BC's Collaborative Partnership With The City Of Shafter Highlighted At Kern Board Of Supervisors Meeting

BC library team and leadership at Kern Board of Supervisors meeting

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Kern Community College District voted in 2021 to approve an agreement between Bakersfield College and the City of Shafter, where the college would provide library and educational services in order to reopen the Shafter Library. Since then, the City of Shafter has been providing space for BC classes at the Shafter Learning Center, which has shared space with the Shafter Branch of the Kern County Library for almost 10 years. In September of this year, the City of Shafter and the Shafter Library and Learning Center was presented with a Helen Putnam award for Intergovernmental Collaboration.  A video on the award is available online.

On Tuesday, the City of Shafter and Bakersfield College presented to the Kern County Board of Supervisors to share more about the partnership. Bakersfield College provides weekly support services at the location to help people register and give advice on courses, as well as BC’s programs. There are even “on ramp” events for local high school students which feature experts from Financial Aid, Admissions, different academic degree pathways, and recent college graduates who share their experiences with students. These events have served over 280 attendees.

Kern Community College District Board of Trustees President, Romeo Agbalog, said “BC is heavily invested in rural initiatives and bringing higher education to students by meeting them where they are. BC is invested in Shafter and when I learned that the public library was closed, BC sprung to action to help our partners at the City of Shafter restore a resource that our students needed. By working together a new, bold, and innovative model was formed that restored the library and enhanced the services and experience offered to the students and community at large by way of expanded hours, new  books, programs, and articulation between the library and Shafter Learning Center.  In a short time this collaboration has earned awards from the Shafter Chamber of Commerce and now the League of California Cities and is being showcased as a shining example of partnership and a library service delivery model of the future.”

Through this collaboration, it can also be said that Shafter’s library has been one of the busiest libraries per square foot in California.

BC’s Library Team and Leadership during recent Kern Board of Supervisors meeting

Associate Vice President of Instruction for Bakersfield College, Jessica Wojtysiak gives comment at the Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting