Birch Bay Vogt Community Library

Community members discuss plans for a future Birch Bay Library.

The Vision

Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) is committed to expanding library services to the Birch Bay community. In April 2017, WCLS purchased property at 7968 Birch Bay Drive for a proposed full-service library to replace WCLS Bookmobile service to Birch Bay. The library project was designed with community input. A ballot measure to build the proposed library narrowly missed passage by the required 60 percent supermajority in the November 2021 and February 2022 elections. Supporters and library system staff are now considering next steps.

The Plan

In spring 2019, the Washington State Legislature provided $2 million in funding for the Birch Bay Vogt Community Library. In summer 2022, WCLS submitted a project scope change request to allocate the state grant to a renovation of the existing building on the property. If approved, this smaller project will provide valuable library services for the Birch Bay community. Private donations will also support the project. Thank you to bp for leading private giving with their generous $100,000 donation in 2019. To learn more and get involved, consider joining the Friends of Birch Bay Library.

The Name

The offi­cial name of the new library, if built, would be the Birch Bay Vogt Community Library in honor of the original family who homesteaded this area, and their descendants who sold the property to WCLS. This is in keeping with the Everson McBeath Community Library, named for a former mayor of Everson. The Birch Bay site is on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples. WCLS staff are working closely with Lummi Nation to protect cultural artifacts beneath the site and to honor Lummi Nation’s enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.