by Debby Farmer, Blaine branch manager
Your Whatcom County Library System’s Blaine Library branch promoted lifelong learning in countless ways in 2017.
Babies and toddlers cozied up with board books, preschoolers attended specially designed story times and beginning readers took home stacks of reading-level appropriate books.
Readers of all ages embraced the “Green” summer reading theme and completed bingo cards with an assortment of fun reading suggestions and special story times were offered on a WTA bus, with a SSC recycling truck and a John Deere tractor from Washington Tractors. Children paid visits to the library from local daycares, classrooms, and the Boys and Girls Club. Kids of all ages delighted in discovering and checking out American Girl Dolls, family board games and coloring kits.
The library supplied materials for local book groups. Blaine staff continued to host a monthly book discussion opportunity at the library, and initiated new groups at the Blaine Senior Center and Stafholt Good Samaritan Center. Library users and staff cheered policy changes that included no more overdue fines on youth materials, automatic courtesy first time renewals on certain items, and a dismissal of the expired hold fee for requested items not picked up.
Effective WCLS marketing campaigns highlighted the library’s many online resources including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, eMusic, language learning, car manuals and consumer information. An eighth public computer was added to ease the ever increasing demand for internet access and printing.
The library hosted many programs covering arts and crafts, authors and writing, citizenship preparation, culinary arts, emergency preparedness, gardening, genealogy, robotics, sustainability, tech training and travel. When not in use, the library provided space for scouts, neighborhood associations, Whatcom Literacy Council training and tutoring, Opportunity Council appointments and city department groups.
Goodbyes were said to long time staff members, April Sibley, Cindy Leffel and Jayme Gilday and welcomes to Whitney Motley and Elizabeth Stewart. The Friends of the Library continued strong with successful book sales, bake sales and a repeat fundraising concert by Bob Milne. Momentum for library facility improvements grew and was especially energized with a $10,000 anonymous donation, followed quickly with yearend matching gifts totaling close to year-end $20,000 more.
Happy New Year!