Kern County libraries are under threat of privatization by a national corporation that wants to run them for a profit. This shift would fundamentally alter how our libraries work and change the emphasis from serving the public to maximizing profit. Fortunately, SEIU members and the community have come together to stop this outrageous idea. A few weeks ago, we hosted a public forum for families that were interested in keeping our libraries focused on serving the community and had hundreds of people attend.
People from Friends of the Library and SEIU Local 521 members read stories to a crowd of children and adults who came out to show their support. There were also singalong songs for the crowd and the first Kern County reading of The Privatization Beast, a story about a mythical creature who goes to cities and counties across America to feed on public services. We even had a visit from the Privatization Beast, who posed for pictures.
We will continue to push back against the idea turning our public services into profit centers. Our public services should not put profit over quality.