Wednesday, September 29, 2010
SAVE OUR LIBRARIANS!
(And, yes, I know this is Tina Fey and not a real librarian, but I can dream can’t I?)
First they privatized the prisons. Now it’s the libraries. A private corporation in Maryland is taken over public libraries in ailing cities and has grown into the country’s fifth-largest library system. But they’re not having it all their way. Library Systems & Services has touched off an acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy. Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor? Especially when that contractor boasts to The New York Times in a manner most porcine.
“There’s this American flag, apple pie thing about libraries,” said Frank A. Pezzanite, the outsourcing company’s chief executive. He has pledged to save $1 million a year in Santa Clarita, mainly by cutting overhead and replacing unionized employees. “Somehow they have been put in the category of a sacred organization.” The company, known as L.S.S.I., runs 14 library systems operating 63 locations. Its basic pitch to cities is that it fixes broken libraries — more often than not by cleaning house. “A lot of libraries are atrocious,” Mr. Pezzanite said. “Their policies are all about job security. That’s why the profession is nervous about us. You can go to a library for 35 years and never have to do anything and then have your retirement. We’re not running our company that way. You come to us, you’re going to have to work.”
I also do recall how it was the nation's librarians who stood alone and told Homeland Security to fuck off when the Feds wanted to know what books we read.
The secret word is Ssssh!
Posted by Mick at 9/29/2010 01:22:00 AM