TExpress User's Guide

Compiled by the TexShare Courier Service Working Group


For Assistance with TExpress, contact the AMIGOS Support Desk (1-800-843-8482; amigos@amigos.org)







1.0 Background

TEXSHARE

TexShare is a cooperative program designed to improve library service to Texans. TexShare focuses on the efficient sharing of library holdings, with an emphasis on electronic information resources and traditional collections of books and journals.

TEXPRESS

This TexShare program, offered at very reasonable pricing, is administered by AMIGOS Library Services, who then subcontracts with a statewide courier company to provide expedited five, three or two day pickup and delivery of interlibrary loan and other library materials to participating libraries. Most deliveries are accomplished within 24-48 hours. In operation since November 1997, TExpress now includes more than 182 participating TexShare libraries.

The TexShare Courier Service Working Group reviews and recommends policies and procedures for the TExpress courier program and provides input from member libraries.

2.0 Costs & Benefits

The TExpress program can be a very cost-effective method for libraries to deliver materials to one another. As you can see from the chart below, TExpress can be an alternative to US Mail deliveries for many libraries.


 5 Day/Week Delivery

1-lb package

2-lb package

3-lb package

US Mail "Library" or "Media Mail" Rate

$2.26

$2.63

$3.00

Courier price to members (subsidized 2009-2010):

$3,600.00

$3,600.00

$3,600.00

Affordability Threshold (# of packages shipped annually)

1,593

1,368

1,200


 3 Day/Week Delivery

1-lb package

2-lb package

3-lb package

US Mail "Library" or "Media Mail" Rate

$2.26

$2.63

$3.00

Courier price to members (subsidized 2009-2010):

$2,535.00

$2,535.00

$2,535.00

Affordability Threshold (# of packages shipped annually)

1,122

964

845


 2 Day/Week Delivery

1-lb package

2-lb package

3-lb package

US Mail "Library" or "Media Mail" Rate

$2.26

$2.63

$3.00

Courier price to members (subsidized 2009-2010):

$2,065.00

2,065.00

2,065.00

Affordability Threshold (# of packages shipped annually)

913

785

688


In addition, packages are not restricted by weight, nor are they limited to ILL materials. Any department in the library can take advantage of the TExpress service, thus increasing the potential savings.

TExpress offers the additional benefits of expedited turnaround time for delivery of materials (24-48 hours) and the assurance that the courier company is carefully and privately handling your library's materials.

Shipping costs may be recovered from the patron by charging either the actual costs of shipping or charging a flat rate of not more than $2.75. This cost is based on the price of shipping a 2 lb package at Library Rate.

3.0 Signing Up for TExpress

Libraries wishing to sign up for the TExpress service can obtain a service agreement from the Amigos Support Desk (1-800-843-8482).

Once the agreement is completed and returned, Support Desk personnel will provide the listed TExpress contact person with the necessary information to use TExpress, will encourage the contact to join one or both courier mailing lists, and will answer any questions they may have regarding service.

4.0 Using the TExpress Service

TExpress is a closed-system, which means deliveries are made to participating locations only. The number or weight of packages or the type of content it sends or receives every day does not limit your library. However, in consideration of the comfort and safety of the couriers, the weight of any individual package should not exceed fifty (50) lbs.

Labeling and Packaging information can be found on at Amigos Trans-Amigos TExpress

4.1 How to Change Your Constant Data Record in OCLC

4.2 Courier Service Pickup and Delivery Requirements

  • Please provide an easily accessible area for the TExpress exchange point. Controlled and/or locked areas are difficult for the courier to access. If possible, please do NOT put the TExpress exchange point in an area where the courier would have to knock or ring a bell and then wait to gain entry (details may need to be discussed with the individual courier servicing your library).
  • Please provide a mail basket or other suitably sized container identified as the "TexShare ILL" or "TExpress" pickup point. Do not use a USPS bin.
  • Please ensure that the distinctive TExpress label is clearly visible and properly addressed on every outbound package.
  • Please ensure that packages do not exceed fifty (50) lbs. in weight. If necessary, break up a large shipment into several smaller ones.

Depending on the Pickup/delivery the library is subscribed to Pickup/delivery takes place five (5) days per week or two (2) days per week. Holiday and spring break schedules of all libraries are collected, given to the courier company, and will be posted on the TexShare website. AMIGOS will post messages to the mailing lists reminding libraries to provide closure information to the Support Desk. It is not necessary for libraries to inform the courier company of one- or two-day closures, though as a courtesy, libraries may wish to post a "We're closed for the day" sign for the courier's benefit. There is no delivery on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Most deliveries take place within 24-48 hours.

4.3 Non-Interlibrary Loan Materials

TExpress members are encouraged to use the courier service to send non-Interlibrary Loan materials between libraries. However, since the pickup and delivery point for most TExpress libraries is the ILL department, the Working Group recommends the following procedures when sending non-ILL materials:

  • Place the material you wish to send in an envelope clearly marked with the recipient's name and other delivery information you deem appropriate, such as mail stop number, department, etc.
  • Place the labeled envelope within another envelope (10" X 13" or larger) and label this package according to the instructions provided in the Labels section above.
  • If you are sending a large box or other bulky item, please provide clear recipient information on the package, and fill out the Attention line of the TExpress label.

Following these procedures will ensure that your material is delivered to your intended recipient without needless delay.

4.4 TexShare Card Materials

Current recommendations are that TexShare-Card-Borrowed materials should NOT be returned via TExpress. Patrons are instructed to return the materials to the library from which they were borrowed via US Mail. However, if you do receive materials from patrons that were borrowed on a TexShare card, please be sure to insert a yellow TexShare Borrowed Using TexShare Card. Not an ILL Request. Bookmark to alert ILL staff. If you would like a supply of these bookmarks, contact the Texas State Library.

5.0 Statistics

ALL PARTICIPANTS IN THE TEXPRESS COURIER SERVICE ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT THE NUMBER OF PACKAGES IN AND OUT ON A MONTHLY BASIS. FAILURE TO REPORT STATISTICS MAY RESULT IN LOSS OF SUBSIDY.

Monthly statistics for the preceding month are due by the 10th of each month. Statistics are to be reported using the Amigos TAE Statistics reporting form on the web.

To view compiled statistics on the TExpress service, visit the TexShare web site.

6.0 Reporting Problems/Lost Items

6.1 Reporting Problems

To report a problem or concern about your TExpress service, please contact the Amigos Support Desk.

While the courier company is responsible for dealing with errors on the part of its staff, libraries have control over the following items that can occasionally cause problems:

  • Mishandling of TExpress Materials. Sometimes an item intended for TExpress is placed in an outgoing USPS box or an alternative courier's box. Likewise, the courier occasionally finds non-TExpress items in the TExpress box. Careful handling by library staff is needed to minimize related delays and speed TExpress items on their way.
  • Mislabeling. Some delays are caused when improperly labeled TExpress packages must be rerouted. Please ensure that labels are properly completed and that packages are clearly marked.

See the Labels section earlier in this document for complete instructions on addressing TExpress packages.

6.2 Lost Items

The TexShare ILL Protocol (Section 8.0) and the TexShare Card Protocol will govern the handling of lost items.

7.0 Trans-Amigos Express (TAE)

The Trans-Amigos Express courier service is a corresponding service for non-TexShare libraries in Texas and other states served by AMIGOS Library Services. "By having TExpress tap into the larger AMIGOS service [Trans-Amigos Express], TExpress libraries would have a larger and larger pool of reciprocal borrowing partners for which delivery is already covered in a single annual price."

TExpress libraries have the opportunity to send materials to participating AMIGOS libraries in states other than Texas at no additional charge. Inter-state pickup/delivery time is still expected to take place within 24-48 hours.

Service is currently available to Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas. As other states are added, users will be notified by postings to the TexShare Courier Mailing list and Amigos' web site (See the Additional Resources section).

For more information on Trans-Amigos Express, contact the Amigos Support Desk.

8.0 Additional Resources

The TexShare website and Amigos' web site is an excellent resource to consult, containing news and information on the latest developments within the program.

There, you will find information such as:

  • A list of libraries participating in TExpress
  • A current roster of the Courier Service Working Group members
  • Minutes of past Working Group meetings
  • Statistics on TExpress usage

There is also an electronic mailing list where important notices and information pertaining to TExpress are posted: the TexShare-Courier list.

It is important that you have access to the courier mailing lists because it is the only way in which AMIGOS Library Services communicates with participating libraries. To subscribe, please follow the directions shown on the TexShare Courier Mailing Lists page. Scroll down the TexShare-Courier header and follow the subscription instructions.

Revision History (Back to Top)

Revised, February 08, 2010.


Revised, July 26, 2007.


Revised, January 1, 2006.


Revised, February 2003.


Revised, April 2001.


Revised, January 2001.


Revised, July 2000.


Created November 1999.

Page last modified: January 28, 2011
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