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We process, sort, and pack incoming and outgoing materials from libraries all over the Minitex region, including academic, public, state government, regional, multi-type systems, and local school districts in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The delivery network includes the use of commercial couriers and provides overnight service five days a week to most libraries in the Minitex region. Libraries that do not participate in the courier route use UPS service. 

Delivery staff is based in Andersen library on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. They pick up interlibrary loan materials retrieved from all of the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus libraries, including Wilson Library, Walter Library, McGrath Library, offsite storage, and the Health Sciences Library. In addition, staff pick up and drop off library materials retrieved by Minitex Resource Sharing staff at the Minneapolis Central Library.

Best practices for packaging

Address labels

All packages being sent via USPS or UPS must have the complete and correct mail address and zip code for the library receiving the package. It is recommended to always use typed, not handwritten labels.


Bookmarks serve as routing slips in the courier system for materials going to various locations throughout the four-state region.  Place the slips in an item to show the destination code on the top of the book or audiovisual item, facing up. They should have clearly printed Minitex code. Check the website if you need to determine the OCLC code.


They can easily be packed in a padded envelope for UPS or US mail. If going into the Minitex Delivery tubs, they can be placed directly in, without additional packaging. When packing a tub with books, make sure all are packed spine to spine if possible.

Fragile Items and Unusual Sizes

For these items, a library may decide it is not able to ship an item. If you are sending these items via UPS or US mail, make sure to pack with cardboard inserts to reinforce the sides, inside of a well-padded envelope or in a box that has been created for that particular item. If you are the borrowing library make sure to save all of the packaging material, along with the box to return a fragile or unusual sized item. If you are sending these items in Minitex tubs, place them in a padded envelope for extra protection.  

Audiovisual Items

AV materials shipped in hard plastic jewel cases can crack. Flexible durable plastic cases may be a better choice for shipping.  

Maps and Other Large Items

Maps and large items are sometimes shipped in cardboard tubes. These items can be sent via US mail or UPS.


Tubs are an effective way to transport monographs, audiovisual materials and paper. For ergonomic reasons, we recommend limiting the height of stacks of tubs to three. For secure delivery use zip ties on the tubs. Participating libraries can request zip ties to secure the items they are sending to Minitex using tubs.  Use the flip card for the address label on the tubs.

Padded Envelopes

Use padded envelopes to package anything that might need extra care. Use the bubble soft padded envelopes, not the shredded paper padding envelope for interlibrary loan shipping. The shredded paper envelopes create dust and may damage some types of AV items. Used bubble wrap envelopes can serve as padding in tubs or packing between materials in boxes or tubs. Please do not reuse these envelopes for shipping individually.

Cardboard Boxes

Premade corrugated cardboard boxes can be used to ship several items to one location via UPS or US mail. If the items are loose in the box, use packing material such as used padded envelopes to ensure the items do not move around during transport. You may be able to cut down and resize the box to match the size you need. 

Damaged Items

In general, remember that the requesting library is responsible for materials that are lost or damaged while in transit.  Report damaged tubs or packages to Minitex delivery staff.  UPS packages from Minitex or another library should be communicated to the sender as soon as possible so there can be a followup with UPS.  

Delivery Errors

If you locate a tub that should not be in the system please mark it with a note on the outside of the tup and notify  Minitex delivery staff.

Courtesy Returns

The Courtesy Return Service provides a fast, efficient and cost-effective means of returning materials to their home library.  To use this service, determine whether the home library is included on the Minitex Overnight Delivery System – Courier Libraries list.  If it is note the correct delivery code and insert an orange "Courtesy Return" slip into the item. Place the item in your normal delivery tub and Minitex will forward the item to the home library.