more economic crunching at MA libraries statewide

According to j’s scratchpad, Massachusetts libraries are seeing their consortial system go from six regional consortia to one statewide system. If this were a move being planned for reasons other than “we don’t have any money” I’d be cautiously optimistic that maybe this would get the state some economies of scale and improvement of some services. As it is they’re going from 45 FTEs to 22 and I can only imagine how much ILL in the state of Massachusetts is going to suck [as opposed to some other programs that will just be halted altogether. Good luck Massachusetts!

2 thoughts on “more economic crunching at MA libraries statewide

  1. Economies of scale (which is one of the rationale being put forth by the planners of this new system) are still COMPLETELY unsubstantiated.
    No one has put forth the budget figures for building a sorting system that will work for all manner of materials and differing standards of barcoding.
    No one has the remotest idea whether or not private delivery providers will be willing to take on the task of delivering to small libraries in remote areas for any kind of price that is affordable.
    No one has provided libraries with the assurance that their material will be able to tracked when it leaves the system to go via delivery companies that have no connection to any of the in-place computerized tracking systems that currently work state wide.
    No one has a sense of how rising fuel prices will impact the system – trekking a requested item from (just imagine) North Adams to eastern Massachusetts for sorting to be sent to Pittsfield (just imagine) and then back again…from Pittsfield to eastern Massachustts back to the town next door!
    It’s incredibly ill advised, in my opinion.

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