Outsourcing Public Libraries
There is a very troubling post over at Out of the Jungle about public libraries which were forced to close due to budget cuts and are now being reopened under the management of an outsourced, for-profit company at reduced hours.
From the post:
But I am concerned about the trend of moving a publicly funded and managed service into privately managed hands. The story is not clear about how LSSI makes its profits. It does not say that library services will be offered at a price to patrons, but it also does not say that the county is paying LSSI the full cost of running the library. How would the county save money by outsourcing if some of the cost did not fall on the library users?
Like OTJ, I have mixed feeling about this. For a community to close its public library, one of its most vital public services, is nothing short of tragic. So, I suppose that it's good that these libraries are being reopened, but what will be the cost and who will have to pay it?