Citizens of Camarillo, Santa Clarita and Ventura, California are up-in-arms against an effort by LSSI (Library Systems and Services LLC) to privatize their public libraries. (LSSI attempted, but failed, to privatize the public library system in Nevada County. See my series of articles on our experience with LSSI here).
Partnering with SEIU (the Service Employees International Union), privatization opponents have produced one of the most creative and angry campaigns in opposition to LSSI that I have seen anywhere.
See the claymation video (below) depicting LSSI as a union-busting “privatization behemoth,” eating and digesting local libraries and making profits for their investors by eliminating the benefits of library staff.
From the http://privatizationbeast.org website:
All across the country, city councils are making decisions about privatizing their public libraries. Often this happens behind closed doors, with very little community input and without a full understanding of how library services could be affected or even what a 21st-century public library means to the community. In Southern California, public libraries in Camarillo, Santa Clarita and Ventura have all been targeted for a takeover by Library Systems and Services (LSSI), a private company headquartered in Maryland and majority-owned by the private equity firm Islington Capital Partners.
Privatizing public libraries means libraries will be de-professionalized and residents will pay more and receive less, while LSSI makes a profit for its investors and shareholders. SEIU and SEIU 721 are partnering with community residents, local organizations and librarians that believe only patrons should profit from public libraries to help keep public library services public.