Resolution on Hawaii State Public Library System Outsourcing

Adopted at 1997 Midwinter Meeting

WHEREAS materials selection and cataloging are core elements of librarianship, ensuring that library resources are both appropriate and findable; and

WHEREAS commercial vendors, primarily motivated by profit making, cannot effectively select and catalog materials for library systems whose local staffs are much more knowledgeable about their own collections, user interests, material sources (including regional and alternative presses and groups), and access needs; and

WHEREAS the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) last year totally outsourced the selection and cataloging of library materials to a private vendor; and

WHEREAS such HSPLS outsourcing clearly weakens service to Hawaii library users, seriously demoralizes HSPLS staff, severely damages library collections, and impedes access to library resources; and

WHEREAS similar outsourcing of basic library functions is either underway or being seriously considered elsewhere; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association urges the Hawaii State Public Library System to immediately cancel its outsourcing contract and permit Hawaiian librarians to do the selection and cataloging that only they can do best; and be it further

RESOLVED that SRRT recommends that other libraries do not follow the “Hawaiian Model” which demonstrably leads to wrecked, irrelevant, and inaccessible collections, as well as wastes both money and staff expertise.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 123, p. 15