Words

Library Road Trip

A countywide journey

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A year ago, when Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) staff first brainstormed ways to commemorate our 75th anniversary, we thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to take a giant road trip to each of our 10 libraries and a bookmobile stop the day of our actual anniversary?” 

So on Nov. 7, 2019, I, along with three staff members and WCLS trustee Brad Cornwell, set out to do precisely that.

We started a day early by visiting the bookmobile at the future site of the Birch Bay Vogt Community Library. The next morning, our day began at 7am at Whatcom Literacy Council’s annual Literacy Breakfast. WCLS staff packed three tables with attendees to support our longtime partner organization. The Literacy Council surprised us with a lively rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and featured speaker Nancy Pearl posed for photos with our crew.

We dashed off to the WCLS Administrative Services building on Northwest Drive to watch a slideshow of historical library photos collected by staff members Deborah Morgan and Erin Suda as part of a Washington Rural Heritage project.  (You can see a selection at http://www.washingtonruralheritage.org/digital/collection/wcls75

We then headed north to the Blaine Library, where WCLS has been operating the library on Third Street for more than 30 years. We’re currently gathering community input for the design of a new library (see http://www.wcls.org/blaine for details).

We continued up I-5, across two international borders to Point Roberts. The exterior of the Point Roberts Library, which opened in the renovated Julius Firehall in 2018, was festooned with antique aprons that waved in the morning breeze. Inside, colorful Barber skirts popular in the 1940s decorated the walls. These were woven by Lummi weavers and sold to appreciative schoolgirls back in the day. 

Next we retraced our path across the border and visited the Sumas Library, where staff urged us to return that evening for a 1940s-era swing dance complete with a live band. 

At the Lynden Library we admired five gorgeous wall hangings depicting scenes of Lynden, sewn by the Pieceable Quilters and recently donated to the library. Then we zipped over to the Everson Library, where Branch Manager Eileen Shaw greeted us in 1940s attire and County Executive-elect Satpal Sidhu shared his family’s story of moving to Whatcom County.

At the Deming Library, staff were busy setting up for a community potluck. We typed out a message for the future on a manual typewriter, then continued up the Mt. Baker Highway to the North Fork Library in Kendall for snacks and to offer our predictions for the library’s future.

On our way south, we caught up with the Bookmobile in Wickersham before continuing to the South Whatcom Library. With the sun starting to set, we made it to the Ferndale Library before pulling up to the Lummi Island ferry for our last stop of the night. The Island Library featured a display cabinet with historic memorabilia and a timeline of significant milestones in library history. 

Bellingham libraries were not on our itinerary because the city libraries are not part of WCLS, an independent taxing district serving the residents of rural Whatcom County. 

For those who’d like a closer peek at our epic 210-mile tour of the Whatcom County Library System, check out this video at http://bit.ly/wclf2019, then join us for the next chapter! 

Christine Perkins is the executive director of Whatcom County Library System

More Words...
The Woman’s Hour
A date with democracy

This year is a big one for democracy: Not only is it a presidential election year, it’s the year of the decennial census, which helps apportion congressional voting districts.

It’s also a milestone anniversary for two voting-related Constitutional amendments. The 15th Amendment…

more »
Dates With Death
When My Time Comes

“My mother begged to die,” Diane Rehm writes in the preface of her new book, When My Time Comes: Conversations about Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right to Determine When Life Should End.

“There was no hope of recovery,” she continues. “There was nothing more they could do…

more »
Clean Slate
Say farewell to library fines

By the end of 2019, I had approximately $3 in late fees at the Bellingham Public Library that I kept meaning to take care of. I knew once the amount reached $10, I’d no longer be able to proceed to the checkout lane. 

But my procrastination paid off. On Jan. 2, 2020, those overdue fines…

more »
Events
Today
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

My Circus Valentine

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

Murder on the Orient Express

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

The Great Northwest Glass Quest

10:00am|Camano Island and Stanwood

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

12:00pm|Whatcom County

Red Wine and Chocolate Tour

11:00am|Whidbey Island

Vox and Friends

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Snowshoe Walk

10:00am|Glacier Public Service Center

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Jim and Susie Malcolm

2:00pm|Nancy's Farm

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Aizuri String Quartet

4:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Dances of Universal Peace

6:00pm|Center for Mindful Use

Tomorrow
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

The Great Northwest Glass Quest

10:00am|Camano Island and Stanwood

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bite of Blaine

6:00pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Cider University

6:30pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Bacon and Chocolate

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Poetrynight

7:00pm|Alternative Library

Tuesday
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

The Great Northwest Glass Quest

10:00am|Camano Island and Stanwood

Artist workshop

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Racism Mapping

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Art of Tea

6:30pm|Lynden Library

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Chuckanut Radio Hour

7:00pm|Village Books

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Ski Bus to Stevens Pass

9:00pm

see our complete calendar »