The Sunday New York Times had an interesting look at Library Systems & Services, an outsourcing company that’s grown to become the country’s fifth-largest library system.
In Shelby County, LSSI runs libraries in Arlington, Collierville, Germantown and Millington, according to www.lssi.com.
I remember working for a community newspaper in Collierville when LSSI took over the library there several years ago. It was a bit of a head-scratcher in some circles. It’s not like there’s a lot of fee revenue coming into libraries – how do these guys make a profit? is often asked on the front end.
The NYT story says the company does so more often than not by cleaning house.
From the story:
“A lot of libraries are atrocious,” Mr. Pezzanite (Frank Pezzanite, LSSI’s chief executive) 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.”