UPDATE 3/13/2020: WCLS closes branches March 16-April 24 to mitigate COVID-19 spread

An announcement from WCLS:

Currently, public health best practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include limiting access to the places where people congregate. Consistent with Whatcom County schools, we have made the decision to follow public health guidance and close to the public, beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 24, or longer as needed. 

This closure affects all WCLS branches in Whatcom County, Library Express locations, the Bookmobile, and our Administrative Services office on Northwest Drive.As a public institution, we did not make this decision lightly.  We recognize closure means some of the people who need us the most will not have access to library buildings. We’ll be talking to our partners about how we can work together to support our community.
We know you care about your library staff. During the building closures, staff will continue to work and be paid. They will be available to help you via online chat, email or phone. To protect employee health, we are following workplace guidelines from county health officials.While our physical spaces are closed, your Library card gives you access to a world of digital content and other services, including Mango LanguagesKanopy streaming video, and RB Digital magazines.

You should also know:

  • We will be extending holds and due dates. If you have materials that are due during this closure, please keep them. Remember: there are no overdue fines.
  • ConnectED resources remain available for students.
  • Library events and certain meeting room reservations had previously been canceled through March. For now, cancellations will extend through April 24, 2020.
  • Visit our website for COVID-19 information and resources. We’ll also post information to our social media pages.

The health and safety of you, our Friends of the Library, and our staff is our top concern. Thank you for your patience as we modify operations during this unprecedented time.


Christine Perkins, Executive Director
Whatcom County Library System

Tea and Chocolate Pairing

NOTICE: Due to current guidance from public health officials, the Library is canceling all programs, events, meeting room bookings, and outreach activities during the month of March. At this time, all branch locations continue to operate with normal hours. Find out more about our response to COVID-19 and how to access library services online at wcls.org.

CANCELED: Laurie and Charles Dawson live in Sumas and put on a fantastic program. Don’t miss out!

Author Visit on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 3:00 PM

Join John Hoyte as he recounts his uncommon life adventures—his childhood in China, time spent in a Japanese prison camp in World War ll, leading a British expedition over the Alps with an elephant, and being an entrepreneur and inventor in Silicon Valley. With each surprising twist and turn of his journey, he builds a life infused with purpose and creativity, as beautifully captured in his memoir “Persistence of Light.”

WCLS says “Farewell to Overdue Fines”

Big news from WCLS! Click the link for the full scoop.

That’s right! We said farewell to overdue fines and cleared them from all accounts. As of Jan. 2, 2020, Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) and Bellingham Public Library (BPL) are joining libraries across the country that are making this change. Eliminating overdue fines ensures greater access to library materials and services – after all, that’s what libraries are all about!

We no longer charge borrowers for returning library materials after the due date. We also eliminated existing overdue account balances so everyone starts fresh. Borrowers are still charged replacement costs for unreturned or damaged items. We do want library materials back! Questions? Ask us!