Save Your Public Library!

Source: Donald Cohen, Huffington Post, July 30, 2015

In 2010, the chief executive of LSSI admitted to The New York Times that the company saves money by cutting overhead and replacing unionized employees. “Cutting overhead” can mean fewer services and reduced hours. Privatized libraries make up for less professional staff by depending on unpaid volunteers and automation. …. Even LSSI’s basic sales pitch that they can operate libraries for less than the public is suspect. When the town of Dartmouth, MA, evaluated a proposal to privatize their libraries, they found there was no evidence that privatization saved communities money. San Juan, TX, remunicipalized their libraries after contracting with LSSI for five years due to frustrations with the company’s refusal to divulge its profit margin. After bringing their libraries back under local control, town leaders were able to extend branch hours, giving residents better flexibility and access. The California town of Calabasas canceled its contract with LSSI and saved $68,000 in their first year back with public library service.