BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – With books still filling the shelves and people still visiting during the week, libraries are at risk.

The latest on that list is McFarland community library, a library awaiting a decision of its fate as city leaders push for it to transition into a new police department. Leaving other library branches in Kern County to question the future after no decision was made at a Board of Supervisors meeting this week.

Chief of Police, Kenny Williams, told the Board, the McFarland community, “only being used twice a day by the county. It was only open two times a week. The city would use that as a police department 24-7.”

However, according to Community Outreach and Workforce Librarian Lynne Kemmer, county libraries are affected by budgeting.

Kern county is one of the largest counties in the state with one of the smallest budgets devoted to libraries. A county made up of 22 libraries that are getting nearly nine million dollars in funding. Kemmer said this is because of how the county values libraries, which is why the budget is often cut first and libraries are the first to go when a board must make tough choices.

“If policing is more important than learning and literacy, and community gathering, I think that that would be a very sad day if that decision were to be made,” said Kemmer.

With the Board of Supervisors reconvening next month, Kemmer said she hopes a decision is not near.