FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are library managed services?
LS&S library experts partner with community leaders to strategize, develop and deliver excellent library services in alignment with community goals. LS&S manages day-to-day library operations with a focus on resource and service optimization. Library staff are supported by back office professionals with decades of experience. The community maintains ownership of the library and all of its assets – from the building to the books and digital materials to the furniture and technology.
Does the community still own the library?
Yes. The community maintains ownership of the library and all of its assets – from the building to the books and digital materials to the furniture and technology. LS&S provides day-to-day operation of the library.
Is managed services or outsourcing another name for privatization?
Outsourcing or managed services is not the same as privatization. LS&S does not privatize libraries. Privatization is the transfer of ownership of assets to a privately held company. LS&S offers outsourcing or managed services for libraries through partnership with communities.
Who makes decisions about the library after LS&S assumes operation?
The community, typically community leaders and staff and library board members, maintains oversight and direction of library. Strategic decisions and policies are made collaboratively to reflect the needs and desires of the community.
Are LS&S-operated libraries different from other public libraries?
LS&S operated libraries offer the same access and services as any public library; anyone can visit to check out books and materials, use computers and technology and participate in programs—all for free. LS&S honors and serves in alignment with the core values of public librarianship. Like all public libraries, LS&S operated libraries submit statistics annually to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
What happens to current library staff when LS&S assumes operation of a library?
LS&S retains existing staff upon execution of the agreement and hires qualified local staff that meet the needs of the library and are invested in the success of the library and community as necessary. Staff continuity is essential for the library to remain connected to the community and for the community to support the library. LS&S library staff live and work in their communities.
What happens to library policies when LS&S assumes operation?
Local government leaders and/or Library Boards continue to set the budget, make policy decisions and determine operating hours. LS&S works closely and collaboratively with local leaders to implement the defined plan for the library with enhanced services, technology and collections as cost efficiently as possible. LS&S professionals maintain strong relationships with Library Boards of Trustees and work for them to support library policy.
Does collection management stay locally focused in LS&S operated libraries?
The LS&S Collection Management team uses a proprietary real-time analytics platform to take a data-driven approach to collection management – assessing current collections and making collection adjustments based on demand. Purchases of best-sellers, adult and children’s titles, audio-visual and reference materials are based on community needs, demographics, preferences and usage. Collections expertise is enhanced by access to library cooperatives through which libraries share materials for patrons to check out in other library systems. Local staff has final approval on all materials and drive acquisition of locally-focused materials.
What are qualifications of LS&S library staff?
All LS&S Library Directors are library professionals with master’s degrees in library science or library information services. They are supported by a senior team of MLS degreed librarians. LS&S places high value on the commitment and knowledge an advanced library degree represents; more than 100 MLS/MLIS degreed librarians work in LS&S libraries. All eligible staff have the opportunity to take advantage of an MLS student loan forgiveness program and tuition reimbursement to continue personal and professional growth.
What benefits are available to library staff?
LS&S offers generous benefits packages including medical (with company paid deductible), dental, vision, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance and a 401k retirement plan. All eligible staff have the opportunity to take advantage of an MLS student loan forgiveness program and tuition reimbursement to continue personal and professional growth. Due to LS&S’s national scope, employees have the opportunity to gain experience and career advancement across many library systems.
What are the biggest advantages of library managed services?
LS&S helps communities enhance library service through additional offerings, more hours and/or lower costs. Libraries becomes part of a nationwide consortium with all the strength, resources and service excellence that implies. Communities get access to valuable resources that would typically not otherwise be available, large discounts on books, materials and technology and a national perspective of library programs and proven success. Library staff get to focus on direct patron service thanks to professional back office support staff and access to a large peer network for sharing and development.
What happens with Friends of the Library groups after LS&S assumes operation?
LS&S has strong relationships with Friends groups and supports their work and maintenance of non-profit status. Used book sales and other activities are part of the partnership. Proceeds from book sales and other contributions go directly to the libraries, not LS&S.
Libraries have the most impact when aligned with community goals. LS&S works with community leaders to plan a strong and sustainable future for libraries with community vitality in mind.
LS&S brings all the advantages of a large consortium - expert leaders, volume discounts, proven programs, efficient collection management and innovative ideas - to communities of every size.
Read how how communities of all types partner with LS&S to maximize library impact.
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