows:

Town: Derry
Library: Derry Public Library
For: Taylor Library, East Derry

This is very important! Refer to the Van Directory when determining if a library gets direct delivery (in Bold print) or is a dropoff library (italics).

FROM - Enter the name of the library which is sending the material, followed by the name of the town if it is not evident in the name of the library.

DATE - Enter the date that the material is being sent.

Lending/Returning - Place a check mark next to the appropriate box to indicate whether you are lending the book to a library or returning the book which your library had borrowed.

Initials - The staff member who is processing the book should enter her/his initials.

Message - The bottom of the routing slip can be used to enter a message, special instructions, etc.

4. Special Address Instructions for the N.H. State Library - When sending materials to the State Library, please include the section to which the material is being sent (Electronic Information Resources, Fiscal and Administrative Services, Library Development Services, NHAIS & Technical Services, Reference and Information Services, and Talking Book Services). The "To" part of the address should read as follows:

Town: Concord
Library: NH State Library (or NHSL)
NHAIS Services

5. Packaging of the Material - Material (books, envelopes, videos, cassettes, etc.) are placed into open bins which are transferred from and to a van. Material that is picked up is sorted and then placed into the appropriate bin at the State Library. To ensure that the material arrives at its proper destination in good condition, libraries are asked to package the materials in the following manner.

Books - The routing slip should be placed in approximately the middle of the book with the top portion of the slip containing the TO: address showing. At a minimum, two rubber bands should be placed around the book.

If the book is fragile, it should be placed in a padded bag. The routing slip should be taped onto the front of the bag.

Envelope - Write the same information (to and from address) on the envelope as would be placed on a routing slip. If the envelope has been used before, please cross out all old addresses. Fasten the envelope.

Media (DVDs, etc.) - Consider placing items in padded envelopes to protect them during transport.

Boxes - The box should be taped closed and a routing slip should be taped to the top of the box. Boxes should be of reasonable size and weight. A box is considered manageable if the librarian or other staff member can lift it easily.

Paper Bags - Please do not use paper bags to send material via the van.

NO Van Service

The Van Service does not operate on the following state holidays.

November Veterans Day Wednesday, November 11, 2020
November Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2020

November Day After Thanksgiving Friday, November 27, 2020
December Christmas Day Friday, December 25, 2020
January New Year's Day Friday, January 1, 2021
  Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Monday, January 18, 2021
February President's Day Monday, February 15, 2021
May Memorial Day Monday, May 31, 2021
July Independence Day Monday, July 5, 2021
September Labor Day Monday, September 6, 2021
November Thanksgiving Thursday, November 25, 2021
November Day After Thanksgiving Friday, November 26, 2021
December Christmas Day (observed) Friday, December 24, 2021

*If one of the above holidays falls on a Saturday, the van will not operate on the previous Friday. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the van will not operate on the following Monday.

If for any other reason (e.g. bad weather) van service on a particular route(s) does not operate, libraries will be notified via an e-mail message and a post to the NHAIS blog. If your library does not receive van service on a particular day, please check your e-mail and/or the NHAIS blog before calling the State Library.

"Lost" Material

Approximately 9,000 items are sent via the Van Service each week. A handful are reported missing each month. Since the material sent via the van is not tracked (i.e. A list of items sent and received are not signed for by the library or the van driver.), it is not possible to determine who lost the book-the library sending the book, the van delivery service or the library receiving the book.

In accordance with standard ILL protocol, the borrowing library is responsible for material from the time it leaves the lending library until it is returned to that library. If the book cannot be located, regardless of the cause, then the borrowing library should reimburse the lending library for the cost of the material.

Before a book is designated as lost, the following steps should be taken.

1. The Borrowing library should place a message on the NHAIS Listserv, providing information on the title, author, call number, markings, etc. of the book and the date it was discovered missing.

2. All libraries, including the lending library and the borrowing library, are asked to check their shelves for the title.

There are steps that all libraries can take to prevent a book or other material sent via the van service from being lost.

All libraries should make sure that all their material that is sent on the van is clearly marked with the name of their library.

  • All libraries should make sure that the routing slip is completed correctly.
  • If a library receives material which is addressed to another library, please send it on to that library on the next available van.

Complaints, Questions & Comments

To register complaints, ask questions or make comments, please contact the supervisor of Reference and Information Services of the State Library by telephone or e-mail.

Sample Sheet of Routing Slips Acrobat Symbol icon

Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Adobe Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

nh seal NH.gov | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Policy