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PHOTO GALLERY: Historic Baker Street branch library reopens after being shuttered for nearly two years

The 106-year-old library has been a treasure for generations in a neighborhood that is rich in history, but has struggled in recent decades.

Cheyenne Mulalic, library associate at the Baker branch, lauded the location for its striking Italian Renaissance architecture and quaint setting — but more than that, it's a free public resource for area families who can check out books, use its five computers and find that sense of discovery that generations of families and their children have benefitted from since its opening during World War I.

"We've been closed almost two years now," Mulalic said of the branch in Old Town Kern in east Bakersfield.

"It's been a real shame to have it closed," she said. "But now we can welcome people back in."