History of the Kern County Library Foundation
With the purpose of raising funds to use towards enhancement and enrichment of the Kern County Library, the Kern County Library Foundation has raised nearly $3 million since its formation in 1986. Among many contributions, the Foundation has purchased pieces for the Fine Arts Collection at the Beale Memorial Library and has supported the Foundation Center Cooperating Collection (a collection of specialized foundation and grant resources which provide information about grant opportunities). In 1996, the Fern M. Doe endowment was established when Mrs. Doe, a longtime Bakersfield High School English teacher, left $690,000 to the Kern County Library Foundation. This endowment provided funding for enhancement of the reference and fine arts collections. The Reference Center was renamed the Fern M. Doe Reference Center in her honor. In 2008, Bill Farley left a bequest for the Bryce C. Rathbun Branch Library.
Since 1986, the Kern County Library Foundation has funded numerous other enhancements and projects, including the Beale Memorial Library’s 20th Anniversary celebration, the groundbreaking for the new Frazier Park Branch Library, and the purchasing of artwork of 6 rural branches. Recently, the Foundation has made self-checkout systems available, including audiovisual and a gaming system for teens at the Beale Memorial Library.
California Fine Arts Collection – Virtual Tour
The selection of the works in the California Fine Arts Collection, by 19th and 20th century California artists, was begun in 1987 and completed in 1995. All works were purchased with funds raised by the Kern County Library Foundation and by generous donations by private citizens and businesses – no public funds or tax money was sought or utilized to purchase the art in this collection. The gathering of the pieces took 8 years of diligent research and careful consideration by the members of the Art Acquisition Committee. Their goal was to build a collection that is a source of pride and pleasure to all residents of Kern County and those who tour the area.
Society of Six
J Wayne Thiebaud
Joseph Morris Raphael
Henry Percy Gray
Gary Lee Price
Egar Alwin Payne