Friday, October 12, 2007

Library For Profit

Apparently there's some hot new trend amongst local politicians to save money on libraries by privatizing them. But this makes no sense at all. How on earth could privatizing a library save money, unless they were just cutting services? What else could they do? And that's all they're doing. According to the article, the private firm will cut hours, cut employees, and won't have union employees. Wow, the Profit Miracle wins again!

The example in the article shows how ludicrous all this is. It mentions how Jackson County, Oregon will pay a private library firm $3 million for services, as well as budgeting $1.3 million for building maintenance. And this is compared with $8 million they paid for libraries. But hours are being cut from forty hours per week to twenty-four hours, and staff is being cut from eighty-eight full-time employees to fifty. The private firm says they'll pay as much, but will provide less in benefits.

And the big question is: Did they county even try this approach? It really doesn't seem that difficult to figure out. If your expenses are too high, try cutting hours and employees. That's like straight out of Budgeting 101. And the thing is, once these companes are in, it's a lot harder to get them out. Anyway, dammit if I didn't start this post too late and now it's time for bed. I wanted to write about this before, but I've been too busy. Yes, I said it. I've been too busy to write to you. In fact, I've got several posts that I've been too busy to write. You're just going to have to deal with it. I'm sorry, but it had to be said. Good night.

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