Category Archives: Library

City of Stockton and San Joaquin County Agree to Keep Libraries Public; Reject Privatizing Library System

Source: American Banking & Market News, February 9th, 2011

Feb. 9, 2011 (Business Wire) — Campaigners to Keep Libraries Public in San Joaquin County announced today that the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors and the Stockton City Council have agreed to keep the regional library system public.

In so doing, and countering a nationwide trend, officials signed an agreement killing a proposal that would have turned library operations over to a for-profit company, the subject of much county-wide controversy since earlier last summer.

Library Systems and Services, LLC (LSSI), a private company based in Maryland that operates several public libraries around the country, was the only company to respond to the County’s RFP to privatize library operations.

Anger as a Private Company Takes Over Libraries

Source: By DAVID STREITFELD, New York Times, September 26, 2010

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.

Now the company, Library Systems & Services, has been hired for the first time to run a system in a relatively healthy city, setting off an intense and often acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy.

PLA 2010 Conference: The LSSI Infomercial

Source: Brian Kenney — Library Journal, 4/2/2010

It can be a hugely controversial local issue when officials consider contracting with Library Systems & Services, LLC (LSSI), the only company that offers turnkey private library management, but a March 27 program, billed as “Outsourcing Public Library Services: Pros and Cons,” was mainly a humdrum sales pitch from LSSI, with fewer than 40 people in attendance.

LSSI put its best foot forward, highlighting a locally successful effort in Jackson County, OR. However, there was no one on the panel to offer any rebuttal, which left several people in the audience baffled and dissatisfied.

Library panel says no outsourcing

Source: By Dave Moller, The Union (CA), Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One of three committees working on ways to save Nevada County’s financially-strapped libraries will recommend the county bail itself out and not rely on an outside firm.

The library systems Citizens Oversight Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend a plan from the Truckee Friends of the Library that keeps all the libraries open.

….. Committee members also rejected a proposal from private firm Library Systems & Services, saying it did not have enough details about how services would be kept as close to whole as possible.

Panel shoots down idea of privatizing Sarasota libraries

Source: Doug
Sword, Herald Tribune
(FL), Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 2:52 p.m.


The panel investigating whether
Sarasota County Libraries should be privatized recommended today not to pursue
the idea. Whether or not to accept that recommendation will be up to county
commissioners, who are expected to discuss privatization of libraries next week
as they meet to try to fill an estimated $40 million shortfall in next year’s

Privatizing Libraries Idea Put On Hold

Source:By MICHAEL D. BATES, Hernando Today (FL), April 4, 2009


BROOKSVILLE – Talks of privatizing the county’s library system are on hold, even as the county mulls a sales proposal from a Maryland-based outsourcing firm.  ealth and Human Services Director Jean Rags, one of three county officials who met with a representative from Library Systems and Services, LLC (LSSI), said the sales material is “a little misleading.”  The company claims it can save Hernando County $500,000 annually if it takes over the county’s six library branches.  Problem is, the company is a bit vague about how it would accomplish that, Rags said.

…… In a memo, Library Services Director Barbara Shiflett detailed several concerns she has with privatizing, including the public’s perception of local taxpayers’ dollars going to a private company’s profits, additional fees imposed on patrons and less accountability to the public and government.

Library Professional Speaks Out on Possible Library Privatization

Source: Matt Sylvain, Southcoast Today/Chronicle, January 28, 2009

…In his research, Dr. Ward discovered that in the LSSI-run Riverside, California library system, the library’s budget rose 18% from FY 1997-98 to FY 2001-02. Meanwhile services such as circulation decreased significantly, and the unit cost for service delivery increased by 58%. Paying more and getting less is neither more efficient for the municipality, nor is it more satisfying for citizens.

There are additional reasons to question and doubt LSSI’s ability to increase efficiencies and satisfy residents. The Fargo, North Dakota library system, for instance, terminated its contract with LSSI for allegedly being delinquent in paying bills. If this isn’t bad enough, as a private firm, LSSI does not have to be transparent. It does not disclose its budget and the residents it serves do not know how their money is used. One thing the residents do know, however, is that under LSSI, some of their municipal tax dollars will go to LSSI executives in Germantown, Maryland….
See also:
Privatization Study Group, Report to Select Board, April 28, 2012

Aiming To Move Materials Faster, Brooklyn Public Library Chooses UPS

Source: Norman Oder, Library Journal (NY), 10/24/2008

While numerous library consortia use commercial couriers like UPS for interlibrary loan, the Brooklyn Public Library may be the first library in the country to use UPS, rather than a local or internal courier system, to move materials around its branches.

BPL’s internal delivery system, which used six trucks and dedicated staff, frequently got backed up, Natalie Caruso, Library Circulation Leader, told LJ. Turnaround time was at best three days, given that materials all went back to the Central Library; it frequently reached seven days, if materials were not picked up in the morning and/or were mishandled in the tight workspace, and could take up to two weeks.

Albion school jobs defended

Source: Larry O’Connor, Enquirer (MI), October 16, 2008

Three Albion Public Schools [AFSCME Local 2826] library secretaries gained a reprieve after parents and teachers alike made an emotional plea to halt an attempt to privatize their jobs at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Albion Board of Education members responded by tabling the recommendation, which would have saved at least $22,000 this year and possibly $60,000 in 2009. The move was being considered in light of the district’s $700,000 budget deficit — a shortfall that likely will be exacerbated as September’s district student count revealed a loss of five to 10 more students than projected. Under the proposal, Kelly Educational Services would have overseen library staffing. The three library secretaries affected would have been able to re-apply for their jobs.

Library may not fill spots

Source: By NICHOLAS BEADLE, Jackson Sun (TN), September 9, 2008

…….. The Library Board will meet next week and discuss a plan to eliminate a $110,000 funding gap that could likely include layoffs of some of the library’s about 20 full-time equivalent employees.

……. Richard Salmons, the library’s director, said it’s possible that not all of the openings will be filled.

……… Despite the shortfall, Library Systems and Services, the private company that manages the Jackson facilities, wants to hire a professional librarian into one of the open positions, said Steve Coffman, a company vice president for public library operations. McIntyre and Rucker said they do not have graduate degrees in library sciences.