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Outsourcing and Privatization: Select Bibliography


Outsourcing is the contracting to external companies or organizations those functions that would otherwise be performed by library employees.  Many libraries have contracts for selected services, from payroll processing, to janitorial services, to library binding, to technical processing.  Outsourcing library services is an important managerial decision with implications for both library staff and users. Please consult the following links to ALA materials and the selected bibliography to learn more about outsourcing.

This selected bibliography includes key documents from ALA and its units, followed by other resources in alphabetical order.  There are at least two significant bibliographies readily available on outsourcing; with a few exceptions, materials included on those bibliographies have not been included here; these are in the referneces marked with (B).

ALA Resources

Additional Sources on Outsourcing

Abel, Richard. 1998. The return of the native. American Libraries 29, no. 1 (January): 76-8.

Agada, John. 1997. Information counseling and the outsourcing challenge to corporate librarianship. College & Research Libraries 58 (July): 338-47.

Anderson, Rick. Buying and Contracting for Resources and Services: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2004.

Association of Washington Cities, Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington, and Washington State Library. 2013. Contracting for services guidelines for local governments in Washington State. Olympia, WA.: Association of Washington Cities.

Ayers, Sheila. 2003. "The Outsourcing of Cataloging: The Effect on Libraries." Current Studies in Librarianship 27, no. 1/2: 17-28.

Baker, Barry B. 1998. "Resource sharing: outsourcing and technical services." Technical Services Quarterly 16, no. 2: 35-45.

Bates, Mary Ellen.  1997. Outsourcing, co-sourcing, and core competencies: What’s an information professional to do? Information Outlook 1, no. 12 (December): 35-7.

Benaud, Claire-Lise and Sever Michael Bordeianu. 1998. Outsourcing Library Operations in Academic Libraries: An Overview of Issues and Outcomes. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Boss, Richard W., and Howard S. White. 1998. "Guide to outsourcing in libraries." Library Technology Reports 34, no. 5: 563.

Chervinko, J. S. 1995. Cooperative and contract cataloging of foreign-language materials in academic and research libraries. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 21, no. 1: 29-65.

Dartmouth (Mass.) Public Libraries. 2008. "Privatization/Outsourcing Report - Dartmouth Public Libraries."

Diedrichs, Carol Pitts. 1998. Using automation in technical services to foster innovation. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 24, no. 2: 113-20.

Dillon, Dennis. "College Libraries: the Long Goodbye." Chronicle Review of the Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/10/2004.

Florida. House of Representatives. Committee on Tourism. 2002. Report on Privatization of Public Libraries: Pros and Cons. Tallahassee?  The Committee.

Hastings, Robin. 2014. Outsourcing technology: a practical guide for librarians. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.

Hatfield, Deborah. 1997. "Outsourcing opportunities for fee-based library services." Fee for Service 4, no. 3: 6-9.

Hill, Heather L. 2009. Outsourcing the Public Library: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Thesis, Ph.D. University of Missouri--Columbia. (B)

Hill, Janet Swan. 1998. "Boo! Outsourcing from the cataloging perspective." Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances 11, no. 3: 116-121.

Hirshon, Arnold and Barbara A. Winters. 1996. Outsourcing Library Technical Services: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians.  New York: Neal-Schuman.

Leibowitz, Faye R., and Michael A. Arthur. 2008. "Risky Business: Outsourcing Serials Cataloging." Serials Librarian 54, no. 3/4: 253-260.

Marcum, J W. 1998. "Outsourcing in libraries: tactic, strategy, or 'meta-strategy'?." Library Administration & Management 12, no. 1: 15-25.

New Jersey Library Association. 2001. NJLA Statement on Outsourcing Public Library Service. (Accessed December 12, 2012.)

Office of Management and Budget. 2003. Performance of commercial activities. OMB Circular A-76 (Accessed December 11, 2012.)

Ogburn, Joyce L. 1994. An introduction to outsourcing. Library Acquisitions 18: 363-416.

Pantry, Sheila, and Peter Griffiths. Managing Outsourcing in Library and Information Services. London: Facet, 2004.

Petry-Eberle, Anne, and Monika Bieg. "Outsourcing information services." Library Hi Tech 27, no. 4 (November 2009): 602-609.

Pymm, Bob. 2006. "Managing Outsourcing in Library and Information Services." Collection Building 25, no. 2: 66-67.

Renaud, Robert. 1997. Learning to compete: Competition, outsourcing, and academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 23: 85-90.

Segal, Geoffrey F., Adrian T. Moore and Adam B. Summers. 2002. Competition & Government Services: Can Massachusetts Still Afford the Pacheco Law? (PDF)  Boston: Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. (Accessed March 27, 2015.)

St. James, Memory. 2005. "Small Libraries and the Outsourcing of Technical Services." PNLA Quarterly 69, no. 3: 7-9. Full issue available online as free Adobe Reader PDF.

Thomas, Wm. Joseph. 2006. A Beginner's Guide to Working with Vendors (PDF) North American Serials Interest Group, Inc. NASIGuides. (Accessed March 27, 2015.)

Ti Yu. 2005. "The Key Decision Making Criteria and Current Status of Catalog Outsourcing Operations in Libraries of Institute of Technology and Technical College." Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences 43, no. 1: 47-67.

United States. Federal Library and Information Center Committee. Education Working Group. Handbook of Federal Librarianship, Chapter V. Contracting Out, Competitive Sources. (Accessed December 11, 2012.)

Ward, R. C. 2007. "The Outsourcing of Public Library Management: An Analysis of the Application of New Public Management Theories from the Principal-Agent Perspective." Administration & Society. 38, no. 6: 627-648.

Ward, R. C. and Michael Carpenter. 2006. "Contracting Public Library management to private vendors: the new public management model." In Advances in Library Administration and Organization by Edward D. Garten, Delmus E. Williams, James M. Nyce, vol. 23, p.141-172. Emerald Publishing Group.

Williams, Pauline C., and Kathleen Barone. 2000. "Impact of Outsourcing Technical Services Operations in a Small Academic Library." College & Undergraduate Libraries 7, no. 2: 1.