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Walter W. Stiern Library: Library News & History


About the Walter W. Stiern Library

The Walter W. Stiern Library opened in 1994 and is the largest building on the California State University, Bakersfield campus. The 150,000 square-foot building houses nearly half a million volumes and provides electronic access to thousands of periodical titles via its computer terminals. Patrons can also watch DVDs, videos, or listen to CDs on library equipment. The Library is managed and operated by 23 staff members and faculty librarians. The Library also maintains a branch library at the CSUB Antelope Valley campus in Lancaster. The Dean of Libraries oversees all operations and services.

The Building: Its Collections and Services

The five-story Library building is divided into a lower level and four upper levels. On the lower level, a large computer lab provides students with access to a variety of software applications. In addition to the lab, the lower level has five computer classrooms, three instructional television studios, a multi-media production lab, and a 24-hour study room.

The Library’s upper four levels are divided into service areas, collections and offices.

On the main level, students can check out books, obtain research help from a librarian at the reference desk, borrow reserve materials, or use the reference computers to access resources. Located in the wood-paneled Dezember Reading Room is the Law Collection. Administration and librarian offices are found on Level 1, in addition to Walter’s Coffee and Snack Bar. 

The Historical Research Center, which contains the Campus Archives, Special Collections, and the Gallery, can be found on Level 2. This level also houses our microfilm and print periodicals collection.

The third and fourth levels house the main book collection. This circulation collection is the largest academic book collection in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Group and individual study rooms are also found on these levels.


Librarians provide reference services in person at the reference desk, through email, phone, and chat. They also offer in-depth help to students through the Individual Research Assistance Program. Our librarians, all of whom hold advanced degrees in library science, teach information competency courses and subject orientations.

Namesakes and Associates

The Library is named for Walter W. Stiern (1914-1987), a Kern County veterinarian who served 28 years in the State Senate and was instrumental in the establishment of CSUB. The Stiern Library Associates and our benefactors have helped make possible the Library’s substantial contribution to the university and community. Areas and collections in the library bear the names of some of our most generous benefactors, such as the late Dr. George and Millie Ablin, Rayburn and Joan Dezember, Dolores Cerro, and Peter R. Harbach.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Walter W. Stiern Library is to strengthen and enhance the learning, research, and instruction of California State University, Bakersfield by facilitating access to programs and services that support a culture of broad inquiry reflective of the diverse community we serve. The Library enriches the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by engaging with the campus and encouraging life-long learning, critical thinking, and societal awareness.

Contact the Library

Check-out Desk

Call: 661-654-3172

Research Help