Still time to share ideas for the Birch Bay Library

A crowd gathers around potential library designs at the second Birch Bay library community input session on July 16. Photo by Connie Taylor

By Oliver Lazenby

If you didn’t make it to the two community input sessions for the future Birch Bay Library, there’s still time to share your ideas for the building’s design.

The Whatcom County Library System has a survey at, which offers a last chance for input before the third and final design meeting on Saturday, August 18.

“The time for community input is now,” said WCLS deputy director Michael Cox. “Once we get past the next meeting, there won’t be many opportunities to shape the library.”

Planning is already well underway for the library, which will be located at 7968 Birch Bay Drive, a property that currently has a Craftsman-style house and two outbuildings.

At the second design meeting on July 16, about 35 attendees split into groups and came up with different arrangements for specific areas to be included in the library, such as a lobby, kids’ section, teen section, computer and media areas, parking and staff workroom.

“We rolled up our sleeves and got to work developing design concepts together,” Cox said. “We were all actively participating and talking about how these different functions of a library can be pieced together.”

Cox said that many of the designs had some common features, including keeping parking away from the front of the building, maintaining the view of the bay and locating bathrooms and staff areas toward the back of the property.

Zervas Architects will use those designs to create an initial design for the layout that will be presented at the final design  meeting.

Zervas Architects will also present a more thorough design review of the Craftsman house with an analysis on how best to use it and how much it will cost to incorporate into the design, Cox said.

“That’s something we need to determine before we move any further along,” he said.

The final design meeting goes from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, on the front lawn of the Birch Bay Library site at 7968 Birch Bay Drive. A shuttle will be provided to overflow parking at the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce at 7900 Birch Bay Drive.

Learn more about the Birch Bay Library at

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