Thursday, 26 January 2012

Ealing Council in talks to out-source libraries - Ealing Gazette - 26/1/12

"EALING Council is in talks with Brent and Harrow to establish a shared, privately-managed leisure service to save the libraries."

"The authorities met with seven potential providers last November to discuss taking over just libraries or sports facilities, or both. A formal decision is expected later this year."

In fact Ealing conducted a 'soft market testing' excercise last April with parties interested in the libraries and one of them was LSSI (as far as we know?)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A library glossary!

Library cluster manager - a librarian who manages more than one library
Knowledge Manager - senior reference librarian
Library Local - a small branch library in Waltham Forest
Library Plus - a larger branch library in Waltham Forest
Hive - a PFI library in Worcester
The Lounge - a 'state of the art' library in Lewisham
Idea Store - a library in Tower Hamlets
Discovery Centre - a library in Hampshire
The Technology Learning Centre - the name chosen for the Hackney Central Library when it first opened which was then very quickly changed back to Hackney Central Library due to the fact that the public kept walking past unaware that it was a library!
Learning and Information Assistant - library assistant
Customer Services Manager - a very senior library manager
Community Library - a 'library' run by volunteers
Floor walking - library staff walking about annoying users because their time has been 'freed up' due to the introduction of self-service machines.
Improve the user experience - what senior management claim self-service is going to do!
Customer - a library user
"finding an expert partner to help us safeguard our libraries for the future" - what you say if you are a Wokingham Councillor, or any other, and you plan to privatise or outsource your library service.
Co-location - closing library buildings and moving library staff into other council buildings so that they can floor walk and issue death certificates!
21st Century Library - a shiny glass cube costing millions containing a cafe, a few beach reads and self-service machines located in a town centre.
"Libraries are more than about books" - something that New Labour types and ex-MLA officials say to wind up, some, library campaigners/users!
can easily be substituted with "it's about reading not books"
'Innovation Incubators' - libraries as entrepreneurial advice centres for local whizz kids
'Catalyst Libraries' - libraries as entrepreneurial advice centres for more local whizz kids
'Innovation catalyst librarian' - A librarian that offers advice to local entrepreneurial whizz kids
Hubs - Libraries based in community centres or forced to be 'one stop shops' due to council cuts or a mixture of the two
Pods - that which replaces counters and desks due to the introduction of self serve and floor walking


Union Sues to Block Library Outsourcing RFP - ALA Magazine - 18/1/12

"The union’s issue is with the timing of the vote, which was taken two weeks before a California law went into effect that mandates transparency when cities contemplate leaving a county library system in order to contract out library services in documenting anticipated cost savings. “We have an opportunity to take action in advance of that law going into effect,” Council member Glen Becerra said at the time of the vote."

I posted on several US sites warning them that Simi Valley and LSSI where trying to push this through before AB438 came into effect, their actions are totally undemocratic and dishonest!

see also;

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Proposals to outsource Ealing's Leisure and Library Services

Just had a look at the proposals for outsourcing Ealing's Leisure and Library services, for libraries the usual names appear LSSI, Laing, GLL etc The paper goes to council on 24/1/12 - item 12
What i didn't know was is that this process started in Apr11 with a 'soft-market testing' excercise, was this public knowledge?

Monday, 16 January 2012

LSSI CEO Brad King Responds to Governor Brown Signing Assembly Bill 438
A formal statement from LSSI in response to Governor Brown signing in the AB438 Bill. They accuse it of "masquerading as open government and transparency" which is a bit rich from a firm that hired lobbyists to try and shoot the bill down, luckily they missed!

Council defies public and goes ahead with library closures - Inside Croydon - 31/12/11

"First revealed by Inside Croydon in June, that privatisation “hidden agenda” was finally unveiled by the council in September, with the formal announcement of the tendering process undertaken with Tory-controlled Wandsworth. LSSI, an American firm known for trimming down services and staff levels to maximise its profits, was suggested as the preferred bidder.
But reports this week suggest that having taken a preliminary look at Croydon’s libraries, LSSI has pulled out."

Croydon is selling off library books ready for privatisation - Inside Croydon - 14/01/12

"Reducing the book stock might be the action of a local authority in the midst of an exercise designed to make its libraries as economically attractive to a potential “partner”, in a costly privatisation exercise which the people of Croydon have never been consulted over."

Saturday, 7 January 2012

LSSI Gets Its First Contract in Florida - Library Journal 30/12/11

"The Osceola County Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 on December 12 to allow LSSI to take over management of the six-branch Osceola Library System. The deal begins Tuesday, and it is LSSI's first contract in Florida.
The Florida Library Association (FLA) opposed the Osceola deal, stating numerous reasons in a September 14 letter from Gloria Colvin, the FLA president. The letter, which echoes the long-standing position of the American Library Association, concluded:
"The Florida Library Association believes it is not in the best interest of the residents of Florida for publicly supported libraries to be managed by for-profit organizations. Therefore the Association opposes any efforts to provide library service by contracting with such organizations."
The county's former library director, Ed Kilroy, also opposed the deal.
"I think what we're going to find as they get further into the contract, I think there are going to be some unintended consequences that they are not aware of, nor have they truly vetted it," Kilroy told"

Wandsworth opens the competition to save London's libraries - Guardian 5/1/12

Outsourcing/privatisation spin from the Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Council with some pertinent comments from Shirley Burnham.