Sunday, 9 March 2014

Information resources on the privatisation of public services, including public libraries.

I thought it might be useful to put together a short guide for anyone looking for information on privatisation, including libraries. It's a work in progress and will grow, so here goes;

UK - Information on library privatisation from THE public libraries information website in the UK if not the world? - a resource list compiled by me for library campaigners, includes links to info on library privatisation. - the main union for library staff in the UK and a key partner in the Speak up for Libraries coalition. - Save Croydon Libraries Campaign. Croydon Libraries, along with Hounslow, Harrow and Ealing, are now managed by Carillion, a private construction firm.
- SCALP: Sheffield Communities Against Library Privatisation. - info needs updating.

US - SEIU represent many public library staff in the US and helped organise the 'Privatization Beast' campaign. - "PrivatizationWatch is a daily news blog covering privatization, and is a joint project of Essential Information and The Center for Study of Responsive Law." US based but very comprehensive and informative. You can sign up for their daily alert service. - "Resources brought to you by the library at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees" - You can sign up for their daily alert service.
see also; - the American Library Association (ALA),  see especially Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Communities Considering Privatization of Public Libraries (PDF).

International - PSIRU was set up in 1998 to carry out empirical research into privatisation,
public services, and globalisation. - The Outsourcing and PPP Library provides analysis
and information on the consequences of outsourcing public services, Public Private Partnerships,
PFI projects and strategic partnerships.

Other useful resources/articles/reports; - 'The Real Cost of Privatisation' - excellent article outlining 7 reasons to oppose library privatisation. - A conference held in 2013, see 'Conference Papers' for presentation by John Medhurst of the PCS. - article ny Neil Clark from 2011. - article by me for VFTL from 2011.



  1. Hi Alan, I am a librarian in Southern California (in fact, dangerously close to Simi Valley and Santa Clarita.)
    I am trying to find the source of the quote: "Though I hope LSSI offers great libraries to the community, “great libraries” will not compel me to use them ..."
    Do you happen to have a copy of that article?

    1. @djeffrey thanks for your comment. This quote came from Lori Rivas from Save Santa Clarita Libraries see