Deposit Transportation Guidelines

Revised 7/26/2022

PDF version

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for campus libraries in packing and scheduling a shipment of deposits for the Southern Regional Library Facility.

  1. Getting Carts

    The SRLF provides book carts for sending deposits. To ensure an adequate supply to all depositors and for our own internal operations, the SRLF asks that our carts be used strictly for the actual shipping of scheduled deposits to the SRLF. Please use local resources, such as your unit’s available shelving space or book carts, to stage or prepare materials that are not part of the next immediate shipment.

    1. Estimating the number of carts needed
      • An SRLF cart has three shelves, each with a footprint of 28”x15”. The bottom two shelves have a height of 12”, and there is no restriction on height (except common sense) for the top shelf. For items smaller than 9” wide, the bottom 2 shelves can hold 2 rows of books without the items extending beyond the cart profile excessively. Due to weight and stability considerations, only a single row of books should be placed on the top shelf, and a maximum of 5 rows per cart.
      • Start by measuring the total shelf length of the deposit to be sent, and make a general note of how wide the items are. For example, 360” (30 ft.) total, with roughly half the items being over 9” wide.
      • Determine the number of rows the deposit has, based on the length of the cart shelf. Using the previous example: 360” / 28” = 12.9, so 13 rows.
      • Determine the number of carts needed, based on the width of the materials being deposited. Using the previous example, roughly half of the material can fit two rows of books per shelf with the other half only one: 6 rows / 5 per row (1.2 carts), and 7 rows / 3 per row (2.3 carts). The deposit to be sent should fit on 3-4 carts.
    2. Getting Empty Carts For Regular UCLA Depositors
      • Whenever possible, the SRLF maintains a workflow where any empty carts needed for the next shipment are delivered at the time of the previous shipment date. For example:

        A unit with one cart for deposit that knows it will need 4 carts for the following shipment should inform the SRLF that it would like 4 empty carts dropped off when confirming the pick-up appointment of the one cart. The SRLF will be expecting 4 carts in the following shipment, and if the depositing unit fails to send the expected amount, the SRLF will ask for the unused carts to be returned.

      • The SRLF understands that there may be events that require depositors to ask for additional carts later than their previous deposit date. The SRLF will do what it can to meet these requests, but cannot guarantee a delivery of carts prior to the next shipping date if they are not requested for delivery on the previous reserved date. The SRLF will also bill for the additional trip to drop off the carts (see ‘Pick-up Services Pricing’ below for the amount).
    3. Getting Empty Carts For Non-UCLA (off campus) depositors
      • Each of the four southern campuses has a supply of 20 SRLF carts (which is the maximum the SRLF can transport in a single shipment). While the SRLF encourages campuses to send a total of 20 carts per shipment, there is no minimum, and may send less than 20 carts per pick-up.
      • The SRLF will deliver the same number of empty carts that a campus is sending for deposit at the time of the pick-up.
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  2. Packing a Shipment

    Proper packing ensures the efficient ingest of materials when they arrive at the SRLF, but more importantly helps to prevent damage to the materials or injury to staff members handling the deposit.  The SRLF’s transportation staff will review all carts as they are loaded, and may ask the depositing library’s staff to remediate any problems they see.  If the depositing library staff are not available at the time of the pickup, the SRLF staff may have to leave the materials not properly packed, and will contact the depositing staff as soon as possible about the materials left behind.  Please keep the following rules in mind while packing the carts.

    1. 1 cart : 1 book type

      The SRLF requires the depositing units to sort the materials by its type – mainly monographs (or “monos”) and serials.  Each cart should contain exclusively either monos or serials.

    2. Maximum of 5 rows of regular-sized books per cart

       An overloaded cart can place undue stress on the joints and casters of the cart and is prone to damage or tipping over due to excessive weight.  Double-shelve only the two bottom shelves, and only if the books fit within the profile of the cart (do not let them hang over the edge of the shelf).  The top shelf should have only one row of books and should be centered on the shelf.

    3. Maximum of 2 rows of oversized books per cart

       The SRLF considers a row of books to be oversized if they are large enough that only a single row can fit on a shelf.  Quite often a single row of oversized books is heavier than two rows of regular-sized books, so the SRLF likes to limit oversized materials to two rows, on the two bottom shelves of a cart (leaving the top shelf empty).  If the books are too large to fit on the bottom shelves, then only a single row on the top shelf should be loaded on the cart.

    4. Pack the books tightly

      The SRLF’s experience is that if any single book on a shelf row is difficult to remove after packing, the row is adequately tight.  If a tight pack is not suitable for the material being sent, place it in a mail bin and the bin on the cart.  The bin will not need a separate sign (if they are the same item type as the rest) and the items in the bin should be added to the total item count on the cart’s label.

    5. d. Using bins, boxes, or envelopes

      If a tight pack is not suitable for the material being sent (such as microfilm, microfiche, dvd’s or cassettes), place the materials in a mail bin and the bin on the cart. The bin will not need a separate sign (if they are the same item type as the rest) and the items in the bin should be added to the total item count on the cart’s label.

    6. Shipping on pallets

      The SRLF will not pick up palletized material, and only accepts pallets if the depositor is using a third party shipper to send to the SRLF.  Please observe the following when packing a pallet:

      • Only boxed materials with a collection level record may be palletized.  Materials intended to be processed at the item level (such as books or microform) should be shipped on SRLF carts only.
      • Each pallet should be adequately wrapped in stretch plastic to ensure safe shipping and should have a label with the number of boxes on the palette the same as a book cart.
    7. Extra large & Irregular materials

      If the materials to be shipped are too large or are just not suitable to ship on a regular book cart, contact the SRLF to discuss alternative shipping arrangements.  The SRLF has equipment available to transport larger boxes and oversized folders.

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  3. Labeling a Shipment

    1. Each book truck should have only one label, printed on a full sheet of paper, and attached on the fixed (non-swiveling) end of the cart.  The label should be attached in a spot where the number on the cart will still be visible.
    2. The label should contain the following information: sending campus, item type (monos/serials), unit (if applicable), number of items on the cart, cart number of total shipped, and the date of the shipment.  An example label is below:
      LIBRARY UNIT: [optional, used by UCLA units]
      # OF ITEMS: [total count of items on cart]
      CART # [e.g. ‘1’]  OF [e.g. ‘20’]
      SHIPMENT DATE: [actual date of pickup]
    3. The total number of items on the cart should reflect the actual amount.  If you need to place more than one type (monos and serials) on the same cart, please contact the SRLF for further guidance on how the cart should be totaled and labeled.
    4. The cart number of total should refer to all of the carts for the entire shipment.  If the unit is sending 5 carts of monos and 5 carts of serials, the carts should be labeled ‘1 of 10’ thru ’10 of 10’, and not broken up into smaller totals.
    5. The SRLF has cart labels for both serial and monograph items available in PDF format and can be downloaded from the Deposits section of the SRLF public website at
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  4. Scheduling a Pick-up

    1. All deposit pick-ups made by the SRLF fall into one of two scheduling categories:
      • The depositing unit sends materials frequently enough that the SRLF sets up a recurring reserved date (that needs to be confirmed).
      • The depositing unit does not send frequently enough so that each pick-up is scheduled individually as a one-time event.
    2. Recurring Pick-ups
      • The SRLF maintains a schedule of reserved days for recurring depositors to send materials.
      • The Schedule follows a monthly rotation and is listed in the table below.  Note that there are only 4 weeks to the schedule – if a 5th day of the week occurs in a month (e.g. a fifth Wednesday), no pick-up is scheduled.
      • Please note that these days are only RESERVED.  If you wish to schedule a pick-up, you need to contact the SRLF via email at the deposits shared account at least 24 hours in advance for UCLA depositors and 72 hours in advance for off-campus depositors to confirm the appointment.



        Monday Wednesday Friday
        Week 1
        UCLA: Biomed, Arts, Music, Law UCSD
        Week 2 UCLA: RAMS (serials and monographs) UCLA: YRL (MMS, Stacks & Periodical Stacks, CRIS, EAL) UCSB
        Week 3 UCLA:  Sciences Units (EMS, Geology), Powell UCI
        Week 4 UCLA - RAMS (same as week 2) UCLA: YRL Units (same as week 2) UCR
        Week 5 none
    3. One-time Pick-ups
      • One-time pick-ups are intended for depositors that do not send materials on a regular basis, such as special collections units or smaller library units.
      • To schedule a one-time pick-up, contact the SRLF at the deposits shared email account.  Depending upon the circumstances SRLF may need to schedule two dates: one for dropping off empty carts, and another to pick them up when they have been loaded by the depositing staff.
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  5. Scheduling a Deposit Drop-off

    1. Depositing units are not required to use the SRLF’s pick-up services to send materials.  If a unit chooses to use a third party, the appointment scheduling process is similar to using the SRLF for a pickup
      • The depositing unit will need to schedule an appointment in advance, and provide the total number of carts and items to be sent at least 24 hours prior to the appointment.
      • An appointment can be scheduled using the SRLF’s shared deposit email account (link).
    2. The SRLF will provide to the shipper the same number of empty carts that are dropped off at the time of the appointment.  It is the depositing unit’s and shipper’s responsibility to see that the empty carts are returned to the depositor’s location.
    3. The SRLF will accept only one truckload of material per appointment.
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  6. Deposit Services Pricing

    1. The SRLF charges for deposit pickups on a cost-recovery basis, and currently only charges for the use of the SRLF delivery truck plus any additional labor required beyond the SRLF driver. The SRLF tracks all pickups and bills the depositing campuses on a quarterly basis. If you have any questions about deposit pick-up pricing please contact Matt Smith.
    2. As of 2009 the SRLF began shelving all microfilm in trays that hold 24-26 reels per tray. The SRLF charges all depositing units/campuses at the end of the fiscal year for the number of trays used, based on the number of microfilm reels that the unit deposited. If you have any questions about the cost or billing for microfilm trays please contact Tin Tran.
    3. All rates are approved by UCLA Library Business Services.  The table below lists the current amounts.
      Pick-ups UC Users Non-Uc Users
      Driver $42.67 per hour n/a
      Transportation Supervisor $60.98 per hour n/a
      Vehicle (SRLF Delivery Truck) $74.73 per pickup n/a
      Mileage $1.05 per mile n/a
      Materials UC Users Non-Uc Users
      Corrugated ABS tray (for microfilm) $8.00 per tray n/a
    4. The SRLF tracks all pickups and bills the depositing campuses on a quarterly basis.  If you have any questions about deposit pick-up pricing please contact Matt Smith.
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  7. Deposit Allocations & Totals

    1. The SRLF limits the number of items it receives by setting an allocation for the number of items each campus can deposit, and is based on the amount of work the SRLF anticipates being able to complete that fiscal year.
    2. One allocation item represents a unit of work for the SRLF staff to do the following:
      • physically review the item
      • check for duplication within the RLF's current holdings
      • update, import, or create the appropriate Records in the UCLA Library's ILS
      • OR
      • prepare the item to be returned to the depositing library if it is unsuitable for deposit (e.g. it is a duplicate or there is a problem with the item's metadata)
    3. Since allocations are based on a unit of work (and not shelf space used), the depositing libraries do not receive a credit to their allocation for any rejected items.
    4. Typically, if an item is expected to receive a barcode, it will count as one allocation. Some common examples are:
      • a book
      • an unbound issue of a journal
      • a reel of microfilm
      • an archival box (that is cataloged on a collection level)
    5. For microfiche, each fiche title is counted as one allocation item. If a single title has many sheets and is very long, then SRLF counts every 6” as one allocation. For example, a title that uses 20” of drawer space is counted as four allocation items.
    6. The SRLF tracks the number of items sent on the Year-to-Date Deposits Report, available on the SRLF’s public site at: The report is typically updated once a week.