Stop Privatization Of St Johns County Public Library

Stop Privatization Of St Johns County Public Library

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Kate Gardiner started this petition to Chairman, St Johns County Board of Commissioners Jeremiah Blocker

During the April 6th St Johns County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioners requested information be gathered on outsourcing library management to Library Systems & Services LLC, for collection development and the construction and operation of new library buildings.

This company is known for coming into communities and under the guise of solving budget woes, they gut programs, eliminate and under pay library staff, and use public funds to generate a profit. In other Florida communities like Homestead and Osceola County they have operated with no financial or operational transparency to taxpayers, reduced patron access to computers, printers, scanners, WIFI and other technology as well as cut programming for children and seniors. As a private company they forfeit access to inter-library loans, reciprocal borrowing and other municipal library partnerships. This also means fewer options for grants, state funding and donations, and increase the burden on taxpayers.

Cost savings and efficiencies were listed as the main reasons for exploring privatization, despite the fact that the total budget for St. Johns County Public Libraries accounts for less than 2% of the total general fund expenditures.

St Johns County Public Libraries have been lifelines to residents following hurricanes, during heatwaves and especially in the last year during the Covid-19 pandemic by providing online programming, curbside service and countless ways of supplementing at home education.

Please let the Board of Commissioners know how important it is to keep library services local and fully public and to vote NO on privatization.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!