Category Archives: Library

Seminole County leaders decide against privatizing public libraries

Source: Spectrum News, July 25, 2018

Seminole County public libraries will not become privatized after commissioners have reportedly decided to keep the library system under county government jurisdiction. … In May, county officials said they wanted to explore privatization to see if it would cut costs due to potential funding shortfall. Ultimately, the plan drew criticism from county residents. According to officials, people reached out to the county to express concern about what they feared would be an outsourcing of the county’s library services. …

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Seminole considers privatizing libraries, but residents don’t like idea
Source: Martin E. Comas, Orlando Sentinel, May 18, 2018

… But now Thompson and scores of other Seminole residents are troubled by a proposal by Seminole County leaders to privatize the library system to a for-profit company that would manage the operations of the system’s five branches. … Seminole officials say no decision has been made about privatizing the library system, and the county is only exploring ways to cut costs in case Florida voters approve a ballot measure in the November election that will grant homeowners an additional property tax break. …

Seminole won’t turn libraries over to private contractor

Source: Rachael Jackson , Sentinel
(FL), 9:50 PM EDT, July 28,
2009

 

Cash-strapped
Seminole County
is no longer
considering turning its libraries over to a private contractor, County Manager
Cindy Coto said Tuesday.  A proposal to privatize libraries never made it to the
county commission, but activists clutching tiny American flags attended
Tuesday’s commission meeting anyway, urging that county leaders never consider
such a proposal again and that they sufficiently fund the library
system.

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.

Library groups call for inquiry after Carillion collapse

Source: Natasha Onwuemezi, The Bookseller, January 17, 2018

Libraries body CILIP has called for a public inquiry to investigate whether the government knowingly issued contracts for the delivery of public services to a failing company following the collapse of Carillion. The government services provider has gone into liquidation after losing money on big contracts and running up huge debts of around £1.5bn, putting thousands of jobs at risk across multiple sectors. Carillion has run several public library services since 2013, including Hounslow, Ealing, Croydon and Harrow. Hounslow terminated its contract with Carillion last August and on Tuesday (15th January), Croydon Council stepped in to “secure the long-term future” of all its libraries and “guarantee the jobs of library staff” by taking the running of its library service back in house. However, the councils of Ealing and Harrow have told The Bookseller they have not as yet terminated their contracts with Carillion. …

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Croydon libraries to be run by the council again to ‘protect jobs’ after Carillion collapse
Source: Andy Datson, Croyden Advertiser, January 15, 2018

Croydon Council has announced it “intends” to terminate its contract with troubled contractor Carillion and that it will take back control of running libraries across the borough, “protecting” jobs in the process. Construction giant Carillion announced on Monday (January 15) that it is to go into liquidation, putting thousands of jobs at risk across multiple sectors…..

Now Carillion remove home library service from the disabled
Source: Inside Cryodon, November 20, 2017

Carillion, the building company which runs Croydon’s public libraries, has been accused of “blatant discrimination” against the disabled over plans to withdraw the home library service from January 1, something described as a “disgraceful and stupid decision”…..

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Council unanimously votes to take back library operations

Source: Andrew Clark, The Signal, January 9, 2018

Santa Clarita decided to take back full control of its library system Tuesday evening. The Santa Clarita City Council voted unanimously to end a contract with Library Systems and Services, LLC, and independently operate and staff the Santa Clarita Public Library system. … he move looks to save the city about $400,000 in what would be the city’s first fiscal year of operations. The decision comes nearly seven years after the city pulled the libraries out of the county system and contracted with Library Systems and Services to operate and staff libraries in Newhall, Valencia and Canyon Country. City documents noted the city initially had success with LSSI as library hours were expanded and the annual budget for books and materials was increased, but the company’s performance has declined in recent years. …

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Privatization–and Pushback–Proceed in Santa Clarita
Source: Beverly Goldberg, American Libraries, July 27, 2011

…. Mayor McLean’s sentiments about public accountability are echoed in a new toolkit from ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy. However, “Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Communities Considering Privatization of Public Libraries” makes no bones about ALA’s opposition to library privatization. …. That distinction has also captured the interest of the California legislature, where a bill is being considered that would regulate under what circumstances the management of a library that is withdrawing from a free county library system could be privatized.

The Privatization Agenda Goes Bust

Source: Tom O’Leary, Jacobin, January 18, 2018

The collapse of Carillion, the mammoth UK government contractor that went bankrupt Monday, was wholly made in Britain, although it has negative consequences internationally. The reason for Carillion’s bankruptcy, which puts vital public services and thousands of jobs at risk, is that the firm and its component companies grew fat during the first phase of neoliberal economic policy and could not cope with the more recent phase, austerity. The immediate cause of the collapse is a failed acquisition spree since the crisis began. Yet the underlying cause is the disastrous relationship successive governments have had with the private sector. Whether the Thatcher, Major, and Blair governments believed the nonsense they spouted about the superior efficiency of the private sector is immaterial. Only the willfully ignorant could ignore the litany of failed privatizations and the extortion of PFI “public-private initiative” contracts that followed their policies. The real purpose of Thatcherite economic policy, which has become widely known as neoliberalism, was precisely to hand state resources and revenues to the private sector. …

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Carillion directors to be investigated
Source: BBC, January 16, 2018

The government has ordered a fast-track investigation into directors at the failed construction firm Carillion. The UK’s second biggest construction firm went into liquidation on Monday, after running up losses on contracts and struggling with heavy debts. The business secretary has asked for an investigation by the Official Receiver to be broadened and fast-tracked. The conduct of directors in charge at the time of the company’s failure and previous directors will be examined. Carillion’s business is now in the hands of the official receiver, which is reviewing all of Carillion’s contracts. The company employed 43,000 people worldwide, 20,000 in the UK, and had 450 contracts with the UK government. …

Carillion’s Government contracts could have been stopped by a single law. Why wasn’t it used?
Source: Hazel Sheffield, Independent, January 16, 2018

Carillion is part of what is known as ‘the shadow state’: a group of large companies secretively awarded government contracts to run Britain’s public services. There are others. …

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Group pushes for answers over potential sale of library building

Source: WLWT, December 12, 2017

Potential plans to close the Cincinnati Library’s north building has sparked some concerns, and a local group is demanding answers. The “Our Library, Our Decision!” coalition is on a mission to stop the library from the sale. More than 20 people with the group attended the library board’s monthly meeting Tuesday, expressing their concerns. “We called out the board and administration as, at this point, being basically incompetent and untrustworthy,” said member Charles Campbell. … Including Campbell, 3,000 people signed a petition opposing the potential sale, which the coalition hand-delivered to the board. …

Fight for Escondido library heads to court

Source: Steve Puterski, The Coast News Group, December 1, 2017

Dozens of supporters rallied at the city’s public library and marched to City Hall on Nov. 28 to protest the decision by the City Council to privatize the facility. San Diego-based consumer attorney Alan Geraci served the city papers and filed a lawsuit in the Vista Superior Court challenging the council’s Oct. 18 decision enter a 10-year agreement for Maryland-based Library Systems & Services to operate the library. LS&S operates 20 library systems in 80 states, according to its website, and will take over operations on Dec. 18. …

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Escondido privatizes public library
Source: Sharon Chen, FOX5, August 24, 2017

The Escondido City Council voted Wednesday night to privatize the city library, ignoring pleas from hundreds of residents who turned out to oppose the move.
The City Council chamber was packed for the meeting, with the vast majority of attendees clearly concerned about the plan to turn the city’s library over to Library Systems and Services, a Maryland-based management company. … The management company has said that current library employees will be offered jobs. … In the end, council members were swayed by the city manager’s economic arguments and voted to approve the management contract, becoming the first community in San Diego County to privatize their public library.

Opposition to Escondido library outsourcing grows
Source: J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union Tribune, August 9, 2017

Narly 200 angry residents were thrilled Tuesday afternoon when the Escondido Library Board of Trustees unanimously decided to recommend that the City Council not outsource the city’s library services to a private company. … Probably late this month during a meeting scheduled for Aug. 23, the council will decide whether to contract with Library Systems & Services (LS&S), a Maryland-based company that operates more than 80 public libraries around the United States. During the meeting, City Manger Jeff Epp sat quietly in the back of the library’s Turrentine room, which was packed with passionate opponents of the plan. Afterward, he said it has not yet been decided whether the city’s staff will suggest the council move forward with the outsourcing plan. … LS&S, the only private company in the country that offers such services, would replace roughly three dozen city library employees, although some of the longest-serving workers would be eligible for other city jobs. The rest would be given the option of working for the company, but without the many benefits that come with working for the city such as an attractive pension plan. …

Letter: Privatizing library would be a mistake

Source: Patricia A. Martinelli, The Daily Journal, October 31, 2017

In recent years, privatization of government services has seeped into just about every aspect of daily life. Most recently, I was saddened to learn that Vineland Public Library is in danger of becoming privatized by an out-of-state company called Library Systems & Services, which claimed that it would be able to save the city of Vineland about $350,000 a year in operating costs. However, during the September meeting of the library’s board of trustees, the representatives of LS&S were unable to clearly state exactly how they would produce those savings. Unfortunately, despite the fact that several hundred local residents turned out for that meeting to protest the company’s proposal, it seems that the plan is still under consideration by city officials. … I urge everyone who cares at all about the future of Vineland’s treasured library to attend the Nov. 16 meeting of the library board of trustees to express your concerns. …

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Vineland library takeover faces strong opposition
Source: Anthony V. Coppola, The Daily Journal, September 29, 2017

Supporters of the Vineland Public Library left no doubt at Thursday night’s board meeting how they feel about a potential outsourcing of the facility’s operations. Hundreds of people packed the community event room at the East Landis Avenue library to hear a presentation from Library Systems & Services — a Maryland-based management company that says it can save the Vineland library $350,000 a year in its budget. … The library board welcomed LS&S to its board meeting at the request of Vineland City Council. … Frager’s pitch seemed to fall on deaf ears, as one by one, audience members took the microphone largely in strong opposition of LS&S involvement. The board, while receptive to LS&S, also hinted at cynicism over the company’s claims. Board President Victor Druziako was left still wanting specifics on how LS&S would arrive at the $350,000 savings. …

AALL 2017 attendees weigh in on library outsourcing

Source: Deborah Schwarz, LibSource, August 24, 2017

Last month at AALL’s Annual Conference in Austin, TX, HBR Consulting Managing Director Donna Terjesen and I participated in a panel discussion, Outsourcing Library Services, moderated by Cornell Winston, Law Librarian and Records Center Supervisor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We were expected to discuss our perspectives on outsourcing library services and were prepared to answer some tough questions from an audience of law librarians. My fellow panelists and I are grateful to AALL for providing a session to have a candid discussion about a topic that has often been the cause of much anxiety. I would like to share some of the thoughts expressed in our library outsourcing session, and also include opinions/comments that are often we hear. …

Listen to recording.

Niles Township High School Union Contract Ushers In New Era

Source: Tom Robb, Journal & Topics Online, August 23, 2017

The Niles Township High School Dist. 219 Board of Education on Aug. 15 approved a new contract for the Niles Township Federation of Teachers and Support Staff, who earlier the same day voted to accept the July 1, 2017-effective agreement. … Under the new agreement, 37 staff support positions currently performed by outsourced contract workers will become direct district employee positions. The contract also covers 369.5 full-time teachers and 205 support staff.
Maintenance, clerical and librarian jobs that were contracted would become district union employee positions. Cafeteria, janitorial, security and transportation workers would remain contracted. District and union officials said district employees would have preference in hiring to fill those positions.

… The shift from contracted workers to direct district employees is significant. According to union President Ann Goethals, former Supt. Nanciann Gatta was on record as wanting to have only teachers and paraprofessionals working as classroom teacher aids to be in union bargaining units. Before her departure in 2015, Gatta told the Journal she was trying to outsource non-core educational positions in the district. Supt. Steven Isoye said the having the majority of workers in the school as direct employees generates better productivity. Union members complained bitterly at a school board meeting last year about contracting and outsourcing positions. …