February 9, 2018

Dear valued library user:

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to deal with the statewide delivery issue. Since we suspended holds two weeks ago many of you have responded with messages of support and understanding. They have been appreciated by the staff at Montclair Public Library.

We knew we were being very optimistic in thinking two weeks was enough time for the delivery to get caught up. Unfortunately that was not the case. Today there are still over 30,000 items in the pipeline in transit to and from various BCCLS libraries. While that is a significant reduction from 82,000 it still is an extraordinary amount. Montclair has just over 1,000 items on its way, down from over 3,000. This is progress!  However, it is not enough.

Knowing the volume of requests BCCLS members place, the decision has been made to continue the suspension of hold requests until the number drops below a reasonable threshold. BCCLS staff are monitoring the numbers daily and as soon as the backlog decreases to that point requests will be resumed. Please be aware that when requests are reinstated there may be temporary limits or other restrictions. We will share details as we get them.

In all of this LibraryLinkNJ (who administers the statewide contract) was notified by the vendor that they are exercising their right to vacate the contract. LibraryLinkNJ held a special executive board meeting this past week which was attended by a number of directors. There were many concerns expressed surrounding the loss of the vendor and how delivery quality may diminish further as a result.  

Today LibraryLinkNJ released the revised RFP which includes a request for a delivery site in Northern New Jersey. While it is easy to armchair quarterback the process and how we got here, I do believe LibraryLinkNJ learned from this process and we will be able to provide you even better service in the end. The new RFP shows their willingness to listen to the member libraries and try and prevent this problem with the next vendor.

Additionally, BCCLS has formed a Delivery Task Force to consider the issue and the problems stemming from it. The BCCLS President has appointed me (and 7 other Directors) to this Task Force. The Task Force met yesterday for the first time and discussed the feasibility of retrieving the outstanding items still waiting to be delivered, and potential costs for a supplemental delivery service for the next several months. We do not expect this to incur any expense to the residents of Montclair. This would serve as a stopgap measure to ensure you receive the service you deserve while LibraryLinkNJ transitions to another delivery service.

I share your frustration and disappointment in the situation we are in. It is even more frustrating because it is not one of our own making, nor is it one that we are equipped to solve on our own or overnight. Rest assured that restoring the delivery service to the level it was previously is a high priority for myself and the other BCCLS Directors.  I will continue to advocate and fight for our Library users in this process.

Again, thank you for your patience and support. If you have any questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Peter Coyl, MLIS
Library Director