Library Link

Published on Thu, Feb 15, 2007 by ebby Farmer

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Library Link

By Debby Farmer

Today’s public libraries are a far cry from the reserved institutions of yesterday.

The image of the solemn librarian – glasses perched on the end of the nose, a tight bun adorning the nape of the neck, meticulously sorting the myriad catalog cards – has obligingly faded away.

What has evolved is an easily accessible and approachable library assistant, who will help you navigate through the vast oceans of information and technology.

Whether you need the poem that goes with the short excerpt you remember, an obscure tax form, or the latest James Patterson bestseller, your librarian will gladly assist you.

Blaine library patrons checked out close to 150,000 items in 2006! Many were Blaine materials, but a significant number came from other county branches to fill patron requests. Although the Bellingham Public Library is not part of the Whatcom County Library System (WCLS), the two library bodies share the same computer circulation system, which allows for free exchange of their respective collections to fill patron requests. When neither system owns a requested item, the interlibrary loan departments will search worldwide to satisfy patron needs. Any WCLS, Bellingham or interlibrary loan item can be returned to any WCLS branch or the Bellingham or Fairhaven libraries.

After receiving numerous requests for library service in Birch Bay, last fall the bookmobile began making weekly stops at Bay Center Market on Wednesdays, from 4 to 7 p.m. You may wish to take advantage of this added convenience by arranging to have your requests sent to the bookmobile for pick-up. And when the bookmobile is not there, you can still return any WCLS or Bellingham library item in the bookdrop, located on the north side of Bay Center Market. Your materials will be checked in when the bookmobile returns, backdated to the previous Wednesday’s date.

The Blaine Library continues to be a community gathering place for people and information. In 2006, its meeting rooms were used over 200 times by neighborhood associations, city and county organizations, literacy tutors, etc. Tuesday morning Toddler Times saw a total annual attendance of over 1,000 kids and parents. Monthly after school programs drew another 500 plus. The Friends of the Blaine Library hosted seven Friday evening cultural events to crowds interested in birding, travel, and art. The February 2 astronomy program kicked off the new year of events, with the Bellingham Radio and Electricity Museum program February 9.

The Blaine Library has recently become a collection station for the Blaine Food Bank. You may now bring in your donations of non-perishables, including dry, canned, or paper goods during library open hours. Another community service offered to you by your local public library!