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RCLS Delivery Service: How does the RCLS Delivery Service works?

RCLS Delivery Service

The Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) delivery service staff currently consists of a manager, four full-time drivers, one part-time driver, and two part-time drivers on call.   RCLS has a delivery schedule consisting of five separate routes (runs), labeled A-B-C-D-E.  The full-time drivers rotate each week from run to run.  The part-time driver only does the E-run on Monday and Tuesday of each week. The on-call drivers fill in as needed for the full-time drivers.  A chart of the delivery schedule can be seen on the RCLS website under the Services button.   

A typical RCLS van drivers’ day starts by loading all the delivery boxes for the libraries designated on his route for that day.  The RCLS delivery driver then loads whatever additional or special items are also going out to the libraries.  These items may include equipment or cardboard boxes containing AccuCut dies or multiple copies of a specific title for book discussion groups.  Next, empty delivery boxes are placed in the truck to be used to sort materials picked up throughout the day. 

Each RCLS delivery driver has a daily driver statistic sheet on which that person enters the number of boxes taken into and out of each library.  The drivers perform a forward sort at each member library stop.  Forward sorting allows RCLS Delivery Service to get the libraries’ materials to their destination in a much more efficient manner rather than carrying all the materials back to RCLS to be sorted.  Forward sorting means that all the materials taken out of a library are sorted in the truck before the RCLS delivery driver goes into his next library stop.  As a result of forwarding sorting, if a patron orders an item from a library and that item is intended to go to a library that is on the same run later in the day that item will be delivered that day.  Of course, this will only happen if the item is pulled and placed in the delivery box before the RCLS delivery driver arrives.

Thank you to the library circulation staff members who separated materials for another library when there are many items for that library, it makes the delivery more efficient by cutting down the time it takes to sort each of those items one by one in the delivery van.  A typical delivery box holds forty-five items, if an RCLS delivery driver picks up six boxes at a member library, he has 270 items to sort through one by one.  In 2019, the RCLS delivery service delivered an average of 13,455 items per day.

When the RCLS delivery drivers have completed their run, they return to RCLS and unload all the items in the truck.  The boxes that started out empty are now full and transferred to the other trucks.  By making up separate boxes for the other libraries during the day, the driver cuts down the time it takes to sort the materials at the end of the day.  Forward sorting not only allows the patrons to get their materials faster it also cuts down on the loads in the trucks.  If a driver delivers the materials the same day, he doesn’t have to handle it again the following day. 

In 2019, the RCLS Delivery service delivered 3,259,408 items to the RCLS member libraries, not including interoffice mail, gifts & exchanges, book discussion materials, AccuCuts, or any other items not placed in the regular delivery boxes.

Chuck Conklin, RCLS Delivery Service Manager