Category Archives: Library

When LSSI Comes to Town

Source: by Norman Oder, Library Journal, October 1, 2004

……… Outsourcing can save money, but at what cost? LSSI’s performance eludes full evaluation—statistics like hours, circulation, and spending provide only a sketch. But LSSI’s record suggests tensions between a profit-seeking company and a public agency. Savings may go to profits instead of services. Fully outsourced libraries no longer control compensation—and LSSI saves money on staff. Also, the library may be less publicly accountable.

The company makes some librarians uneasy. Barbara Custen, executive director of the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (MCLS), Pasadena, CA, notes that when cities ask her what it would cost to run their own libraries, MCLS provides “an objective number.” LSSI, she points out, may advise a city on how to run its own library, then bid on that same service.

More On LSSI

County atty. to consult Germantown about library privatization

Source: By AETNA SMITH, Jackson Sun (TN), Mar 20, 2006

At this morning’s meeting, Madison County commissioners questioned the spirit of the Jackson-Madison County Library Board’s bid proposal to outsource. The commission did not take any specific action. The Library Board says it wants to provide better services and longer hours while maintaining the budget of the jointly-funded library. Some members of the Friends of the Library have said the only way to do that is to jeopardize the salaries and/or benefits of current staff. Earlier this month, a legal advisor with the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Service issued an opinion that under Tennessee law, library boards don’t have express authority to contract out services. The opinion was sent to answer questions by county attorney Jerome Teel. ….. Younger pointed out that the library boards of Germantown, Collierville, Arlington and Millington had hired a private library vendor and were operating under the same state laws as the local library board.