Friday, 4 March 2011


Library Services and Systems (LSSI) are an US based library outsourcing company. The company was formed by Frank and Judy Pezzanite in 1981 and is now majority owned by Islington Capital Partners, a Boston based private equity firm.
They claim to be the fifth largest private library company in the US, but even this claim has been disputed. Their operations in the US have come under severe scrutiny and they are now looking to capitalise on the situation in the UK. Their UK office is fronted by two ex-audit commission inspectors, Stuart St. V Fitzgerald and Jim Lynch and they have been very active in selling their services to cash strapped authorities up and down the country.
You may ask yourself "what's the problem"? Well apart from public libraries being a statutory 'public' service in the UK and all that that entails, accountability, professionalism, funding and issues surrounding the ethos etc etc, LSSI make their money by hiring non-unionised staff, not providing pensions, deprofessionalising and basically paring the service down to its bones.
“A lot of libraries are atrocious,” Mr. Pezzanite said. “Their policies are all about job security. That’s why the profession is nervous about us. You can go to a library for 35 years and never have to do anything and then have your retirement. We’re not running our company that way. You come to us, you’re going to have to work.”
"The company claims that service will improve, and yet it also plans to reduce salaries and benefits and eliminate two professionally certified librarians," she said. "It's like LSSI doesn't understand that good librarians are the heart of a successful library system."

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