Not Exactly A Quiet Summer: Saving the LSP

By Gregg Atkins, CCL Executive Director

“Difficult” does not adequately describe the summer challenges handed to CCL this year.  And I’m not even referring to Covid-19 issues or fire-related problems.

Consider these things:

  • On June 29th, the CCC TechCenter informed us that (contrary to earlier promises) all support for the LSP activity was ending on June 30.  No Amy B., no Amy C. and no ongoing support for necessary and critical Network Zone set-up and operation by Jessica H.
    • CCL voted to use CCL $ to hire a Network Zone consultant (Israel Yaňez – see his report elsewhere in this issue) and set up a NZ Task Force to work with him to continue set-up configurations and operations.
    • The co-chairs of the LSP Governance Committee volunteered to take on various areas of responsibility (vendor relations, work groups oversight, participation on CCL’s LSP Task Force) – big thanks to Jeff Karlsen and Michelle Ohnstad for great leadership!
  • As CCL and the Community College League of CA made preparations to launch the “Plan B” rescue effort for the LSP program, the CCCCO suddenly intervened and demanded that the effort be run through the CCC Foundation (never mind that the Foundation was not in any way familiar with the LSP effort). At one point as much as $1.25 million was offered provided that the Foundation run things. Not one to dismiss such a large financial offset to the libraries’ costs, CCL asked to meet with the Foundation to learn more. That meeting never occurred, and the CCCCO declared that “legal constraints” stood in the way of involvement, and … the $1.25 million suddenly evaporated (or was never real in the first place, or?).
  • CCL and the League agreed to continue to move forward with “Plan B.” In order to do so, both entities decided to use the existing Library Consortium as the vehicle to handle the LSP component. Given that the database purchasing program is covered by an MOU signed in 2003, a lot of time and energy was spent writing a new MOU to meet the realities of two distinct sub-programs and the need for new staff in the LSP area.  It was critical to CCL that the agreement continue to be one between two organizations to jointly establish and operate programs for libraries and librarians. We also wanted to ensure that librarians continue to make the decisions about the workings, policies and directions of the LSP. We’re happy to say that (as always) the League is a great partner and we achieved all of these objectives. The MOU will be posted on the CCL website.
  • And a bright note: remember, Amy Beadle was hired away from the CCC TechCenter to be the Library Consortium Director (replacing James Wiser). Under the new MOU, LSP staff (program manager, NZ manager and others will report to Amy B.

What’s ahead? No rest for the weary! Putting Plan B into action is underway but there are a lot of moving parts to manage. The CCCCO will again request full funding ($4 million) in ongoing state funding in the FY2021-22 budget, and CCL will work with the ASCCC, the League and the many other supportive stakeholder groups to get budget funding.