RAILS RFI: Sorting/Delivery Services

We at the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) sincerely hope that you, your family, and colleagues are doing well during the current situation. While all in-person work at RAILS has been moved to virtual space, we are launching a vital information-gathering project as we plan for the future and we ask for your participation.

I am writing to share our request for information (RFI) for library delivery and sorting services from RAILS in Burr Ridge, IL. RAILS supports 607 library stops with 34 routes delivering about 9 million items per year. See the RFI, schedule, related documents, and all pertinent information. Responses are due August 3, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. CDT.

RAILS is seeking information about potential service providers in order to develop an efficient and cost-effective long-term delivery strategy to provide services. Potential services may include the evaluation of outsourcing vs. in-house services and automation of various processes involved in this critical service to RAILS libraries. If your firm would like to propose more than one option, we will welcome multiple responses.

Opportunities exist for partnerships to develop among various firms to cover this work. For example, a firm that provides automated services such as sorting might submit a proposal in collaboration with a firm that provides transportation to deliver a full-service solution. You are invited to indicate your willingness to share contact information through our RFI Information Form.

RAILS is a regional library system, a government agency that provides services to libraries in the northern and west-central areas of the state of Illinois. We serve approximately 1,300 private, public, school, and university library members, which comprise more than 4,200 library facilities in a 27,000 square mile area. Although the city of Chicago is within our boundaries, and a number of our member libraries are located in Chicago, the Chicago Public Library constitutes a separate library system. Members have several opportunities to network with each other through email lists, networking groups, member updates, and at networking events.

Currently, Services are provided from five hubs located in Bolingbrook, Coal Valley, East Peoria, Elmhurst, and Rockford. The Elmhurst hub is owned and operated by a contractor. Other hubs are rented or owned and operated by RAILS. In addition, shuttle service is provided five days per week by RAILS to provide interhub transfer and RAILS transfer with its sister system, Illinois Heartland Library System in Champaign. These connections result in a robust statewide delivery capability. The total number of RAILS routes is 34 with 607 stops to deliver some 293,275 bins per year which contain about 9 million items. A separate contractual component includes some 283,000 small bags.

Please let us know if you have any questions through our Q&A Form.

Thank you for your consideration.

Mark Hatch, Delivery and Facilities Director

Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)

125 Tower Dr, Burr Ridge, IL 60527


Deadline for responses: August 3, 2020, 5:00pm CDT

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