SEIU 1021

SF Public Library workers rally to demand full-time jobs, security measures
As City’s drug and homelessness crises spill into public libraries, librarians fight to keep facilities safe for all


Over 100 San Francisco Public Library staff and other SF City and County workers rallied Tuesday, April 9, to demand that the SF Public Library take action to keep them and their patrons safe and more full-time jobs for the over half of all library employees currently part-time.

“Our public libraries rely on a huge number of part-time workers like me. Even when we get raises, it’s not enough to get by in one of the most expensive cities in the world,” part-time librarian and SEIU 1021 Library Guild officer Jessica Choy told KQED. “We’re only guaranteed 20 hours a week. So we’re hustling to get extra hours every day, some of us waking up at midnight checking our apps, trying to pick up a shift.”

Safety is also a big concern. Only a handful of the city’s 27 library branches have a dedicated security guard. At the rally, SEIU 1021 Library Guild Chapter President and Portola branch manager Nicole Termini Germain recounted a frightening story of having to put herself between a half-dressed, mentally unstable man wielding a sharp metal object and a group of preschoolers.

“I am a librarian, I am a branch manager — I am not a policewoman, I am not a security guard,” Germain said. “This is not what I signed up for when I became a librarian. However, as a branch manager and children’s librarian, that is the position I find myself in.”

The rally was covered extensively by media. Check out just a few below: