We have had 2 bad-luck shipping experiences recently with books we
requested, and having to incur the cost of their replacement.
First, a book was apparently lost in transit on the way from the lending
library to us; we have to assume it was actually shipped, but it never
Then another requested book arrived mangled with a note of apology from the
post office.
In both cases, we are required to pay the lending libraries.

The ALA code about this does say that "the requesting library assumes an
inherent risk responsible for the material from the time it
leaves the supplying library
until its safe return to the supplying library".
Fair enough.

We began supplying our books using tracking services (UPS, Fedex) years ago
even though more expensive.  Our mail room has gone along with this.
My question is, is it reasonable to require that a lender use one of these
shipping methods also?  (And is that even good insurance against loss and
How many of you have that requirement or use UPS rather than postal mail?

Maybe this loss/damage doesn't happen very often, but having just been
burned twice we are getting concerned.
Thanks for opinions -

Lucy Wrightington, Senior Librarian
Dickerman Library
Wadsworth Center, N.Y. State Dept. of Health
Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201