UPDATE 4/5/2020: WCLS closes branches to mitigate COVID-19 spread

April 5, 2020 update: Library programs are cancelled until further notice. Due to current public health guidelines, Whatcom County Library System has cancelled or postponed all programs, events, branch services and outreach activities until further notice. We will share updates — and free online library resources you can use at home — on our website and social media pages. 

March 13, 2020 press release: Currently, public health best practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include limiting access to the places where people congregate. Consistent with Whatcom County schools, we have made the decision to follow public health guidance and close to the public, beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 24, or longer as needed. 

This closure affects all WCLS branches in Whatcom County, Library Express locations, the Bookmobile, and our Administrative Services office on Northwest Drive.

As a public institution, we did not make this decision lightly.  We recognize closure means some of the people who need us the most will not have access to library buildings. We’ll be talking to our partners about how we can work together to support our community.

We know you care about your library staff. During the building closures, staff will continue to work and be paid. They will be available to help you via online chat, email or phone. To protect employee health, we are following workplace guidelines from county health officials.

While our physical spaces are closed, your Library card gives you access to a world of digital content and other services, including Mango LanguagesKanopy streaming video, and RB Digital magazines.

You should also know:

  • We will be extending holds and due dates. If you have materials that are due during this closure, please keep them. Remember: there are no overdue fines
  • ConnectED resources remain available for students. 
  • Library events and certain meeting room reservations had previously been cancelled through March. For now, cancellations will extend through April 24, 2020.
  • Visit our website for COVID-19 information and resources. We’ll also post information to our social media pages. 

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, monitor reliable sources such as:

  • Whatcom County Health Department (including fact sheets in​ Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese) – www.whatcomcounty.us/ncov
  • Washington State Department of Health – www.doh.wa.gov/Coronavirus
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
  • Washington State Department of Health has set up a call center to answer questions.  Anyone who has questions about what is happening with coronavirus in Washington State, how it is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms should call the hotline at 1 (800) 525-0127 and press #.
  • Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Interactive Dashboard with realtime information on reported cases