As a gateway to knowledge and culture, libraries play a fundamental role. Their services create opportunities for learning while supporting literacy and education. They help shape the new ideas and perspectives central to a creative and innovative society. The Wasco Branch Kern County Library does this while providing many other benefits to the community.
Visitors enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere while they sit and read. Many use other resources like audio books, computers, printers, reference materials and even help finding a job.
Children and their parents like story time, which takes place every Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.
"We always have an activity and music that goes along with the theme of the story reading. We adapt to the needs and wants of our young patrons by asking them about their particular interests," Branch Supervisor Frank Cervantes said. "We want them to develop a love for reading. Our number one goal is to make reading fun and promote early reading. We strive to boost literacy among youth because we know this contributes to their success in school and life. We have a play area for children to interact with other children in a safe and exciting environment."
The library boasts over 8,000 books in its collection. There is a wide variety of themes to explore, including western, history, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, romance, anime, non-fiction and fiction.
The movie night they host once a month is unique to other local libraries.
"We have a movie license. Since there is no movie theatre in Wasco, we strive to offer not only reading materials, but also bring other forms of entertainment," Cervantes said. "In addition, we have arts and crafts classes for teens and adults."
The library not only nourishes the minds of young people, but it also feeds them with their innovative "Snacks in the Stacks" initiative, which takes place every day it is open from 3- 5 p.m.
"This wonderful program provides a meal for children ages 2-18. There is a main course, milk, fruits and veggies," Cervantes said.
Another convenience the library brings to Wasco residents is free Covid testing. Through a partnership with Kern County Public Health Services, they provide testing every Wednesday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Various organizations provide the library with financial support.
"We are grateful for the Friends of the Library and The Wonderful Company for their generosity in providing funds for us to buy books and other materials," Cervantes said.
A library card is free and gives you the privilege to check out books for 30 days and even longer with a request.
"We help people save by not spending money on books they might need for school, work or pleasure," Cervantes explained. "Not having the means to buy books is a deterrent to reading, and we want everyone to have access to learning."
The library is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and is located at 1102 7th St. For more information and their calendar of events, call 661-758-2114.