Kane Retained as Hawaii Reclaims Technical Services

Article excerpt

The Hawaii Board of Education on July 25 granted State Librarian Bart Kane another six months to get technical services operations at the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) back under control. Kane had terminated the outsourcing contract with Baker & Taylor two weeks earlier, citing numerous instances in which the company was allegedly in default (AL, Aug., p. 15-18).

The board deliberated behind closed doors for more than three hours after hearing testimony from librarians and concerned citizens who strongly opposed Kane's reappointment, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The outcome was 11-2 in favor of retaining Kane, provided that he meets the following conditions:

* Settle all issues surrounding the B&T outsourcing contract dispute, except for any pending litigation that could drag on for months;

* Develop a plan for the selection and processing of books for the libraries; and

* Improve communication in the library system.

Kane swung into action immediately, activating work teams representing all the libraries on the islands for a series of workshops July 29-August 1 intended to draft recommendations for handling technical services over the next six months and beyond. A four-page plan resulted from these talks, and the library staff were given until August 14 to approve the proposal, either completely or in part.

The plan calls for the purchase of books from local bookstores as an immediate measure; this, could be in place as early as August 20 if the HSPLS board approves the proposal quickly.

"We had existing contracts through June 30 for off-the-shelf purchases at places like Borders," Kane told American Libraries. "But we were given permission by the state procurement office to initiate new contracts to serve informally to the end of the year."

Kane also arranged for demonstrations later in the month by Ingram and Brodart so that library teams could review their specifications and select a vendor for a short-term, experimental contract beginning in January. Since Hawaii state law now requires local librarians to have input over book selection, Kane's plan states emphatically: "All HSPLS public service librarians and technicians (adult, young adult, and juvenile) will have complete and full authority to select materials for their team based on team decision making. …