Outsourcing and Privatization in Libraries: Select Bibliography

Outsourcing is the contracting to external companies or organizations those functions that would otherwise be performed by library employees.  Many libraries have contracts for selected services, from payroll processing, to janitorial services, to library binding, to technical processing.  Outsourcing library services is an important managerial decision with implications for both library staff and users. Please consult the following links to ALA materials and the selected bibliography to learn more about outsourcing.

This selected bibliography includes key documents from ALA and its units, followed by other resources in alphabetical order.  There are at least two significant bibliographies readily available on outsourcing; with a few exceptions, materials included on those bibliographies have not been included here; these are in the referneces marked with (B).


ALA Documents on Outsourcing

The Impact of Outsourcing and Privatization on Library Services and Management: A Study for the American Library Association; Robert S. Martin, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Texas Woman’s University, School of Library and Information Studies, June 2000.  Includes significant bibliography. (B)

Jerrard, Jane, Nancy M. Bolt, and Karen Strege. 2012. Privatizing Libraries. Chicago: American Library Association. 978-0-8389-1154-9

Kascus, Marie, and Dawn Hale, eds. for the Commercial Technical Services Committee and Association for Library Collections & Technical Services. 1995. Outsourcing Cataloging, Authority Work, and Physical Processing: A Checklist of Considerations. Chicago: American Library Association. 0-8389-34449-8,

Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Communities Considering Privatization of Public Libraries (2011)

Office for Intellectual Freedom. Outsourcing Checklist. 1999.
Public Library Association. Outsourcing: A Public Library Checklist. 2000.


Additional Sources on Outsourcing

Abel, Richard. 1998. The return of the native. American Libraries 29, no. 1 (January): 76-8.

Agada, John. 1997. Information counseling and the outsourcing challenge to corporate librarianship. College & Research Libraries 58 (July): 338-47.

Anderson, Rick. Buying and Contracting for Resources and Services: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2004.

Association of Washington Cities, Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington, and Washington State Library. 2013. Contracting for services guidelines for local governments in Washington State. Olympia, WA.: Association of Washington Cities. (Accessed May 29, 2014)

Ayers, Sheila. 2003. "The Outsourcing of Cataloging: The Effect on Libraries." Current Studies in Librarianship 27, no. 1/2: 17-28.

Baker, Barry B. 1998. "Resource sharing: outsourcing and technical services." Technical Services Quarterly 16, no. 2: 35-45.

Bates, Mary Ellen.  1997. Outsourcing, co-sourcing, and core competencies: What’s an information professional to do? Information Outlook 1, no. 12 (December): 35-7.

Benaud, Claire-Lise and Sever Michael Bordeianu. 1998. Outsourcing Library Operations in Academic Libraries: An Overview of Issues and Outcomes. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Bierman, Kenneth J., and Judith A. Carter. "Outsourcing Monograph Cataloging at the UNLV Libraries." Technical Services Quarterly 25, no. 3 (January 2008): 49-65.

Boss, Richard W., and Howard S. White. 1998. "Guide to outsourcing in libraries." Library Technology Reports 34, no. 5: 563.

Bush, Carmel C., Margo L. Sasse, and Patricia A. Smith. 1994. Toward a new world order: A survey of outsourcing capabilities of vendors for acquistions, cataloging, and collection development services. Library Acquisitions 18: 397-416.

Cater-Steel, Aileen. 2009. "From the Special Issue Editor: Introduction to Special Issue on ICT Governance, Strategic Alignment and Service Management." Information Systems Management 26, no. 2: 96-97.

Chaudhry, Abdus Sattar, and Tan Bee Lin. 2005. "Outsourcing of Technical Services in Singapore Libraries." Singapore Journal of Library & Information Management 34: 1-30.

Chervinko, J. S. 1995. Cooperative and contract cataloging of foreign-language materials in academic and research libraries. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 21, no. 1: 29-65.

Dartmouth Public Libraries. 2008. "Privatization/Outsourcing Report - Dartmouth Public Libraries (PDF) (Accessed March 27, 2015.)

Diedrichs, Carol Pitts. 1998. Using automation in technical services to foster innovation. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 24, no. 2: 113-20.

Dillon, Dennis. "College Libraries: the Long Goodbye." Chronicle Review of the Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/10/2004.

Ebbinghouse, Carol. 2002. "Library Outsourcing: A New Look." Searcher 10, no. 4: 63. (Accessed December 11, 2012.)

El-Sherbini, Magda. 1995. Contract cataloging: A pilot project for outsourcing Slavic books. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 20, no. 3: 57-73.

Florida. House of Representatives. Committee on Tourism. 2002. Report on Privatization of Public Libraries: Pros and Cons. Tallahassee?  The Committee. (Accessed December 12, 2012.)

Gentile, Annie. "Public libraries find outside management." The American City & County. Pittsfield: Jan 2008. Vol. 123, Iss. 1; pg. 16, 2 p. (Accessed December 11, 2012.)

Gordon, Mary Jane and Les Moor. 1997. Creating a library technical services outsourcing operation. The Serials Librarian 32, no. 1-2: 53-76.

Hastings, Robin. 2014. Outsourcing technology: a practical guide for librarians. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.

Hatfield, Deborah. 1997. "Outsourcing opportunities for fee-based library services." Fee for Service 4, no. 3: 6-9.

Hill, Heather L. 2009. Outsourcing the Public Library: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Thesis, Ph.D. University of Missouri--Columbia. (B)

Hill, J. B., Cherie Madarash-Hill, and Alison Allred. 2007. "Outsourcing Digital Reference: The User Perspective." Reference Librarian 47, no. 98: 57-74.

Hill, Janet Swan. 1998. "Boo! Outsourcing from the cataloging perspective." Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances 11, no. 3: 116-121.

Hirshon, Arnold and Barbara A. Winters. 1996. Outsourcing Library Technical Services: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians.  New York: Neal-Schuman.

Leibowitz, Faye R., and Michael A. Arthur. 2008. "Risky Business: Outsourcing Serials Cataloging." Serials Librarian 54, no. 3/4: 253-260.

Leiserson, A B, and J G Montgomery. 1997. "Outsourcing revisited: what are recent events telling us?." Trends in Law Library Management & Technology 8, no. 5: 5-8.

Libby, Katherine A. and Dana M. Caudle. 1997. A survey on the outsourcing of cataloging in academic libraries. College & Research Libraries 58, no. 6 (November): 550-60.

Macvean, Carolyn. 1996. "Outsourcing noncore library activities: A case study of a Victorian public library." APLIS 9, no. 2: 83.

Marcum, J W. 1998. "Outsourcing in libraries: tactic, strategy, or 'meta-strategy'?." Library Administration & Management 12, no. 1: 15-25.

New Jersey Library Association. 2001. NJLA Statement on Outsourcing Public Library Service. (Accessed December 12, 2012.)

Office of Management and Budget. 2003. Performance of commercial activities. OMB Circular A-76 (Accessed December 11, 2012.)

Ogburn, Joyce L. 1994. An introduction to outsourcing. Library Acquisitions 18: 363-416.

Pantry, Sheila, and Peter Griffiths. Managing Outsourcing in Library and Information Services. London: Facet, 2004.

Petry-Eberle, Anne, and Monika Bieg. "Outsourcing information services." Library Hi Tech 27, no. 4 (November 2009): 602-609.

Pymm, Bob. 2006. "Managing Outsourcing in Library and Information Services." Collection Building 25, no. 2: 66-67.

Renaud, Robert. 1997. Learning to compete: Competition, outsourcing, and academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 23: 85-90.

Rider, Mary M. 1996. Developing new roles for paraprofessionals in cataloging. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 22, no. 1: 26-32.

Schmidt, Jane. 2008. "Lessons from the Man: Outsourcing in the Academic Library." Access (1204-0472) 14, no. 4: 35-35.

Segal, Geoffrey F., Adrian T. Moore and Adam B. Summers. 2002. Competition & Government Services: Can Massachusetts Still Afford the Pacheco Law? (PDF)  Boston: Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. (Accessed March 27, 2015.)

Severino, Fabio, and Fabrizio Minnella. 2008. "The outsourcing market in the management of documentary collections." Bollettino AIB 48, no. 2/3: 170-170.

Smith, V T. 1997. "Outsourcing cataloging. An evaluation." Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences 34, no. 4: 380-395.

St. James, Memory. 2005. "Small Libraries and the Outsourcing of Technical Services." PNLA Quarterly 69, no. 3: 7-9. Full issue available online as free Adobe Reader PDF.

Thomas, Wm. Joseph. 2006. A Beginner's Guide to Working with Vendors (PDF) North American Serials Interest Group, Inc. NASIGuides. (Accessed March 27, 2015.)

Ti Yu. 2005. "The Key Decision Making Criteria and Current Status of Catalog Outsourcing Operations in Libraries of Institute of Technology and Technical College." Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences 43, no. 1: 47-67.

Tsui, Susan Lee and Carol F. Hinders. 1999. Cost-effectiveness and benefits of outsourcing authority control. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 26, no. 4: 43-61.

United States. Federal Library and Information Center Committee. Education Working Group. Handbook of Federal Librarianship, Chapter V. Contracting Out, Competitive Sources. (Accessed December 11, 2012.)

Vinh-The Lam. 2005. "Quality Control Issues in Outsourcing Cataloging in United States and Canadian Academic Libraries." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 40, no. 1: 101-122.

Ward, R. C. 2007. "The Outsourcing of Public Library Management: An Analysis of the Application of New Public Management Theories from the Principal-Agent Perspective." Administration & Society. 38, no. 6: 627-648.

Ward, R. C. and Michael Carpenter. 2006. "Contracting Public Library management to private vendors: the new public management model." In Advances in Library Administration and Organization by Edward D. Garten, Delmus E. Williams, James M. Nyce, vol. 23, p.141-172. Emerald Publishing Group.

Williams, Pauline C., and Kathleen Barone. 2000. "Impact of Outsourcing Technical Services Operations in a Small Academic Library." College & Undergraduate Libraries 7, no. 2: 1.

Wilson, Karen A., and Marylou Colver, ed. 1997. Outsourcing Library Technical Services Operations: Practices in Academic, Public, and Special Libraries. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. (B)