Kern County Library
Beale Memorial Library Entrance.jpg
Beale Memorial Library Entrance
CountryUnited States
TypePublic Library
Established1900 (1900)
LocationKern County, California
Coordinates35°22′23″N 119°00′36″W / 35.373°N 119.010°W / 35.373; -119.010
Size1.098 million
Access and use
Circulation1,554,073 (2011)
Population served800,000+
Other information
Budget$8 million
DirectorAndy Sullivan
Staff126 Paid Staff
901 Volunteer
References: Kern County Library[1]

The Kern County Library is a public library system serving the residents of Kern County, California. The library system is headquartered at the Beale Memorial Library in Downtown Bakersfield. There are additional branches located throughout Kern County. The library is also a part of the San Joaquin Valley Library System (SLVLS), which is a corporative network of library systems located throughout the San Joaquin Valley.[2]

The system contains a variety of material, including: books, audio/visual material, periodicals, and government documents. The Beale Memorial Library also contains special collections. These include: historical maps, historical photography, fine arts collection, genealogy, grant research, and local history. There is also a collection about local geology, mining, and petroleum.[3]

A library card is required for checking out material. All California residents are eligible for a library card. It also allows access to library resources over the internet.[4]

Beale Memorial Library

The first free library in the county was the Beale Memorial Library. It was created in 1900 by Mary Edwards Beale and her son Truxtun Beale. It was dedicated to the memory of their husband and father, General Edward Fitzgerald Beale.[5] The Kern County Library System (originally called the Kern County Free Library) was organized on July 11, 1911. It would adopt the Beale Memorial Library as its headquarters.[5]

The existing building served the needs of the system until 1952, when it was destroyed by the Kern County earthquake. The new library was completed in 1957 and was used for the next 30 years. By the mid 1980s, that building became too small to hold the growing collection. In 1988, the library was moved to its current location at 701 Truxtun Ave.[5]


Baker Branch
Baker Branch
Frazier Park Branch
Frazier Park Branch

In addition to the Beale Memorial Library in Downtown Bakersfield, there are 23 additional branches throughout Kern County. They include 6 branches that serve Greater Bakersfield.[6]

There are also two Bookmobiles that operate in Kern County. They are mobile libraries that travel to different locations in the county. One operates in Bakersfield and surrounding rural areas, while the other operates in the Kern River Valley.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Annual Report 2010/2011. Kern County Library. Accessed: 01-31-2012.
  2. ^ Home Page Archived 2010-09-23 at the Wayback Machine. San Joaquin Valley Library System. Accessed: 06-17-2010.
  3. ^ Special Collection Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine. Kern County Library. Accessed: 06-17-2010.
  4. ^ Getting a Library Card Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine. Kern County Library. Accessed: 06-17-2010.
  5. ^ a b c "About the Kern County Library". Kern County Library. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Hours and Locations Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine. Kern County Library. Accessed: 06-17-2010.