February 9, 2018
Please share this with all staff involved with ILL/delivery.
Closed for President’s Day, Monday, February 19?
- Make sure you fill out a Library Closure Report by February 14.
Problems with Delivery?
- No pick-ups? No delivery?
- Fill out a Problem Report Form.
We at LibraryLinkNJ are aware of issues with the new delivery system, and we are working to resume efficient delivery to all the libraries we serve in New Jersey.
We’ve seen how distressing it’s been for library users to be unable to get the materials they need from other libraries, and we regret that these unacceptable circumstances have occurred.
We would like to give you an overview of how we got here and where we’re going.
How we chose Expak to be the delivery vendor
The process was rigorous and guided by a variety of legal requirements.
- LibraryLinkNJ’s Purchasing Guidelines, which come from the New Jersey State Library, obligate us to rebid the delivery service contract every three years.
In 2017, this process took six months and included
- developing and advertising a Request for Proposal (RFP)
- reviewing and thoroughly assessing vendors’ bids
- checking references
- We sought and acted on the advice of our attorneys at every step of this process.
A five-person RFP/Evaluation Team recommended Expak on the basis of:
- Their bid’s quality level and cost-effectiveness
- Positive presentations and site visits to subcontractors’ sorting facilities
- Strong references on their delivery work for statewide and regional library organizations in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Tennessee
The LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board reviewed the recommendation and approved offering a contract to Expak.
Unfortunately, Expak was not able to provide equitable delivery as promised in the contract. This was unforeseen on our end, and due largely to last minute changes to their subcontracted services.
So What’s Next?
- The LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board held a special meeting on Monday, February 5 to hear from the membership and consider next steps. We posted recordings of it on the meeting’s event page on our website
- The Executive Board passed a motion to commence a new bidding process in order to enter into a new contract with a new delivery vendor
- When we contract with another vendor, there will be a new transition period
How the next vendor will be chosen
On January 29, Expak withdrew from the contract, giving LibraryLinkNJ 120 days’ notice of cancellation. At a special meeting held on February 5, 2018, the LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board decided to proceed with a new RFP process to solicit and review bids from vendors.
Despite a tight timeline, the RFP, evaluation criteria, and selection process as a whole will be as stringent as it would be under normal circumstances.
Expak is still actively troubleshooting
- Splitting overly-long routes into more manageable, shorter routes
- Hiring and deploying additional drivers for the busiest routes
- Hiring additional staff to sort library materials
- Following up with drivers on correct procedures
Expak will continue to pursue these measures until issues are resolved, and until their contract concludes.
LibraryLinkNJ will keep you informed by sending weekly updates about the delivery service during our transition. All information is available at http://librarylinknj.org/delivery
We update this section regularly.
Kathy Schalk-Greene, Executive Director