McFarland Branch

McFarland Branch Library, 2011


History of the Clara M. Jackson (McFarland) Branch Library

McFarland Branch, date unknown

The McFarland Branch Library was established on February 12, 1913, and was built with lumber from a saw mill near Porterville. In January 1914, the library moved and was located in the home of Mrs. O.F. Marner. Four months later, it moved to the McFarland Drug Company. In 1919, the people of McFarland raised funds to purchase a library site. A temporary frame building was used from 1919 until 1923, when the new brick structure was completed. Its new home had a cozy fireplace and hardwood floors. Logs were burned in the fireplace in early years, until gas heaters were installed. By 1989, with the growth of the community and the deterioration of the existing facility, a new building was needed. It became eligible for replacement with the state library prioritizing federal construction grants to go to the highest minority populations depending on need. The new building opened on March 23, 1995. With 6,100 square-feet, the branch includes a multi-purpose community meeting room, public computers, and materials in both English and Spanish languages. The branch was named for Clara M. Jackson, whom served as librarian of the branch for 25 years between 1943 and 1968.


For more information, read the eBook Kern County Library, A Century of Progress.