The American Library Association opposes shifting policy making and management oversight of library services from the public to the private sector, not because of its impact on job security, but rather because communities may lose access to trained information professionals — librarians.
I disagree with the statements by Frank Pezzanite, the chief executive of Library Systems & Services, the private company that runs 14 library systems operating 63 locations. Implying that library staffs are just waiting around to cash in on retirement, when in fact there are thousands of librarians serving 1.5 billion visitors a year with dedication, assumes that people will fall for the “demonization” of the public sector.
Libraries and their employees, who are often paid salaries far below the demands placed on them and the education required for their positions, serve as a lifeline for millions of Americans.
From free access to books and online resources to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries with top-notch staff are needed now more than ever in our increasingly competitive global economy.
Publicly funded libraries should remain directly accountable to the publics they serve.
Pres., American Library Association