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02.08.18 DTF Minutes

BCCLS Delivery Task Force Meeting

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 10am

Glen Rock Public Library, 315 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ 07452


Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 10:17am by Stephanie Bellucci, Chair.



Present - Stephanie Bellucci, Cliffside Park; Judah Hamer, Rutherford; Sarah Lester, Maplewood; Eric Lozauskas, BCCLS (on behalf of Cindy Czesak); Gretchen Kaser, Ho-Ho-Kus; Gerry McMahon, Franklin Lakes; Ellen O'Keefe, Glen Rock; Terrie McColl, New Milford

Not Present - Peter Coyl, Montclair; Cindy Czesak, BCCLS


I.  Review of Charges - Stephanie outlined the charges for the task force as established by BCCLS President Kurt Hadeler:

  •  Immediate Concern #1: How do we retrieve, sort and deliver the items that are currently stuck in a warehouse. What's the best method (volunteers, movers, delivery company, etc); what will it cost us; how long will it take?
  •  Intermediate Concern #2: Evaluate the necessity, options and cost for local delivery over the next 3-9 months.  Do we need delivery over the next few months if Expak continues the status quo; should we assume Expak will meet our needs once the backlog is cleaned up; do we want a local delivery over the summer while LLNJ transitions to a new vendor?  What is the best method?  What will it cost the members, and how will the costs be allocated?  How long would it take to implement?
  • Long-term Concern #3: Evaluate the necessity, options and cost for long-term local delivery.  Do we need to maintain parallel delivery systems if statewide delivery is operational?  What is our contingency plan if statewide delivery is not operational for any reason.  What is the best method?  What will it cost members, how will the cost be allocated.

These charges are presented in the order in which they must be addressed. Stephanie reminded the group that its efforts should focus on finding solutions rather than pointing fingers. A discussion ensued about how any of the above actions will be funded; BCCLS will certainly have to spend money to address these issues. In years past, some money was collected from members libraries for delivery emergencies as part of their annual BCCLS bill. This was cut back by the previous Executive Director, but there is still a small amount of money available. Eric mentioned that $100,000 was budgeted for personnel costs in 2018; because a new ED has not yet been hired, he suggested that at least the first quarter's portion of that could go towards delivery. Stephanie noted that the Executive Board can vote to reallocate funds already in the BCCLS budget; any additional mid-year assessments to member libraries must be approved by System Council.


II. First Steps - Charge #1

- The task force determined that its first issue to address would be gaining access to the Rockaway warehouse. Jamesburg may also be an issue, as it serves Route 1's libraries. The task force plans to investigate hiring a temporary company to remove all packages from Rockaway, sort them in their own facility, and deliver them to their libraries. Warehouse access will be needed twice: once so the potential vendors can assess the situation and provide quotes, and once for the actual move.

- Eric stated that the BCCLS Office has been in contact with Sher-Del Transfer, a Brooklyn-based company that has a warehouse in Hillside. Sher-Del says they can pick up the warehouse's contents, sort them in their own warehouse, and deliver them in two days. Because PALS Plus and MAIN also have items in the Rockaway warehouse, Eric agreed to follow up with Luca Manna and Philip Berg to determine our next steps.

- Eric provided the task force with updated numbers for BCCLS' floating collections. As of the evening of February 7, there were 14,633 books, 5,224 DVDs/blu-rays/video games, 3,833 juvenile and small books, 1,658 CDs, and 914 audiobooks. 6,450 floating items could fill requests. Although the number of in-transit items is decreasing exponentially, these floating items will eventually need to be delivered back to their owning libraries as well.

- Stephanie suggested that vendors might be willing to assist with this first step at a reduced cost in exchange for good PR.

- The task force felt that BCCLS will likely not need to issue any additional bills to members libraries for this temporary company.


III.  Charges 2-3

- The task force agreed that Charge #2 can be investigated more once progress is made towards Charge #1.

- The task force explored the idea of possible long-term BCCLS-only delivery. This would reduce LibraryLinkNJ's delivery volume, with BCCLS mainly only relying on statewide delivery for Jersey Cat requests.


IV.  Next Steps

- The task force discussed the importance of communication from BCCLS (ideally the Executive Board) regarding the state of requests, as February 8th was previously established as the date to revisit loan service. It is critical that this situation be handled with care; we cannot overwhelm delivery by being careless with turning requests back on. It was agreed that once they are turned back on, it would be catastrophic to turn them off a third time. Concerned was raised that encouraging patrons to physically visit other libraries negatively affects equitable service because some patrons are unable to travel.

- Eric indicated that it is possible to turn on pending requests only, so patrons who have been waiting for items can get them. If this situation were to arise, new requests could not be placed. The task force discussed the idea of recommending to initially limit the number of requests per patron, such as how pre-Polaris requests were limited to five a day.

- The task force determined three possible vendors to reach out to for quotes for Charge #1: Sher-Del, UPS, and American Interfile. New Jersey Lawyers Service was mentioned as a backup in case one or more of these three are unable to provide something. Phone calls were divided as follows:

- Eric - Sher-Del

- Sarah - American Interfile

- Terrie  - UPS

- Eric will reach out to Luca Manna of PALS Plus and Philip Berg of MAIN to determine how to handle Passaic and Morris County items currently held in the Rockaway warehouse.

- Judah will reach out to Kimberly Paone, LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board President to see if she and/or Adele Puccio (Fair Lawn, LLNJ board member) can assist with securing warehouse access.

- Ellen will reach out to Ocean, Somerset, and Monmouth County libraries to learn more about their county delivery services.

- If Expak does not grant warehouse access, the task force's next concern will look into next steps.


Adjournment: 12:15pm

Next Meeting: Thursday, February 15 in Mahwah - 10am




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