The Request for Proposal PS-10-11-20 — LIBRARY COLLECTION REVIEW AND APPRAISAL dated November 10, 2010 read in part: “There are approximately 450,000 volumes in total. This total consists of approximately 375,000 books, 30,000 audio recordings, 30,000 video recordings and 15,000 periodicals. The selected firm will be provided a copy of the collection listing for the appraisal. The condition of the collection can be assumed to be that as found in the average large, modern public library. The successful proposer will be provided a collection data list of materials to work from. The list should contain the title, publisher, date of acquisition and quantity.”
The RFP provided for a contract award on January 12, 2011 and a project completion date of February 21, 2011—about five weeks to do the review. How did LSSI complete a comprehensive on-site assessment in one day? Hopefully, the City will make public the list LSSI provided.
Was this RFP awarded, or was it abandoned in favor of having LSSI do the review? Since LSSI receives five percent of the cost of all acquisitions per contract, [In accounting for the cost of the Library Materials, LSSI shall include a fee of five percent (5%) of the cost of the Library Materials ordered ("Materials Handling Fee") Add another $45,000!]. Is this not a lot like asking the fox to watch the henhouse and charging for security duties?
“Gentlemen are requested to deposit in the Lion’s Mouth the Title of such books as they may wish to have imported.”
The RFP stated that there were 450,000 items in the local collection; you state the County website showed 524,000 items, and LSSI’s one day review came up with 287,000 items. Why was an accurate assessment not done prior to the decision by the City to take over the library? Such details should have been discovered in the City’s attempt to exercise due diligence before awarding a $19,000,000 contract. These “anomalies” should have been reconciled before the City considered taking over the library, so that all costs could be accurately estimated and benefits accurately described. Why weren’t the collections inventoried before the City embarked on this path?Why no community input on new book purchases? Who decides, until the new library is built, which books get tossed for lack of shelf space? LSSI collection experts in Maryland? Or vague recommendations for the CPLAC. How about the people who use the library? So much for “local” control of our libraries.