A Wordy Roundup

The power of sharing

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The thrill I got from opening an email with a subject line of “September Events from Whatcom County Library System” was real. It had been months since I’d received a wordy roundup from the always-accommodating WCLS staff, and even though the press release arrived in the middle of the month, its subject matter extended into the fall.

While libraries throughout Whatcom County remain closed to the public, WCLS Executive Director Christine Perkins points out that hasn’t halted their services.

In addition to being able to access an extensive digital collection, patrons are reserving library materials and picking them up curbside, she says in WCLS’s seasonal newsletter, “Explorations.” Free Wi-Fi from library parking lots, printing services, laptop loans, reference assistance and more are also available.

In compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, Perkins adds, staff are creating and scheduling online events, and working with local nonprofits to gather community experiences during this unprecedented era.

“I hope you’ll share your story,” she says. “During this time, it’s never been more apparent that a library is more than a building. Thank you for your support and for joining us to foster a love of reading and community—no matter the circumstances. That’s the power of sharing.”

Perkins’ last sentiment also happens to be the theme for a number of events taking place through November. Shortly after its Summer Reading program wraps up on Sept. 30, WCLS will host author and thru-hiker Heather “Anish” Anderson for a number of inspiring presentations and community conversations taking place from Oct. 1-10 on Zoom. The second annual “Read & Share” program focuses on the former Bellinghamster’s memoir, Thirst: 2,600 Miles to Home, which is currently available for checkout—either curbside or as a downloadable eBook or eAudiobook. (Read more about the tome and related events in the Weds., Sept. 30 print edition of the Cascadia Weekly.)

Another event of note is a Harper Collins Virtual Authors presentation with “America’s Librarian,” Nancy Pearl (pictured) at 7pm Thurs., Sept. 24. If you miss out on registering, Pearl, the co-author of The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives, will also be virtually present on Oct. 29 for Whatcom Literacy Council’s annual Literacy Breakfast—its biggest fundraiser of the year.

In the aforementioned missive, I also learned about a What We’re Reading Book Club led by Deming Library staff member Erin Suda that will be meeting online on the first and third Thursdays of the month, an Award Winning Book Club hosted by Lynden Library, a Family Book Group for kids in grades K-5 and their families that connects monthly, the resumption of the Ferndale Book Group, a Book It! Tween Book Club group for students in grades 4-6, and Teen Reads for grades 6-12.

The latter gathering is meant for fans of any genre, including graphic novel, fantasy, webcomics or realistic fiction and meets via Zoom from 3pm-4pm Wednesdays. Other online events for teens include a Creativity Hour (3pm Tuesdays), Whatcom Teen Writers, (3pm Thursdays), and Teen D&D (3pm-5pm every other Friday). Teen artists are also encouraged to submit their original artwork to any public library on or before Oct. 31. Accepted artists will receive a copy of the book to keep, and all styles of art are encouraged.

Book recommendations, to-go bags, Whatcom READS information, voter resources and details can also be found on the Whatcom County Library System’s website, as can information about streaming movies and music, job searches and accessing online databases such as http://www.ancestry.com or http://www.lynda.com.

As we head into fall, Village Books is also hosting a variety of author events at its Virtual Readings Gallery, including a 5pm Weds., Sept. 23 discussion with Peter Laufer and radio host Peter D. Collins about Laufer’s book Up Against the Wall: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border.

A couple of days later, at 7pm Fri., Sept. 25, historian Brian Griffin will discuss local lore via his book The Donovan Diaries. Order your signed copy of the tome about Fairhaven’s John Joseph Donovan, or drop by the Donovan statue bench on the corner of 11th Street and Harris Avenue from 12pm-4pm Sat., Sept. 26, where Griffin will be slinging signatures.

At 4pm Tues., Sept. 27, tune in when author and hospital chaplain Dick Cathell shares ideas from his book The Gift of Becoming. The collection of stories, poems and vignettes delves into nearly four decades of heartbreaking encounters—and what is needed to cope with other’s grief as well as your own.

As the month draws to a close, a monthly Virtual Open Mic with local author and emcee Sean Dwyer begin at 7pm Weds., Sept. 28. You’ll need to pre-register to share your stories, poems and essays, but both published and unpublished writers are welcome, and the audience is always an enthusiastic one. It won’t be quite the same as being there in person, but until we can gather again safely, it’s a swell alternative.

For more details about upcoming events, go to http://www.wcls.org or http://www.villagebooks.com

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