Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wokingham private library firms shortlisted - BBC - 28/2/12


"A shortlist of four companies has been drawn up which could potentially run 11 libraries across Wokingham.
The Conservative-led council currently pays out about £2.1m a year to run its library service but said it believed it could pay firms less to take them on.
However, a report to councillors said there could be an "increase in staff turnover" and "loss of influence" over the service."
Any private company taking over the running off the libraries would want to make its stamp on the service, this could mean bringing in its own management team and could mean firing and then re-hiring the existent library staff, minus trouble makers!, on detrimental terms and conditions? It could also mean handing over not only the day to day running but also, within the period of the contract, the long term planning of the service to the company? It's hard to say what would happen as this, along with Hounslow, would be the only privatised library service in the UK! The only real lessons can be taken from the US, with LSSI as the main player, but the US system is so different it's very hard to make comparisons! Let's hope it never happens!

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