UPLAND - The Upland Library Board of Trustees will meet at 4 p.m. today to discuss the city manager's recommendation to negotiate a contract with a private firm to manage the library.
City Manager Stephen Dunn is recommending the City Council allow him to negotiate a contract with Maryland-based Library Systems and Services Inc. to manage the Upland Public Library.
Dunn released his evaluation of the proposal by LSSI last week, which recommends the city contract with LSSI to provide the staff and management of the library's day-to-day operations, allowing the city to use the savings to provide more services and materials.
"The question we have to ask ourselves, if we can deliver a better service for the same money or less shouldn't we consider it? I'm saying we should," Dunn said.
According to Dunn's report, the city will still have control of the library and all its assets. The library will remain public.
The city, via the City Council and input from the Library Board of Trustees, will set policy, priorities and direction for the library. The city will also continue to maintain library facilities and infrastructure.
LSSI, which operates 75 libraries for 18 government agencies, will hire and
They will maintain current programming, but will be responsible for evaluating the services provided and can make recommendations for changes, if any.
They will also report the library's performance to the City Council.
LSSI will interview all library staff members, but not all may be offered a position.
Dunn said it is imperative that the library board continue to function as they are.
"If LSSI is not performing, then you're going to know about it," Dunn said. "You're going to know about it by complaints we get and the library board telling us how things are going and the way they should be going."
The library's current budget has dropped by more than $547,000 since fiscal year 2008-09, according to the report.
Funding for library books and materials has dropped by almost $148,000, and library hours have been reduced from 50 hours per week to 42 hours. The library is no longer open on Sundays.
According to the report, under LSSI:
- The number of full-time equivalent employees will go from 18.91 to 18.75.
- Operating hours will go from 42 to 50 per week.
- The collections budget will increase from $80,460 to $125,000.
- The total budget will decrease from $1.58 million to $1.34 million.
Councilman Gino Filippi, who is a member of the Library Board, said the issue is highly emotional, and the library has unfairly been forced to take many hits over the past years.
He said he is reviewing the reports and the library's budget.
"I am currently studying where the inefficiencies and potential savings might be in addition to labor," he said in an email.
"A few things that LSSI touts, include grant writing expertise and training programs. I understand that our library's budget is approximately $1.5 million, and there are neighboring cities including Rancho Cucamonga with more programs with a budget is very close to ours. I am most interested in hearing input from the Library Board Members."
The board cannot make a decision on the report, but they can share their thoughts and concerns with the city's Finance and Economic Development Committee and City Council.
The Finance and Economic Development Committee will consider Dunn's recommendation during its meeting on Tuesday.
If they agree with the recommendation, the decision will then be up to the City Council.
Dunn said there is a chance the council may send the report to the City Council Advisory Committee for further review before making a decision.
The report has been posted to the city website at http://www.uplandpl.lib.ca.us/