The floods of November 2021 had a devastating impact on communities across Whatcom County, especially Sumas. Among the flood-damaged buildings is the Sumas Library where equipment, furniture, shelving, books and other materials were destroyed. In response to community interest, Whatcom County Library Foundation has established the Sumas Library Recovery Fund, www.wcls.org/sumasrecovery, to pay for the $50,000 in repair and replacement costs not covered by insurance.
“We are extremely grateful that insurance will cover the majority of the flood-related expenses,” says Whatcom County Library System Executive Director Christine Perkins. “It’s been heart-warming to hear from community members and library advocates across the county and the state who want to help make up the difference. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. Restoring library services to Sumas is especially meaningful because Sumas was the first city to join the Whatcom County Library System after it was formed in 1944. We believe re-establishing full library services will be an important step in helping the community recover.”
Thanks in large part to a generous $20,000 gift from Robert Bates and Kathy Veterane the fund is halfway to its $50,000 goal. Other significant donations include $820 from the Friends of the Lynden Library and $1,000 from the Friends of the Blaine Library.
The Sumas Library shared space with the Sumas Senior Center in a city-owned building at 461 2nd Street. The building is currently closed, but WCLS continues to provide Sumas residents with services. There is curbside pick up of library materials via a secure box near the book return. Weekly bookmobile service begins this month and WiFi will once again be available from the parking lot as soon as wiring has been repaired. Sumas residents may also access library services online or by visiting other WCLS branches. Lynden and Everson libraries are the closest branches to Sumas. WCLS employees are working with Sumas city staff to develop long-term plans for library services in Sumas.