Case Study: RAILS

RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) is an Inter-Library Loan Program connecting Patrons with thousands of books and media every day.

Local (Chicago)


Books and media items sorted per day


Books and media items sorted per year


Deliveries per night on average
A man unpackaging a stack of books from a cardboard box - CTL


The Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) provides a number of programs and services for Illinois libraries and library users. For library users, the most valued of these services is delivery. Because of RAILS, library users have access to millions of books and other materials from libraries throughout Illinois and beyond. What library users don’t understand, is the tremendous amount of work that goes into operating an efficient delivery system. RAILS saw that finding the right delivery outsourcing partner could result in greater efficiencies and improved service for member libraries and their users.


CTL Transportation and RAILS partnered to create a delivery system that streamlined operations, cut delivery-related costs, and enhanced service to RAILS member libraries and the customers they serve.


As a direct result of the partnership with CTL Transportation, RAILS member libraries no longer have to spend as much time on delivery-related tasks and can repurpose precious library space once devoted to storing delivery supplies and equipment. Library users receive materials quickly and seamlessly. RAILS has reduced staffing and vehicle costs and can now devote more resources to planning and providing services to meet their members libraries’ changing needs.

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