Council asked to clarify privatised Leitrim library services

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

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View from inside Leitrim County Library, Ballinamore

Independent Councillor Gerry Dolan asked the council to clarify the position regarding privatisation of any money earned in the Leitrim libraries.


He referred especially to Ballinamore and Drumshanbo libraries and stated “Any monies earned there, should be kept locally to fund their business not a private company."
A spokesperson for Leitrim County Council informed the councillor, “ Leitrim County Library Service has recently introduced a fully automated self service printing, scanning and copying service in Ballinamore and Manorhamilton Libraries, following a successful trial in Carrick-on-Shannon Library.


“The service is managed by SurfBox, who also manages similar services in a number of public library authorities in Ireland.
“SurfBox provides the print station as a complete outsourced service, where the library incurs zero capital or running costs, and receives 25% of the revenue generated from printing as a quarterly commission.
“The overall drop in revenue is more than compensated in the efficiencies gained elsewhere, such as library staff time, IT support, consumables etc.


“This service has been very satisfactory to date, with very positive feedback from both library users and library staff.
“SurfBox deliver a professional service, whereby library users can manage their printing requirements in a confidential manner, and library staff are freed up from this routine task to provide valuable guidance on accessing other library services, such as project research or online resources."

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