Lancaster library shakeup could save money, expand some services

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Nov 30, 2015 4:58 AM

(Lancaster) -- Lancaster County and a group that serves its libraries are talking about consolidating to save money, in the hopes they can use some of the savings to fund more services.

The Library System of Lancaster County would turn over at least some of its operations to the county.

Despite the name, it only provides administrative help to each of the 14 libraries - think IT services, cataloging, and purchasing.

The libraries would still maintain independent boards under the plan.

Brandon Danz, chairman of the library system's board, says the county could offer more buying power, and efficiencies...

"If we can use that $1.9 million in county funding and find ways to improve service quality or sustain service quality and at the same time, reduce the costs of those products or those services, then we can redirect a lot of that money to the libraries instead of to this service organization," says Danz.

"The whole idea of this is to produce efficiencies and cost savings that can then be given to libraries. This isn't an increase in spending, this is a decrease in spending."

Danz emphasizes the discussion is just beginning and that nothing has been decided yet.

But he says if the plan is carried out, it could mean the end of the group he heads, the Library System of Lancaster.

Library services, though, would continue.

The decision could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There's no timetable on a decision.

The system employs 19 people. Danz wouldn't speak to what would happen with those positions under the plan.

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