This is not a good trend, in my opinion.
All the more reason our profession needs to get its act together, pull itself out of its tendency to sink into bureaucracy and introversion, and really market itself. Public, independent libraries and archives are a hallmark of a healthy, free society, just like small-scale agriculture and strong local economies. We need to affirm and reaffirm, publicly and clearly, what is good about these things and exactly what value they bring into our communities and our lives. Otherwise, we face the erosion of our basic quality of life.
ALA should make a statement about the outsourcing and privatization of public libraries. And we should all take a closer look at what’s going on here, and put ourselves in the shoes of a taxpayer or a library board member. As intelligent laypeople with busy lives, what would we want our library to offer us? What would we be willing to pay for? What would motivate us to fight to keep it around?