History of the Northeast Branch Library
The Northeast Branch Library was opened on March 10, 1982, in response to the need to give better library access to residents of the new and rapidly growing neighborhoods of northeast Bakersfield, which were too distant from the Baker Street Library. Prior to 1982, the Bookmobile stopped in shopping centers to serve new northeast neighborhoods. Originally located in the Country Club Plaza Shopping Center, Kern County Librarian Robert Cannon attributed the high usage of both the Northeast Branch Library and Southwest Branch Library to the convenience of being next to other stores. To serve the many families utilizing the branch, a full spectrum of programming was offered, including a partnership with Foothill High School’s drama department and an Oktoberfest celebration. By 1990, Northeast residents were requesting a larger library. The branch was the 3rd busiest in the system. On July 1994, the branch was moved into the shopping center building formerly occupied by Rufener’s Drug Store. Square footage expanded from 4,000 to 10,000, and the collection increased. A second floor mezzanine space provided room for staff offices, storage, and location for the Friends book sales. In early 2008, a new building lease resulted in major improvements to the building, including new paint, air conditioning, and new carpet.
For more information, read the eBook Kern County Library, A Century of Progress.