Further reading



An excellent guide from people who have, or about to, outsource their libraries can be found here – Roundtable briefing: ‘Future models for the library: Options for ownership and control’, Friday 12 April 2013.



Much of the evidence for this article comes from “Show me the money: Privatisation and the public library”. See the blog “Stop the privatisation of UK public libraries” for comprehensive, if obviously partisan, coverage of the issue.  For similarly partisan – but this time American – coverage see Privatization Beast.

UNISON have produced a report on The Rise of the Public Services Industry which gives a general overview and is impressively up to date, mentioning the proposed  privatisation of Wokingham.  However, it has only one paragraph on libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) have produced the report Keeping Public Libraries Public (June 2011) in response to the growing concern over privatising public libraries.  The report itself is not without its critics though – see The Annoyed Librarian.

American Libraries have produced an interesting survey Who’s the Boss about librarian attitudes to privatisation that has been accused of innate bias towards LSSI (for example,”When asked to choose between two options—whether public library management should remain in the public sector to avoid a focus on profit or whether management should be privatized if it means providing better services at lower costs [my italics] —a full 87% of survey respondents agreed with the former.”).  Also from America is Keep Public Libraries Public: A checklist for for communities considering privatization of public libraries.

Toronto in Canada is wishing to privatise its libraries, leading to the formation of the Our Public Library campaign website.  A thorough viewpoint from the Toronto Star on privatisation is Would privatizing Toronto’s libraries really save money?

We Own It have produced a report arguing for keeping local government services in public hands called Better in Public Hands (August 2013).

Unison have produced several guides on various aspects of outsourcing (accessible only to Unison members):

Bibliography from Alan Wylie

The following is from Alan from his “Stop the Privatisation of Public Libraries” blog.  It was compile in March 2014:

http://www.speakupforlibraries.org/acrobat/PublicLibraryStandardsandGuidelines.docx – a resource list compiled for library campaigners, includes links to info on library privatisation.
http://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/local-government/key-issues/privatisation/home/ – the main union for library staff in the UK and a key partner in the Speak up for Libraries coalition.
http://soslibrary.blogspot.co.uk/ – Save Croydon Libraries Campaign. Croydon Libraries, along with Hounslow, Harrow and Ealing, are now managed by Carillion, a private construction firm.
http://falseeconomy.org.uk/campaigns/item/scalp-sheffield-communities-against-library-privatisation – SCALP: Sheffield Communities Against Library Privatisation.
http://weownit.org.uk/evidence/libraries – info needs updating.
http://www.seiu.org/division/public-services/state-and-local/ – SEIU represent many public library staff in the US and helped organise the ‘Privatization Beast’ campaign.
http://www.privatizationwatch.org/ – “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.
http://www.afscmeinfocenter.org/ – “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; http://www.local1321.org/
http://www.ala.org/tools/outsourcing – the American Library Association (ALA),  see especially Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Communities Considering Privatization of Public Libraries (PDF).
http://www.psiru.org/ – PSIRU was set up in 1998 to carry out empirical research into privatisation, public services, and globalisation.

http://www.european-services-strategy.org.uk/ – 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

http://classonline.org.uk/library/item/the-real-cost-of-privatisation – ‘The Real Cost of Privatisation’
http://communitiesagainstthecuts.com/2013/04/26/seven-reasons-to-oppose-the-privatisation-of-the-library-of-birmingham/ – excellent article outlining 7 reasons to oppose library privatisation.
http://www.ier.org.uk/events/public-sector-cuts-privatisation-and-employment-rights – A conference held in 2013, see ‘Conference Papers’ for presentation by John Medhurst of the PCS.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/12/privatise-public-libraries-cuts – article  from 2011.
http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/2011/09/the-privatisation-of-public-library-services/ – article for VFTL from 2011.




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