Category Archives: Library

Library board taps Bartholomew for contract with county

Source: Damian Mann, Mail Tribune, July 14, 2014

A newly formed library board has selected Medford lawyer Mark Bartholomew to represent it and help negotiate a more-than-$8 million contract with Jackson County. The board will pay Bartholomew $200 an hour and decided to turn down an offer by retired lawyer Bill Mansfield to work free of charge…. The contract with the county is a complicated legal document in which the county assumes administrative functions of the library district and contracts with LSSI for the management of the libraries. The current cost to operate the libraries for a year is $6.5 million, but the contract is for a more than 16-month period, rather than a year, because property taxes won’t be collected until November….. The library district was formed July 1 with the passage of Ballot Measure 15-122, designed to provide a permanent source of funding for all 15 library branches after county budget woes threatened to close them. Passed May 20, the measure allows the district to tax Jackson County property owners up to 60 cents per $1,000 in assessed value each year….
LSSI begins labor talks / NLRB complaint means workers rehired by library firm will still be unionized
Source: By Damian Mann, Mail Tribune (OR), February 13, 2008

A private firm that operates Jackson County’s 15 libraries is being forced to recognize that a majority of its employees are members of a union to resolve a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board. “It means library employees will have their union back and more of a voice at their work,” said Pauline Black, a library assistant in Ashland. Service Employees International Union Local 503 filed an unfair labor practice complaint again Library Systems and Services LLC on Dec. 18, 2007, with the National Labor Relations Board, which was scheduled to rule on the matter later this week….. Frank Pezzanite, president and chief executive officer of LSSI, said he wants to work with the union but his company did not envision it would enter into bargaining talks when it signed a contract with Jackson County to operate libraries.

Workers Get A Voice! BIG win for S. Oregon!!
Rogue Valley Independent Media, February 2008

Public libraries find outside management
Source: Annie Gentile, American City and County, Jan 1, 2008

……. In April, Jackson County, Ore., closed all 15 of its public libraries after the county lost $23 million from timber receipts after Congress failed to renew the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. County officials twice attempted to increase taxes for additional library funding, but both efforts were voted down, says County Administrator Danny Jordan. With no options left, the county closed the libraries, laying off 81 employees. … In October, the county contracted with Germantown, Md.-based Library Systems and Services (LSSI) to operate all 15 branches for five years for $27 million less than the county would have to spend to operate them in-house….

Cedar Falls lays off 12 employees, privatizes custodial work

Source: Mike Anderson, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, April 16, 2014

A dozen part-time custodians with the city’s Public Works department came into work Tuesday morning only to be abruptly sent home without jobs. The part-time custodians are being replaced by workers from ABM Janitorial of Waterloo, a private custodial services company. The City Council passed the contract with ABM without discussion in a unanimous vote on Monday night…The privatization of the custodial services is expected to save the city $70,000 in annual wages and supply costs. The current cost of part-time custodial employees is about $280,113. The ABM contract will bring the costs down to about $213,387. A part-time custodian’s wage is between $10.54 and $12.96 an hour. The 12 employees could not be contacted for comment on Tuesday. The ABM employees will take over their duties at the Library, City Hall, the Public Works building and the Rec Center on May 1….

Council cancels contract / Hartselle finds company not paying workers

Source: Briana Harris, Decatur Daily, November 27, 2013

Hartselle is canceling its contract with a Huntsville-based janitorial company after discovering that workers hadn’t been paid in two months. At Tuesday’s council meeting, Hartselle City Clerk Rita Lee said she received a call from a janitorial worker asking if the city had heard from the company, AJS Industries, because they were not receiving paychecks. The employees told Lee that phone calls went unanswered. The city has had a contract with the company, hired for janitorial services at City Hall and the William Bradford Huie Library of Hartselle, for several years, Lee said. Lee said she was able to make contact with the company once, but has not been told why employees weren’t being paid. City attorney Larry Madison recommended that the city hire the janitors that have been doing the work on an individual basis until bids for the contract can be sent out. Bids will go out Monday, Lee said. …

Library Vendor Negotiation Research Report

Source: Matt Dunie, presentation at the Charleston Conference, 2013

Survey Project Overview:
Libraries buy products & services from thousands of vendors. Vendors are organized and focused on product sales & financial objectives. Library Budgets are severely constrained. More efficiency in the buying process may result in greater latitude within current budgets. Survey invitation email sent to Data-Planet email subscriber list 4000+ individuals. The Survey was blind questionnaire – no tracking mechanism was used to identify respondents. The data was used to formulate a presentation at the Charleston Conference presented 11-8-2013. The open rate on the survey was >25% (~1020) with 238 completed responses. …

Presentation Transcript

Kanawha County Library says privatization unlikely

Source: Shay Maunz, Daily Mail, November 17, 2013

As the Kanawha County public library system prepares to cut 40 percent of its budget in the coming months, there have been public rumblings about the library’s efficiency. Could the library system privatize, in a move toward greater cost efficiency? Alan Engelbert, the library system’s director, says no. … Generally, the idea of privatization has been met with reluctance, if not disgust, among the public library community. In 2001, the American Library Association adopted a policy statement rejecting privatization, saying that libraries “should remain directly accountable to the publics they serve,” and therefore opposing “the shifting of policy making and management oversight of library services from the public to the private for-profit sector.” … Opponents worry that private companies run the risk of muddying the mission of the library, because they answer not only to the people, but also profit margins….

Queens Library set to hire 50 new employees and replace private cleaning crew with staff

The embattled Queens Library is hiring 50 more staffers and ending its use of private cleaning crews, its temporary new leader announced last week.

…. Union workers were furious when the library replaced longtime custodians with contract maintenance workers in 2013.

Library custodians upset over outsourcing of jobs
Source: Rich Bockmann, Times Ledger, September 2, 2013

Custodial workers are accusing the Queens Library of playing dirty when it comes to outsourcing union jobs to low-paid contract workers. Custodians with DC37 Local 1321, who are working without a contract, said they have lost more than 50 members from their ranks since the library instituted a hiring freeze in 2008. Meanwhile, the institution has been paying hourly workers to fill in the gaps in service…. The union said that since 2011 the library has given more than $300,000 in raises to its non-union staff, including a $20,000 raise to President and CEO Tom Galante….In July, the library increased the number of branches being cleaned by contractors from seven to eight….
Unionized Queens Library custodians are being replaced with lower paid workers
Source: Lisa Colangelo, New York Daily News, August 22, 2013

Custodians at the Queens Library’s main branch say their jobs are being swept out the door. The financially strapped library has spent the past five years replacing unionized custodians with lower-paid contract workers at the Central Library in Jamaica. Union leaders say that cash has been allocated to hire non-union administrators and give them raises, to boot, and they say that’s not right…. Hyslop said the replacement of custodians is part of a “troubling” trend of prioritizing administrative jobs at the expense of rank-and-file workers…. Union custodians earn about $23 per hour, Hyslop said. The contractors are paid roughly $15 an hour, and Hyslop said it’s unclear how much of that actually goes to the worker…..

Army Posts Look to Local Governments for Savings

Source: Amy Bushatz,, October 23, 2013

Army installation command officials think they may be on the cusp of finding millions of dollars in savings through a new initiative that allows garrisons to partner with local governments to provide support services for soldiers and families. … The public-public partnership push, which was made law in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, allows local Army leaders to seek out agreements with state and local governments to provide services like Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) support or public utilities. Garrison commanders must then submit a proposal to the Army’s Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (OACSIM) for approval. If a cost benefits analysis shows that the partnership will save the Army money, officials said they will give it a green light. … Prior to the 2013 legislation, three garrisons had been given permission through individual legislation to form partnerships with local governments. For example, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., in 2006 found $2.2 million in savings by allowing the local city government to take over its library system. And the Presidio in Monterey, Calif., uses utilities provided by the City of Monterey at a savings of $1.5 million a year. …

How Technology Can Aid Library Consolidation

Source: EfficientGov, September 17, 2013

What Happened?
The Southeastern New York Library Resources Council is considering the merging of its services with other regional libraries to evolve and meet changing public demands more effectively.

The Goal
According to the Center for Governmental Research, The Southeastern New York Library Resources Council has recently reduced funding by 20 percent and cut staff numbers, making it difficult to service the public easily while also adopting new technology and methodologies changing the library climate. As a result, a shared services strategy with other libraries in the region has emerged as a leading solution to budgetary restrictions and growing public demands.

Opting For Teamwork
By working together, the Council hopes each library can offer unique ideas for leveraging technology to make effective use of available resources. Shared services already implemented through regional partnerships include:

Interlibary loans
Digital technology
Automation resources
Best practices collaboration

The shared services strategy aims to increase access to services for local residents as well as enhance literacy programs at each location through modern technology and education resources, without eliminating each organization’s autonomy and taking into account variations in funding options based on geographic location….

City officially re-hires San Juan library director

Source: Elizabeth Findell, Monitor, October 11, 2013

San Juan’s longtime library director is back, along with a new full-time children’s librarian, after the city took over library operations for the new fiscal year. The city formally hired Director Armandina Sesin on Tuesday, a week after ending a management contract with private Maryland-based company Library Systems & Services Inc. and bringing the operations in-house. Sesin previously ran the library for six years as an employee of LSSI. …

Handling library budget process, San Juan officials in new territory
Source: Elizabeth Findell, Monitor, August 19, 2013

This year’s budget season is presenting something new for San Juan, as the city moves to transition its library operations from Maryland-based managers Library Systems & Services, or LSSI, to its own domain…. Library Director Armandina Sesin proposed a budget that would be $409,000. That includes $290,000 in salaries, set at the city’s normal rates, $59,000 in utilities, $7,750 in office supplies and $40,000 for new books…. Rodriguez said he intended to make two part-time positions full-time this year – including the children’s librarian – effectively adding a seventh employee. By restructuring staff, he hopes to be able to add a few hours on Sunday….

San Juan fires library managers
Source: Elizabeth Findell, Monitor, August 30, 2012

Maryland-based LSSI has run San Juan’s library since 2007, … The company proposed continuing to operate the library for the current $281,686 annual tab, plus a 3 percent employee cost-of-living increase. Expanded services the city had requested, including additional teen programming, Sunday hours, more books and a seventh employee, would cumulatively add $120,000…. Commissioners declared that cost for the added services unacceptable and nixed the company, overruling Mayor San Juanita Sanchez and opting to see if the city could add hours and staff for less money….

Central-library charter school opens

Source: Maureen Magee, San Diego Union-Tribune, September 3, 2013

…Welcome to E3 Civic High.
The city’s newest and unlikeliest high school opened Tuesday — along with those in the San Diego Unified School District — inside the central library….Billed as the only school in the nation housed in a library, e3 Civic High promises an innovative education that draws heavily on the resources of downtown. Students will serve professional internships, conduct job shadowing and have the chance to graduate with both a diploma and a community college degree….

…The school occupies the sixth and seventh floors of the library and will have access to its resources and staff….

…The $30 million charter school was funded with proceeds from San Diego Unified’s $2.1 billion Proposition S bond measure, passed in 2008. The project rescued the city’s central-library project, which was languishing due to a lack of private donations….