A New Chapter for the Shafter Library & Learning Center

library books

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Shafter Library has turned over a new page with its official reopening under a unique collaboration between the City of Shafter and Bakersfield College, which was celebrated during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

In preparation for the re-opening, a significant investment has been made in new books, with a focus on children. At opening, nearly a quarter of the collection is brand new, with more new books on the way. 

In addition to the existing schedule of classes, the Shafter Library & Learning Center will host regular community events. The spring schedule includes bilingual family activity nights, Shafter history lectures, science demonstrations and a community art night.  

The library was closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, when it was part of the Kern County Library system. The City of Shafter has since taken over the operation of the library.

“As a City, we are deeply invested in education and are excited to be opening the new City-operated Shafter Library in partnership with Bakersfield College for our families," said Shafter mayor Cathy Prout.

The City of Shafter has a strong commitment to education and this new partnership aims to create a library that truly integrates literacy and learning into the fabric of community life.

In 2014, the City built the Shafter Learning Center as an extension of the library, which was operated at the time by the Kern County Library, and began offering classes, tutoring and access to computers for residents.

Bakersfield College also established a presence at the Learning Center through its Rural Initiatives program, offering classes, registration events and counselor support.

In 2021 in response to community interest, the Shafter City Council voted to operate the library independently in partnership with Bakersfield College.

“Shafter has a deep relationship with Bakersfield College. We are happy to have such a capable and creative partner. This project builds on that relationship and takes it to a new level," Prout said.

"There is nothing  more basic to education than a library. We are thrilled and proud to collaborate with Shafter to provide this valuable resource to the Shafter community," said Sonya Christian, chancellor of the Kern Community College District. "As part of our mission to uplift rural communities we must ensure residents in rural communities have the same access to educational resources as their big city counterparts." 

As of Wednesday, Jan. 19, the Shafter Learning Center & Library will be open from 8 AM to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday.