Interstate Delivery Service

The Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) has collaborated with the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) to create an interstate delivery service.  This service enables Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts libraries to send and receive interlibrary loan items across the state border at no cost to participating libraries.

The service is made possible through the support of MLS, Optima Courier, which provides delivery services to MLS and OLIS, and the HELIN library consortium, through its existing route to Wheaton College.  The service saves libraries the cost of paying postage on out-of-state ILLs between participating libraries, provides faster delivery of out-of-state items, and expands access to materials for Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts libraries.

The service began on April 1, 2016.


  • Participating Massachusetts libraries
    (RI libraries may borrow from these libraries/networks)
  • Participating Rhode Island libraries
    Note: Most LORI libraries on regular delivery may borrow through the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse; lending is limited to academic libraries (except Brown University and the Roger Williams University Law) and select public libraries.
  • Custom Holding Group instructions (slides 24-25)
    Libraries participating with their own OCLC subscription will want to create new custom holdings groups to identify and favor libraries on delivery for borrowing purposes. Please see the attached slides for instructions for creating and using custom holding groups in OCLC WorldShare.
    • Favor these new delivery lenders in your custom holdings paths.
    • Research and create a custom holdings group of delivery lenders in the appropriate state.
    • Consider making several groups based on format.
    • Check in the OCLC Policies Directory.
    • Check on MA AV lenders list in ShareILL.

Delivery Slips

Use the appropriate delivery slip when supplying and returning items to MA and RI participating libraries. RI uses 3-letter codes to represent each library; MA libraries are addressed to the name of the town, university/or network, not by code. Please refer to the index of libraries in each state to find the appropriate code or library name.

RI Supplying Libraries

14 academic and 33 public libraries

  • Public Libraries
    • Request come through the library’s ILL email from MLS
    • Find out if you can supply.
      • If no, forward the request to the next supplying library via email if provided in the request. Send MLS the status (declined, forwarded, or shipped) of the request via email.
      • If yes, look for the route and name for the delivery slip in the beginning of the email as in the attached file MAdestination.gif.
      • choose the correct slip for the route from MA Delivery Slips - All regions.
      • Attach a copy of the return slip when supply to help the requesting library to return the item to your library.  Use the RI Delivery Slip master.
      • Send MLS the status of the request via email.
  • Academic Libraries
    • Requests come mostly (if not all) through the library’s WorldShare ILL.
    • Follow your usual ILL procedures.
    • Look for “Borrowing Notes” for route information and the name of the destination.  Use the MA Delivery Slips - All regions slip template. 
    • Attach a copy of the return slip when supply to help the requesting library to return the item to your library.  Use the RI Delivery Slip master.

RI Requesting Libraries

RI supplying libraries and OLIS ILL Clearinghouse users may use the interstate delivery to return items to MA participating libraries.

  • To request an item from MA participating libraries
    • OLIS ILL Clearinghouse Users
      Follow the same procedure for requesting items from out-of-state libraries.
    • WorldShare ILL or ILLiad libraries
      Follow the instruction in Custom Holding Group instructions (slides 24-25) to favor these MA suppliers.  With each request submitted in WorldShare, leave a note such as the following in the Borrowing Notes:
      “Library of Rhode Island Delivery ROUTE: XXX” where XXX is your 3-letter LORI delivery code.
  • To return an item received through LORI delivery to MA libraries
    • Make a note to return an item via delivery if you receive it from MA through LORI Delivery.
    • Look for the return delivery slip.  Use it to ship the item back. 
    • When you can’t find the return slip,
      • if the item belongs to any MA participants but OCD or MLN.
      • if you can’t find the supplying library from the MA Participants, it is most likely the item was supplied by one of the OCD or MLN libraries through MLS.  Ship the item to MLS with this slip.
      • Notify Kelley Lima that you returned (and received if you have not done so)  the item if you had requested the item through the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse