February 25, 2018

Providence Public Library Submits Contract Bid

By LJ Staff

Providence Mayor David Cicilline isn’t happy with Providence Public Library’s (PPL) announcement of a $5 million, one-year proposal to the city for managing the neighborhood library system or PPL’s plan for a new library services liaison group. The bid was publicly announced in response to a plan developed by the Municipal Library Services Working Group, appointed last year by Cicilline to determine the future scope and funding of the library. According to Providence Journal, the mayor wanted negotiations to be confidential.

PPL is private, nonprofit corporation with an $8.5 million budget, including $3 million in city funds, plus a $750,000 city supplement, state funds, and a substantial endowment. The working group has determined that management of the branches (not including the central library) costs $4.5 million, which is less than PPL’s bid. PPL’s proposed Municipal Library Services Committee is to "provide direct oversight on behalf of the city and its funds provided to PPL for the delivery of municipal library services." This would seem to add another oversight layer; PPL’s new municipal library board is to consist solely of appointees chosen by elected officials. PPL has formed a trustee transition team to ensure a smooth transition, "even if PPL is not the city’s vendor of choice," according to a library statement.