WCLS responds to network security event

Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) administrators are investigating a network security event that has compromised the library system’s email and phone servers. Library officials suspect malware, but the investigation is ongoing. Library services are available. However, community members are not currently able to call county library branches, to email staff or to access some digital resources. New appointments for curbside pickup of library materials are also not currently available because email is required to schedule appointments. Printers may not be available at all locations.

WCLS and Bellingham Public Library (BPL) are separate library systems. The incident does not impact phone or email service at Bellingham’s three branches: Central, Fairhaven and Barkley Village. WCLS and BPL do share online access to some digital resources. That authentication server has been temporarily shut down as part of WCLS’s security review. A list of impacted resources is available at wcls.org/patronupdates and BellinghamPublicLibrary.org. Patrons can access other digital assets as well as the library’s website and social media.

Library officials are assessing if the event impacted staff information and files.

Library patrons will be able to browse and check out books online and in-person at all 10 county branches, the bookmobile and the Library Express location on Northwest Drive. Curbside pickup is not available because it is scheduled via email. Library events will continue as planned. Because email and phone services are offline, community members who need to talk with library staff should visit a branch location. Find the nearest WCLS branch at wcls.org.

“We are working as quickly as possible to return full communication, but security is our top priority,” says WCLS Executive Director Christine Perkins. “Thank you to community members for your patience and support.” Updates will be posted at the library system’s website, wcls.org.

About WCLS: The Whatcom County Library System serves communities outside the city limits of Bellingham with 10 branches in Blaine, Deming, Everson, Ferndale, Lummi Island, Lynden, Kendall, Point Roberts, Sudden Valley and Sumas (currently closed due to flood damage). WCLS also operates a Library Express location on Northwest Drive and serves patrons with a bookmobile that visits Glenhaven, Birch Bay, Wickersham, Lake Samish and Sumas. To learn more, visit wcls.org.