Monday, 28 November 2011

Save the UK's libraries? It's beyond me, admits US guru - Independent - 28/11/11

"An American library firm that entered the UK market to great fanfare earlier this year has had to beat a retreat, admitting that the attempt has been tougher than expected.
A slug of judicial reviews and lack of tenders by local authorities, which are nervous of outsourcing their library services to independent providers, were among the reasons cited."

Well it looks as if LSSI have pulled the plug on their UK aspirations, they have obviously underestimated the level of protest and disinterest here. Their last hopes were pinned on Wokingham, now backtracking, and Croydon/Wandsworth, who don't seem to have any clear plans anymore, in fact they are in a complete pickle! I don't think we should drop our guard completely, they still intend to "continue forging relationships with local authorities" and we still have trusts and volunteers to contend with!
Well done to everyone who campaigned against them, we all deserve a pat on the back.

I'll need to find something new to blog about!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

County Commission moves forward on library outsourcing; vote was 3-2 - Around Osceola - 07/11/11

"Outsourcing the operation of the Osceola Library System to a Maryland-based company moved forward today as the County Commission on a 3-2 vote set Dec. 12 as the date for staff to present a contract for the service.
An actual vote on a contract with LSSI is not expected until at least the Dec. 19 meeting in order to allow time for a contract proposal to be vetted by the community"

Private company says it can run Osceola County libraries - - 31/10/11

"Top officials with the LSSI company faced tough question from Osceola County commissioners Monday afternoon over their bid to take over management of the library system.

During a presentation to commissioners, LSSI said it could save the county $5 million over five years without cutting services.

"We're able to do it because we have efficiencies and we can approach things differently," Frank Pezzanite of LSSI said.

But former Osceola library director Ed Kilroy, who attended the meeting as a library advocate, is skeptical.

"They cannot in my opinion keep the hours the same, keep the staff the same, and then save that kind of money, no," Kilroy said."

Council to review libraries decision - Getwokingham - 25/11/11

"History was made in the Wokingham council chamber last week when the first debate ever to be triggered by a public petition took place, prompting a review of a decision on the future of the borough’s libraries.
Following debate, Wokingham Borough Council approved a recommendation to review its decision to outsource control of the borough’s libraries after a competitive tender process, to take account of public feeling."

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

How do LSSI make a profit?

"In its proposal to run the Stockton-San Joaquin Public Library (a decision that is still pending), LSSI said "professional level hires would typically start around $40,000 increasing to $55,000 or higher depending on education, experience, and level of responsibility."
That is not comparable to current salaries, however.
Under San Joaquin's current system, a Librarian I earns $45,338 to $58,204 a year, while a Librarian II earns $55,362 to $71,082 annually. LSSI's proposal in San Joaquin would also reduce the number of MLS-bearing employees from 19 to 17"

taken from

"I've looked at the details of the proposal, and I'm scratching my head as to how LSSI is going to pull this off," Colleen Foster, former director of the SSJCPL, commented to LJ.
"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."
"While LSSI asserted that it "pays competitive wages," in a response to questions posed by the county government, there are significant differences, particularly for professional librarians:
Page salaries in the system would stay constant, new clerical hires would make "approximately $10 per hour to more than $15 per hour" and "professional level hires would typically start around $40,000 increasing to $55,000 or higher depending on education, experience and level of responsibility," according to Pezzanite.
In the current system pay scale, shelvers make minimum wage, Library Aides earn $14.44 to $20.47 an hour ($30,000 to $43,000 a year) and Circulation Assistants earn $14.82 to $20.96 an hour ($31,000 to $44,000 a year). While the LSSI proposal includes no positions for Library Assistants, SSJCPL pays a Library Assistant I $35,670 to $45,793 a year, and a Library Assistant II $41,316 to $53,038 a year. A Librarian I earns $45,338 to $58,204 a year, while a Librarian II earns $55,362 to $71,082 a year."
"While every community situation is unique, over the years we have seen that our benefits program is generally comparable to a city's or county's benefit plan. One exception may be the pension program. LSSI offers a 401 (k) plan and matches a portion of our employees' contributions."

taken from

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Libraries future to be debated - Getwokingham - 17/11/11

If Councillor UllaKarin Clark and her co-horts had conducted a proper consultation process and had facilitated an open and honest debate there wouldn't have been any need for campaigners/users to petition them, but this seems to be the pattern up and down the country, councils flouting guidleines and ignoring the public!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

CALIX responses to Library Privatization and LSSI - Pacific Library Partnership

Fascinating discussion on LSSI taken from the Pacific Library Partnership website, you will notice that nearly all the pro-LSSI respondents are library Senior Managers (Directors, co-ordinators, administrators etc), funny that!

Will Your Town’s Library Soon Be Privatized? - Blog For Iowa 12/11/11

"So over the past 30 years beginning with Ronald Reagan, we have watched our government be dismantled as pieces are sold off or leased to the highest bidder. We also see government services be passed out to private businesses never realizing that if the private company does not perform up to expectations or keep prices in line they will probably not be able to bring the service back in house."

Petition forces debate on library sell off - Getwokingham 14/11/11
Well it looks as if Councillor UllaKarin Clark and her buddies on Wokingham Council have underestimated the public protest against their proposals to privatise/outsource the library service, she also seems to be back tracking just a little, I wonder why?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Keep our libraries out of corporate hands by David Atkins - Ventura County Star 05/11/11

"Today, sadly, many American cities are abandoning the proud tradition begun by Franklin and Jefferson in a paroxysm of radical pro-privatization ideology. They are placing public libraries in corporate hands, despite strong community backlashes against doing so"

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Privatizing public libraries a bad idea - Editorial; Oregon, USA | The Gresham Outlook : 2nd November

"In relationship to county libraries, we fear that privatization would only serve to heap new expenses on the very people least able to afford them.
One of the most attractive components of public libraries is the notion that everyone, from any social and economic strata, has equal and unrestricted access to books, periodicals, movies and online resources."
Thank goodness a voice in the wilderness!