FAQs

  1. What is the Library Materials Service
  2. How do libraries get started?
  3. How can qualifying Libraries access the Library Books Rates?
  4. What are the benefits of using the Library Shipping Tool?
  5. What equipment is required?
  6. What payment options are available for Library Books?
  7. Are Delivery Confirmation and Coverage against loss or damage included?
  8. What is the returns process?
  9. Do libraries have to input their name and address each time they do a shipment?
  10. Is it be necessary to enter dimensions?
  11. Anything new regarding the requirement to enter the password each time prior to printing a label?
  12. Where can a shipment be deposited?
  13. Can libraries use re-usable fabric bags to containerize their books?
  14. Is it possible to change the size of the shipping label?
  15. Eligible Items
  16. Unacceptable Items
  17. Additional information on Library Books in the Canada Postal Guide?
    1. What is the Library Materials Service?
      The Library Books Service is a special program to provide qualifying libraries access to special postal parcel rates to mail eligible library books.

      • It is available for use only by public libraries, universities libraries, or other libraries maintained by non-profit organizations or associations for use by the public in Canada.
      • The library books mailed using the Library Books Service must consist wholly of reading matter and contain no advertising or administrative materials other than incidental notification of books and meet the maximum size and weight requirements.
      • The maximum weight for Library Books is 5 kg.
    2. How do libraries get started?
      Complete a Library Books Service Application Form, which is available on the Canadian Library Association (CLA) website at http://www.cla.ca/EOE_SCE_Prod/index.htm; and return it directly to the Canadian Library Association (details are on the form). Upon approval, the library will be provided with access to the Library Books prices and to the Library Books Shipping Tool.
    3. How can qualifying Libraries access the Library Books Rates?
      Use of an electronic shipping tool is mandatory. Libraries can access the Library Books Rates through the use of the following electronic shipping tools:

      • The Library Books Shipping Tool (LBST) on the Canadian Library Association website
      • Express Order Entry (EOE) on the Canada Post website, for libraries with a Parcel Services agreement in place
      • Electronic Shipping Tool (EST) desktop or online version, available from Canada Post, for libraries with a Parcel Services agreement in place.
    4. What are the benefits of using an electronic shipping tool for Library Books?
      • Library Books shipments are made easy from one shipping screen
      • The ability to track shipments online
      • The ability to send an automatic email at the time of shipping to advise the recipient the book is on its way.
      • Get the rate info rmation automatically
      • Validate information prior to printing
      • Print address labels and return labels on plain paper
      • No need to download software and updates are automatic
      • No manifests required (for our Online version of electronic shipping tools)
      • Support is available through “Contact us” email
      • Address Book functionality
    5. What equipment is required?
      Assuming that all libraries have a computer and printer (inkjet or laser) and access to the Internet, the only equipment required is a weigh scale. Weight accuracy for Library Books is not crucial given that the rates for Library Books are calculated at 1-kilogram increments, so the weigh scale does not have to be expensive.
    6. What payment options are available for Library Books?
      Methods of payment:

      • Credit Card
      • Postage stamps

      Customers using the Library Books Shipping Tools version of Electronic Shipping Tools (EST) may use postage stamps (preaffixed, or affixed at a post office upon payment of the postage amount indicated on the shipping label).

      If you usually pay for your Library Books shipments with postage stamps at a post office, you may want to purchase the postage stamps in advance, and affix them to the item prior to going to the post office. Simply affix the postage (amount is indicated on label) on the shipping label in the space “Place Postage Stamps Here”. This will save time at the post office when you’re ready to ship.

    7. Are Delivery Confirmation and Coverage against loss or damage included?
      Delivery Confirmation (Tracking) is available. This feature provides positive confirmation that the item arrived at its destination.Coverage for loss or damage is not included or available for purchase.
    8. Are there any changes to the returns process?
      No postage is required on the return shipment, provided a Library Books Barcoded Return Label is used. Each Library Books shipment must contain only one return label and the label must be used for the return of the original shipment.
    9. Do libraries have to input their name and address each time they do a shipment?
      No, they will only have to enter this once at the beginning of the day. This information will remain unless they click on the clear button after they have printed a label. They do, however, have to enter the rest of the information for each subsequent individual shipment.
    10. Is it necessary to enter dimensions?
      Yes, you need to enter the dimensions of each parcel shipped using the Library Shipping Tool.
    11. Anything new regarding the requirement to enter the password each time prior to printing a label?
      The password only needs to be entered once per session if multiple labels are being printed.
    12. Where can a shipment be deposited?
      A Library Shipment can be deposited either at a post office or in a Receipt Verification Unit. Shipments bearing a Library barcoded shipping label and the required postage can be deposited in a Street Letter box.

      The benefit of depositing your shipment directly at the post office is that a receipt scan is made by Canada Post immediately and the shipment is in the system for tracking. If it is dropped into a Street Letter box it could take 24 hours before the box is emptied. Also parcels handed in at a the post office are sorted and shipped more directly than parcels picked up in a box (they would go to a central sorting facility before being separated out as parcels).

    13. Can libraries use re-usable fabric bags to containerize their books?
      Libraries using fabric bags will need to re-engineer their bags to allow the label to be applied or phase-out fabric bags and use different containers (jiffy bags, bubble packs or cardboard boxes). The fabric bags require a more costly manual sort than other containers.
    14. Is it possible to change the size of the shipping label?
      The shipping label produced by the tool is a basic 8 ½ x 11 standard sheet of paper that all printers use. One half is apply to the item and the other half is used as a customer receipt. For shippers with Commercial agreements using a more sophisticated shipping system, a 4 x 6 inch thermal label is available.
    15. Eligible items
      Library Materials may consist of books, magazines, records, CDs, CD-ROMs, audiocassettes, videocassettes, DVDs and other audiovisual materials and other similar library materials.
    16. Unacceptable Items
      Items as specified under Canada Post’s Non-mailable Matter Regulations.
    17. Is there additional information on Library Books in the Canada Postal Guide?
      Yes – visit www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/PGlibrary-e.asp