Posted by: montclairlibrary | August 15, 2011

Library “outsourcing” bill in CA Senate

With all the state and local budget problems these days, there’s an interesting debate going on right now about the privatization of public libraries. While the Friends of Montclair Library don’t have an official stance on this subject, you might be interested to know about AB-438, a bill coming up for a vote soon in the California State Senate. The bill, which was passed in the California State Assembly in June, requires that a city or library district that intends to employ a private contractor to operate a library shall require 1) a fair cost analysis, 2) proven savings to the taxpayers, 3) competitive bidding, 4) proven qualifications of the contractor, 5) no displacement of current employees, and 6) performance and financial audits.

Assemblyman Das Williams, who wrote the bill, said: “All of the things that [a company] promises to the public for cost savings should have proof. And it should be proof that is presented to the public in a public meeting with adequate notice. That’s what I view as the core of this bill.”

You can read more about AB-438 from the California Library Association, CREDO Action or the State of California. Or Google it to find a range of opinions from various sides and parties.

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