On Nov. 7, 1944, the citizens of Whatcom County said yes to the power of stories by voting to form what is today the Whatcom County Library System (WCLS). In celebration of this 75th anniversary, all county libraries will host special activities on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Drop by any WCLS branch – or branches – for cupcakes (while they last), 1940s-themed activities and historical displays. Hours and events vary by branch. Visit wcls.org/75 for more information.
Wednesday, Nov. 6
- 3-7 p.m., Birch Bay Bookmobile stop and future home of the Birch Bay Library, 7968 Birch Bay Drive: The celebration begins a day early at the Birch Bay bookmobile stop. Enjoy cupcakes, coffee and hot chocolate. Share library stories and hear updates on the Birch Bay Vogt Community Library project, currently in development.
Thursday, Nov. 7 – Hours vary by branch. Events in alphabetical order.
- 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Blaine Library, 610 3rd Street: Celebrate with cupcakes and punch, music and news from 1944, a photo prop, and a fun craft activity. Enjoy library history displays from past years and share your favorite library stories.
- Bookmobile stops, Wickersham (3-5 p.m.) and Lake Samish (5:30-7 p.m.): Celebrate by visiting the new bookmobile at its Thursday stops in Wickersham (Wickersham and Royer streets) and Lake Samish (Samish Water District Office, 2195 Nulle Road).
- 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Highway: Visit the Deming Library for special 1940’s library-themed activities and treats. Attend between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. for live entertainment and a community potluck.
- 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Drive: Experience a 1940’s library retro-desk complete with a rotary phone and old-fashioned typewriter. Take a picture posing with the props. Stroll through the “Museum-for-a-Day” for artifacts and memorabilia from yesteryear. View pictures and a timeline to learn the history of the Everson Library. From 2-8 p.m., enjoy refreshments and community storytelling as locals share their memories through narratives, dance and music. Storytellers include Gretchen Hoyt, Satpal Sidhu, Michael Zawistowski, Holly Bevan-Bumford, Reg Wilford, Claudette Sterk, Hilda Hooper, Sage Waters, Amy Ryan, Scandinavian fiddlers, Nooksack drummers and swing dancers.
- 3-7 p.m. Ferndale Library, 2125 Main Street: Festivities include music, a photo booth, a scavenger hunt and other fun activities.
- 2-8 p.m. Island Library, 2144 South Nugent Road, Lummi Island: Celebrate WCLS’s 75th birthday with special activities, cake and beverages.
- 2-6 p.m. Lynden Library, 216 4th Street: The Lynden Library will be celebrating with music, a photo booth, a scavenger hunt, 1944 trivia and other fun activities. Take a look at photo albums from past years and share your library stories.
- 10 a.m.-8 p.m., North Fork Library, 7506 Kendall Road: Experience the year 1944 with festivities, themed activities and light refreshments. Take part in an interactive art installation to answer the question: What will libraries be like 75 years in the future?
- 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Point Roberts Library, 1431 Gulf Road: The celebration starts with a cupcake party, ‘40s music and history displays of life in the 1940s. At noon, a panel discusses “The Future of Point Roberts.” School children visit at 2 p.m. for library storytime and other activities.
- 10 a.m.-6 p.m., South Whatcom Library, 10 Barn View Court, Sudden Valley, Gate 2: Step back to the year 1944 with themed activities for all ages. Celebrate the library’s history by writing your library story on a leaf to add to the Story Tree. Enjoy historical library photos and light refreshments.
- Noon-9 p.m., Sumas Library, 461 2nd Street: Drop by for cupcakes, raffle prizes and fun activities for all ages. A 1940’s-themed swing dance will take place from 7-9 p.m. and features the musical talents of The Swing Connection Big Band. Dress up for the dance in your best 1940’s-inspired attire and/or share your favorite 1940’s-inspired dessert for a chance to be crowned fan favorite in either category. Winners will be announced at 8:30 p.m.
The Nov. 7 parties are among the closing events of WCLS’ year-long celebration. Earlier this year, staff compiled Books that Suit You, 52 weeks of book recommendations revealed each week on WCLS’ social media and website. They also created Read & Share, a countywide book group featuring “My Old Man and the Mountain” by Leif Whittaker. The author – son of Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mount Everest – shared the inspiring story of his family at numerous public events, which continue through Nov. 16. A new bookmobile hit the road in June – just in time to be showcased in six community summer parades. At a Nov. 9 reception, WCLS will honor 75 Library Champions who made significant contributions to the library system. To ensure WCLS’ rich history lives on, staff recorded library patron stories and scanned memorabilia for the Washington Rural Heritage website’s digital collection. Read more at wcls.org/75.