Year in Review: Blaine Public Library


“75 Years of Sharing Stories,” which was the theme for the 75th anniversary of the Whatcom County Library System (WCLS), well-described a year of celebrating local library history and stories through social media and events at the Blaine Library.

Local residents Georgia Donovan and Richard and Melanie May were honored as part of the prestigious countywide group of 75 WCLS Library Champions for their significant contribution to libraries over the system’s first 75 years.

The library said goodbye to many long-time staff members due to retirements, transfers and career changes, but a dynamic new team of staff emerged, eager to provide exceptional library service to the 100,000-plus patrons who visit the Blaine Library each year and check out over 200,000 items.

Valuable new online library resources added in 2019 were the streaming video service Kanopy, Value Line Investment Research Database and Newsbank with its hundreds of news sources including The Bellingham Herald and The Seattle Times.

Library visitors enjoyed a diversity of programs with subjects covering dementia, dog behavior, Dr. Who, green burial, knife sharpening and pumpkin slime. Three weekly story times for babies, toddlers and preschoolers provided a fun environment for learning important pre-literacy skills. The new Teen Art Club met with great success and an avid following.

Partnering with WCLS and the city of Blaine, Friends of the Blaine Library provided $50,000 to fund the Blaine Library Design Project, which is being developed by Johnston Architecture and King Architects. Initial architectural building assessments found the current building to be nearing the end of its life. Three community engagement meetings to gain public input will culminate on Tuesday, January 14. Popular ideas for a larger facility have included expanded children and teen areas, quiet spaces, a variety of seating options and meeting rooms, a solid technology infrastructure for computers and spaces for art and history interests.

Stay tuned for what’s ahead in 2020!


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