Public/Private Management of Libraries

LATEST: In June 2016, the OLA Executive Board reviewed a paper co-authored by Kate Lasky and Janet Webster under the auspices of the OLA Library Development and Legislative Committee. In it, we examined library services in the six Oregon counties most influenced by the uncertainty around federal timber payments.   

 OLA's position paper on management of libraries was written by the Library Development and Legislation Committee in 2008.  This was in response to the challenge faced by several Oregon counties in lieu of the loss of Federal county payments. The Committee and the OLA Executive Board felt that we needed a statement outlining why public libraries were a public good, why they needed to be supported by public fund, and what management should be public.

OLA Position Paper

For several year, we created reports using the State Library's statistical database. These were a means to monitor performance of various libraries under different management regimes.  

In 2011, the American Library Association produced a checklist for communities considering privatization of public libraries.  It's an excellent tool to use with your local government.