October 20, 2022

A plan to convert a library building in the farming town of McFarland in the Central Valley into a police station sparked widespread protest.

Kern County recently expanded the library’s hours to open five days a week. Yet the city leaders of McFarland are doubling down, saying the police need the library building to meet the town’s public safety needs.

At the heart of this debate: What is the role of a library? Who does it serve?


  • Andie Sullivan, Director, Kern County Library
  • Emma Gallegos, Reporter, EdSource

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Education Beat is a weekly podcast hosted by EdSource’s Zaidee Stavely and produced by Coby McDonald.