Privately operated public libraries: Hear how LS&S libraries have taken performance to a new level.
The LS&S Library: What's In It for Patrons, Partners & Volunteers.
Guide to Public-Private Partnerships
Our P3 Guide covers common questions about private support, the difference between partnerships and
privatization, and more.
Survey: Consumers Generally Satisfied with Local Government and Outsourced Services
April 27, 2017 – LS&S research shows support for libraries operated by companies
2016 Circulation Analytics
February 6, 2017 – LS&S reveals most popular checkouts at libraries
January 19, 2017 – Camarillo Public Library Director Named to
American Library Association’s Intellectual
January 12, 2017 - Library Systems & Services Receives Gold in 2017 Modern Library Awards from LibraryWorks.
The story of Riverside County's historic partnership with LS&S.
How Germantown Community Library became a vital community resource.
Survey: Consumers Generally Satisfied with Local Government and Outsourced Services
LS&S research shows support for libraries operated by companies
ROCKVILLE, Maryland, April 27, 2017 – Commissioned research from Library Systems & Services (LS&S) reveals that U.S. consumers are content overall with the services provided by local government. The top functions evoking positive responses were libraries (81 percent), public safety (70 percent), transportation (54 percent) and education (51 percent).
The results also indicated a preference for local governments to consider new ways of delivering services. For example, 53 percent of these registered voters said hiring private companies to provide government services is “mainly a good thing.” Regarding public libraries in particular, and after they said they were informed on the issue, 47 percent of respondents stated they would support local government hiring a private company to provide library services.
Other highlights from the survey include:
- Only 4 in 10 voters think [their] local government does a good job providing information on administrative costs and overall performance of local public libraries
- 57 percent of those polled said they would be more likely to support local government hiring a private company to run a library if they knew it meant better service for less cost
- 54 percent said they would support a privately run public library if the library was underfunded and could not update inventory or technology
- 43 percent said local government does a good job providing information on the types of companies that provide general services to its citizens, while 27 said government does a poor job
- 42% said local government does a good job providing information on administrative costs and overall performance of local public libraries, while 26% indicated that government does not do a good job
Says Chris Ourand, vice president of marketing at LS&S, “While the data shows satisfaction in some areas it was not universal. Cities and counties need the private sector to help them with service delivery, and citizens are open to that.” Indicate
Continued Ourand, “Libraries have become much more than book providers; they are community centers where people use technology to take courses and find jobs, enjoy recreation and learn in a group setting. Unfunded pensions and proposed federal budget cuts threaten this, and we encourage local governments to bolster their libraries with long-term, private-sector solutions.”
Conducted by Morning Consult, the online survey polled 1,980 registered voters from March 30- April 01, 2017. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2%.
LS&S reveals most popular checkouts at libraries
ROCKVILLE, Md., February 6, 2017 – The Woman in Cabin 10 from best-selling author Ruth Ware was the most-borrowed book at the 83 public libraries operated by Library Systems & Services (LS&S) in 2016. Others rounding out the top five were The Girl on the Train, Rogue Lawyer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel, and All the Light We Cannot See.
The company, which operates libraries in six states, compiled the data using its collection management analytics that assesses circulation and anticipates demand.
Other top-five findings for the year were:
• DVD Fiction Titles: Jurassic World, The Martian, San Andreas, Ant-Man, The age of Adaline
• Children’s Fiction Titles: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Ugly Truth, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School
• Fiction Titles: All the Light We Cannot See, Rogue Lawyer, The Last Mile, The Girl on the Train, The Guilty
• Children’s Easy Reader Fiction Titles: Green Eggs and Ham, Bob Books Collection 1─Beginning readers, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Oh the Thinks You Can Think, We Are in a Book!
• Children’s DVD Fiction Titles: Inside Out, Minions, Big Hero 6, Cinderella, The good Dinosaur
“Just like commercial bookstores, our libraries provide best-selling titles and other materials,” says Dana Braccia, vice president of operations at LS&S. “For many residents the benefits go beyond cost savings because they come to the libraries for book clubs and other programs that build community.”
Camarillo Public Library Director Named to American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee
CAMARILLO, Calif., January 19, 2017 – The American Library Association (ALA) has appointed Jo Rolfe, director of the Camarillo Public Library in Ventura County, California, to its Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC). Rolfe joins other members on the prestigious committee with a strong interest in ensuring free and open access to library resources for all members of the community.
Using the Library Bill of Rights and the First Amendment as foundations, the IFC plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the rights of librarians, patrons and libraries. Library intellectual freedom topics affect the services patrons receive from their library, and range from book banning and internet filtering to controversial programming and public artwork.
“Our work is now more important than ever,” says Rolfe. “Equity, diversity, and inclusion are key principles for ALA and as such they are elements essential to making libraries places for learning and access to books and other materials as well as venues for community engagement. The IFC works tirelessly to achieve this in collections, programs and services. Our initiatives may not be obvious when patrons walk into the local library, but they have significant community impact.”
As censorship and privacy adapt to changing technological and social landscapes, the IFC also crafts interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights. Recent IFC interpretations touch on religion and services to minors.
“Jo brings a wonderfully diverse background in the arts and education as well as libraries to the work of the committee,” says Pam Klipsch, chair of Intellectual Freedom Committee. “The IFC is charged with developing model policies and best practices in support of open access and privacy rights for all information seekers, with challenging censorship in every form, and with upholding the core values of equity, diversity and inclusion that define American libraries.”
Rolfe, a longtime educator and librarian, became director of Camarillo Public Library in August 2016. The library, which is operated by Library Systems & Services (LS&S), serves an estimated 425,000 patrons annually.
About American Library Association and Office for Intellectual Freedom
The American Library Association is the voice of America’s libraries. Celebrating more than 140 years, the American Library Association’s mission is to promote the transformation of libraries, professional best practices and public access to information. As part of the American Library Association, the Office for Intellectual Freedom offers library resources and confidential support to anyone undergoing a material or service challenge. Its annual celebration of Banned Books Week in the fall draws attention to the harms of censorship and the benefits of unrestricted reading.
Library Systems & Services Receives Gold in 2017 Modern Library Awards from LibraryWorks
ROCKVILLE, Md., January 12, 2017 – Library Systems & Services (LS&S) has received a gold award in LibraryWorks’ third annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs.) The MLAs objectively recognize the top products and services in the library industry.
Winners were selected based on a process that involved evaluation by actual users of the applicants’ products and services. Judges scored the product on a numeric basis from 1-10 on a series of questions regarding functionality, value, customer service, and other factors.
Receipt of the Gold award means LS&S excels at library operations that include staffing, collection management, technology, strategic planning, marketing, and performance analytics. The MLA also recognizes the company’s positive impact on the communities it serves through program participation and higher circulations.
“Receiving the MLA gold award validates the hard work of our dedicated library professionals across the country,” says Paul Colangelo, president of LS&S. “We are committed to working with our library systems and communities to provide gathering places that fulfill educational and vocational needs.”
“It’s hardly a surprise that LS&S scored so well. They’ve been at the forefront of the industry since their company entered the market in 1982,” adds Jenny Newman, publisher and MLA program manager.
Germantown Library Spearheads Growth in
‘Battle of the Books’ Competition
January 20 deadline for local schools to sign up for reading competition
GERMANTOWN, Tennessee, January 6, 2017 – Area students have an opportunity to participate in both a local and nationwide “Battle of the Books” competition this year due to the Germantown Community Library and its management partner Library Systems & Services (LS&S). Local schools have until Jan. 20, 2017, to register, and schools interested in hosting a local event can contact Daniel Page at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-757-7323.
The local “Battle of the Books” competition began in 2013 by a school librarian in Germantown, and quickly grew to several schools across the county. In March 2016, the school district asked the Germantown Community Library and LS&S to oversee and expand the program.
The “Battle of the Books” is a daylong competition between schools where teams are asked a series of questions based on the books they’ve read. The competition includes participants in grades 3-12, who read an extensive list of books throughout the fall and spring. The competition begins in April and runs through May. Grades 3-5 participate in a “Family Feud”-style team contest, and grades 6-12 participate in a relay-style contest held in high school gymnasiums that includes running relays mixed in with questions from the judges.
Germantown Community Library Director Daniel Page says the success in Germantown is catching on. “It promotes learning, education and teamship,” Page says. “It combines reading with healthy activities and it’s a really super cool style.”
The top team from each school will battle each other in a countywide competition, and the top teams from each county will participate in a state competition. This year, the Germantown Library is working with a national “Battle of the Books” organization that allows the state’s winning team to have a shot at participating in a nationwide competition.
As the Germantown “Battle of the Books” competition has grown, so have local participants in other states. Page says there are 20-25 teams signed up in Tennessee so far, but they are always looking for more. There is no cost to participate.
Mayor Palazzolo says he is thrilled to see the growth in the competition.
"Germantown has a strong commitment toward public education and life-long learning,” Palazzolo says. “Our community promotes early childhood literacy through the support of Books from Birth, the national program known as The Big Read and now through promotion and support of ‘Battle of the Books.’ We are fortunate to have an incredible asset in the Germantown Community Library providing support and leadership in these programs.”
Jennifer Mock, the lead librarian at the Germantown Municipal School District, says “Battle of the Books” has helped students get excited to read.
“The best part of this program, besides getting your team excited about books and reading, is that same excitement spreads to all their classmates and friends who root for them,” Mock says. “Once the season ends, the rest of my student population can't wait to get their hands on the ‘battle books’ - books they might never have considered if it weren't for Battle of the Books.”
New Library Leader Arrives in Jackson County with History of Community Building
MEDFORD, OREGON, December 6, 2016 – After a deliberative search process, Jackson County Library Services welcomes 10-year library services veteran Jamar Rahming as the new library director. Rahming has responsibility for leading the operational and community building activities for all 15 branches in the Jackson County library system.
Formerly the regional branch manager for the library system in Austin, Texas, Rahming sees a parallel with his new role regarding opportunities to build on the region’s “panoramic” portrait of diversity.
“Like Austin, Jackson County has a large geographic area and widely diverse population so each region needs to have its individual identity while allowing patrons to feel they are part of the broader community,” he says. “Books, other materials and activities need to reflect that.”
Another asset Rahming brings is team building, a skill he was first exposed to during his work at the Smithsonian Institute. “Leadership is never about the leader; it is about extracting the greatness of others to enhance the endeavors of the organization,” Rahming says. “The aptitude I bring to Jackson County is that I know how to build strong teams.”
Adds Dana Braccia, vice president of operations for library operator Library Systems & Services, “Jamar is the kind of leader who will inspire everyone around him and as a result the Jackson County library system will thrive.”
The Jackson County Library District was looking for a candidate with a proven track record of engaging both staff and the community about the importance of strategic plan implementation. “Jamar brings an enthusiasm to the position that we expect will lead to exciting and meaningful changes to the District,” says District Board President Maureen Swift.
About Jackson County Library District
The Jackson County Library District is an independent unit of local government dedicated to providing excellent library operations in Jackson County.
LS&S Implements Edelweiss Analytics
Real-time data now supports collection management at company’s 83 public libraries
ROCKVILLE, Md., October 12, 2016 – Library Systems & Services (LS&S) has begun enhancing collection management in the 83 public libraries it operates by implementing Edelweiss Analytics, a collaborative product between Above the Treeline and Ingram Content Group’s Library Services. The rollout of the new analytics system will begin with several libraries in California.
Edelweiss Analytics gives libraries real-time access to information to compare their library circulation and holdings, including pre-publication orders, to peer libraries and previously unavailable retail sales data. Libraries can use the data to manage their collection and better anticipate patron demand.
“Book retailers are an important bellwether for knowing what titles and other materials are popular,” says Chris Ourand, vice president of marketing and communications at LS&S. “With Edelweiss Analytics we no longer need to make purchasing or inventory decisions based on historical reports because we get immediate insight into what book readers like and can accommodate their needs quickly.”
“With Edelweiss Analytics, we’re able to open a window into a new world of data and information for libraries, helping them curate and enhance their collection management systems,” said Dan Sheehan, VP & GM of Ingram Library Services. “We’re happy to work with LS&S to bring their libraries access to this unique insight, which includes sales information from independent bookstores combined with library circulation data. It presents a clear picture of popular titles from across the country and regionally, along with a direct link to Ingram’s inventory for easy and quick access to titles.”
Library Systems & Services awarded library assessment project with San Benito County, California
LONG BEACH, California, October 6, 2016 @CaCities – San Benito County, California has taken a significant step in preparing its library to meet future community needs through a partnership with Library Systems & Services (LS&S). The announcement was made at the California League of Cities Annual Conference, #CaCitiesAnnual.
This contract award supports the expansion of solutions recently announced by LS&S. They cover a suite of project-based offerings such as strategic planning, IT solutions and data analytics and space planning for libraries. Driven by the high expectations of local governments and library users, this initiative enables libraries to take a customer relationship management approach to operations. An emphasis on technology ensures that key data is collected and evaluated, and trends from it are identified.
The work for San Benito County will include a comprehensive library facility needs assessment and recommendation guide with four primary components: library space and high-level facility, library collection and services, library technology, and library community engagement.
“The County of San Benito is excited to take a bold step forward into the future with LS&S,” says Louie Valdez, Management Analyst III & Public Information Officer for San Benito County. “LS&S is uniquely positioned to help us realize our dream of a Technology, Education and Learning (TEL) Center via a comprehensive, community-based needs assessment. By helping us to leverage our strengths, understand the challenges ahead and maximize scarce public resources through out-of-the-box thinking and innovation, San Benito County looks forward to ushering in the next generation of library services.”
“Our diversification into scalable programs ensures that libraries get the level of service they need to remain relevant in their communities,” says Paul Colangelo, president of LS&S. “San Benito County is a great example of how this initiative helps libraries succeed on many levels with educational, vocational and technological activities.”