Privatized Libraries . . . Say What?

By , September 28, 2010 4:57 pm

by Philippe Cloutier

As if there aren’t enough issues to divide people, along comes a company that thrives on turning public libraries into profiteering businesses. The New York Times features a story on LSSI (Library Systems & Services, LLC) and their corporate endeavors. While the article gives LSSI a voice and expresses their platform thoroughly, a tidbit remains glanced over: ended contracts. What complaints or problems have arisen and what are the tangible negatives?

Public distrust of government and bankrupt budgets are what I imagine to be the two largest reasons that lead a local government to throw up their hands and outsource operations with LSSI. Is the answer to governmental dilemmas private control of public services? Hopefully, LSSI will be open to studies performed by universities / government agencies. I am certain librarians and the public would be interested in the details.

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