Teens at Kern County Juvenile Hall will now have more reading options

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The teens detained at Kern County Juvenile Hall don’t get a choice in many things until now. The detention center will soon be providing them with more than 3,000 options for books. 

Dozens of genres, hundreds of authors and thousands of titles will soon be available to the teens. 

This is a project that has been in the works for about a year. The detention center wanted to give the teens a new fun place to go relax and clear their minds, so they came up with a library.

The project was departmentally funded. The center’s staff all worked together to paint the walls, the bookshelves, and the murals. And the books were all donated, more than three thousand of them.

“Since they’re away from home and they’re in a locked-down facility, they’re not allowed to move around and do things, but the access to the books that we have here allows them to mentally get freed from their circumstances,” said Ryan Wegis, director of juvenile hall.

A few girls were able to preview the library while we were there. They were very excited to see the many books they will soon be able to check out.

Currently, they have a few hundred books available, but no centralized area where they can go and hang out.

Staff says this is only the beginning. they hope to expand the library to other unused rooms in the building soon. They say they also want to look into bringing authors to speak to the teens.

The library’s grand opening is Tuesday afternoon. If you are interested in donating books contact Shell Beach at 661-868-4379.

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