August 4, 2004 Ė Just three weeks after signing a management contract with Library Systems and Services (LSSI), the Germantown Community Library reopened it's doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a crowd of enthusiastic readers excited to see the changes to the revitalized library.
On July 13, 2004, the City of Germantown assumed operation of the library, formerly a branch of the Memphis Shelby County Public Library System. "Overnight, the City went from just owning a library building to also being responsible for its operation," explained Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy. "We hit the ground running with the LSSI management team leading the way."
The facility was closed temporarily to inventory and enhance the collection (including the addition of nearly 1000 "best sellers"), install a new automation system, develop new lending cards, hire personnel, paint the interior, refresh the exterior, reorganize materials and rearrange furnishings. "It was an amazing transition period, with City staff, LSSI personnel and volunteers working long hours to prepare for reopening. There was a remarkable "can do" spirit and cohesiveness between the public and private partners," said Mayor Goldsworthy. The library's reopening was a huge success. By day's end LSSI staff issued 1,500 cards and patrons checked out more than 2,500 items.
"I am so proud of the extraordinary teamwork displayed over the past weeks here in Germantown," said Frank Pezzanite, President and CEO of LSSI. "The LSSI staff, together with the City officials, the City departments, the citizens of Germantown and several vendors all worked together to accomplish the astonishing task of reopening the Germantown Community Library in an unprecedented time frame. No one has ever attempted such a task before."
Mayor Goldsworthy stated there were three significant factors in Germantown's decision to contract with LSSI to manage its library: "Substantial cost savings, absolute accountability for every taxpayer dollar and expanded services. Those count with elected officials and, more importantly, they make a difference for the customer, our citizens," she said. "What we've seen in the LSSI team, and in the people they've employed to serve our community, is a genuine commitment to making libraries truly focused on serving the customer.
Founded in 1981, LSSI is the world's premier provider of library management services and has built its reputation by providing more efficient and effective ways to manage new and existing library operations. LSSI's management services are uniquely tailored to each individual library and are available on a short-term or long-term basis depending on the library's specific needs.