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Inside an Outsourced Library: Fact and Fiction
An Infopeople Webinar
- Does the word "outsourcing" scare you?
- Do you wonder what has happened in communities that have outsourced library services?
- Would you like more information about outsourcing so that you can better answer questions and challenges?
Then you should tune in to this upcoming Infopeople webcast!
Since the federal government began "privatizing" federal libraries in the 1980's, the concept of outsourcing library services has stirred strong opinions within the library profession. Outsourcing specific services such as facility and equipment maintenance, security, or book repair/binding has been more accepted than the outsourcing of core library functions. Public library managers remain concerned about the outsourcing of public library services, yet according to the Public Library Association (Outsourcing: A Public Library Checklist, 2000), "It is clear that public library outsourcing will not diminish in future importance." In California, over the last few years several communities including Redding, Moorpark, Calabasas, and Hemet have opted to outsource library services using Library Systems and Services, Inc. (LSSI). Is outsourcing a good thing or not, and for whom?
The Riverside County Library was the first and is still the largest public library to use a private management company to operate its library. Since LSSI began providing daily management services to Riverside County in 1997, library services have grown in many ways, including the opening 17 new libraries (eight of which are non-replacement facilities), successful application for over $2 million in grant funding, and the addition of many new countywide programs such as an extensive early literacy program, outreach to Latino populations, and ESL classes. What makes Riverside County such a successful example of outsourcing? Are there downsides to the Riverside experience? What lessons does Riverside County provide for other libraries?
Riverside County Librarian Nancy Johnson and Mark Smith of LSSI will discuss outsourcing library operations from the perspective of a library system that has used contract management services for over 10 years.
Webinars are free of charge and registration is only done on the day of the event on the WebEx server. No passwords are required.