Ledyard Finance Committee explores repair needs, library options

Source: Sten Spinella, The Day, July 11, 2018

Ledyard — The town Finance Committee ventured out of its normal meeting space for a site visit examining the capital needs projects at the public works complex before moving to the Council Chambers to hear a presentation from Library Systems & Services. … Ingalls and Saums met fellow Finance Committee member and Town Councilor Tom Malone back at the Council Chambers to hear from Library Systems & Services, a national, for-profit social entrepreneurship company that, among other functions, can be used by municipalities to manage library systems. The company had contacted the town about possibly privatizing the town’s library system.

… Finance Committee members asked about what would happen to town employees if Library Systems & Services stepped in, possible comparisons to similar-sized markets and how, exactly, it would be better than Ledyard’s current system. … Saums said that, despite not saving money for Ledyard, Library Systems & Services implied it would have more programs and services, and that the town should “at least hear what they have to say.” The 25-plus people affiliated with Ledyard’s libraries, or simply interested in the meeting, filled the Council Chambers to standing-room-only capacity. Grumbles and whispers could be heard when the topic of layoffs came up. …Connecticut Library Association President Kate Byroade, who attended the meeting, said this is because Library Systems & Services would put forth less money than the town pays. She also said LSS wasn’t offering anything different than what Ledyard already has in place. … The Ledyard Finance Committee also will be discussing this topic further at next week’s meeting.