StaffGuide: Receiving & Processing

Requesting issues from the DEU (Duplicates Exchange Union)


Serials Department Guideline: Set DEU e-mails in Outlook to be deleted after 30 days. Only search them when we need something.

What is DEU?    

An autonomous group of libraries that communicate via electronic discussion list to exchange usable library material. Membership is free and open to all libraries.

What does it do?

Connects those who need materials with those who have more than they need.

Who is involved?

All kinds of libraries and librarians, primarily of small college and public libraries. Everyone is welcome

How does it work?

  • DEU members send exchange lists and want lists via email to the DEU discussion list. All DEU members receive this email.
  • When a DEU member finds an item of interest, they send a request email inquiry to the posting library.
  • The originating library then fills and ships the requests in order of receipt.
  • The requesting library then sends the postage amount back to the originating library.

How do I join DEU?    

Subscribe to the DEU discussion list. Subscribe now.


1) Prepare your list.    

Exchange lists and want lists are prepared the same way. All types of library materials (in usable condition) may be listed. For clarity, group materials by type, as follows:


Harper's Magazine
v. 220-241, 1960-1970.(bd)
(bd. indicates bound volumes)


Hylton, Sara. CAPRICE. St. Martin's Press, 1980.
(paper indicates paperbound book)


Y4.Lii/4:Y8/3 Youth Act of 1980

2) Prepare your message.

Create an email to: (you must be a list subscriber to send messages to the list)

In the subject line:

  • indicate whether you're looking or offering
  • if offering, indicate when the offer will expire (six weeks from the posting date is suggested)

Include your address and other contact information

Paste your list into the message.

When you click Send, the message will go to all DEU members.

Once interested parties have connected, the sending library ships the materials and, upon delivery, the receiving library sends postage costs back.

3) Shipping    

All packages should be wrapped securely. Within the U.S., packages should be sent via parcel post, library rate. Libraries are requested not to ship by freight unless permission is secured in advance from the receiving library. Between the U.S. and Canada, packages should be sent book rate only (library rate is not permitted). When shipping to foreign libraries, caution should be exercised, since in some countries the governments do not permit the refunding of postage. The DEU recommends that when shipping exchange materials to foreign libraries that the originating library write first to make shipping and payment arrangements.

4) Refunding Postage    

When the requesting library receives the exchange items requested, it refunds the postage amount of $3 and above to the originating library. To do so, the requesting library clips the shipping label and the postage meter stamp, and returns the proper amount. Note: some DEU member libraries cannot accept refunds in the form of postage stamps; for these, currency should be sent instead.

All incidents of nonrefunding of postage costs should be reported to the ALCTS office.

DEU Etiquette

  • Do not call libraries regarding requests or exchange materials
  • Shipping libraries should closely note the instructions provided by requesting libraries
  • Exchange list materials are expected to be free of charge excluding shipping fees. Libraries requesting materials refund the postage amount of $3 and above to the originating library.

Is ALCTS DEU available in paper format?    

No, ALCTS DEU is only available through the email list.

Your DEU Subscription        

The DEU list is hosted by ALA and is maintained by ALCTS. You must register with the ALA Mailing Lists Service to subscribe.

To Register

Go to URL: and click the "Send me a Password" link. You'll enter your email address and a password. After clicking Submit, you'll be logged in and can subscribe to any available list.

To Subscribe

Login and click View all Lists. All lists that are available for subscription will be displayed. Click on the DEU list ( then click the red Subscribe link on the left-hand side of the page. You'll receive confirmation of the subscription via email.

To Unsubscribe or Manage Subscription

Once you're subscribed, the Unsubscribe and Subscriber Options links will be available. Use Options to manage your subscription, including requesting digest mode. Change your password using the Preferences tab at the top.

You can get a password reminder by clicking the "Lost Password?" link on

If you have any questions or difficulties in logging in or subscribing to the list, please contact the ALCTS publications staff.