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Friends of the Bellingham Public Library

About the Friends

The Friends of the Bellingham Public Library (FOBPL or Friends), is an all volunteer non-profit charitable organization established in Bellingham in 1952. The Friends, while separate from the Bellingham Public Library, exists to support the Library and literacy in our community by:

  • Encouraging community support of the library;
  • Raising money for library needs, as designated by the staff and board;
  • Sponsoring educational and enrichment programs for all ages;
  • Encouraging literacy by making available free reading material at the library and offering reasonably priced books through regular sales.

Over the years the Friends have raised and contributed more than $1,600,000 to the Bellingham Public Library.  This is made possible by the dedicated volunteers who normally contribute over 5000 hours/year to our Library and community by accepting and processing donations of new, used, and rare books, books on CD, music CDs, DVDs, and magazines.  These items are then made available for community members to buy at our book sales, usually three a year.  Because of the pandemic the Friends have not held a book sale since January 2020, but continue to provide fiction and nonfiction books for sale in our “Nearly New” area on the main floor of the Central Library near the front entrance.  The Friends also provide free books and magazines on the ground floor of the Central Library. 

The Friends understand the critical importance of a well-funded Bellingham Public Library and work to help ensure that Bellingham Public Library gets the resources it needs to provide a wide variety of services to our community.  Funds provided by the Friends helped support the 2020 remodel at the Central Library branch, including furnishing the new Young Adult area of the Library.  The Friends also provide financial support for programs such as Books for Babies, Children and Teen programming, the Summer Reading Program, Book Club kits, Whatcom Reads, Discover Washington Backpacks, print and electronic materials access, Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspots, as well as support for special events and Library staff training.  

Membership

Becoming a Friend is a great way to show your support for the Bellingham Public Library, help fund library programs, and encourage reading in our community. Everyone is welcome and you do not need to volunteer to be a Friend!

To join the Friends of the Library, click Join Now, fill out the online form, and pay for your dues online.  Alternatively, you can print a blank copy of the form to fill out and send with a check payable to “Friends of the Bellingham Public Library.” Our mailing address is Friends of the Bellingham Public Library 210 Central Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225. Or contact us via phone: 360-778-7250 or email: friendslibrary3@gmail.com.

In addition to occasional free “Member Only” events, the following additional membership benefits are available:

Membership Levels

Senior ($5/year– Age 55 and over)

Good Friend ($10/year) member benefit: $1 coupon to use at a book sale.

Family Friend ($20/year for up to two adults and dependent children) member benefit: $2 coupon to use at a book sale.

Devoted Friend ($50/year) member benefit: $3 coupon to use at a book sale, one “I love my library” bumper sticker and one free book bag.

Best Friend ($100/year and up) member benefit: $4 coupon to use at a book sale, one “I love my library” bumper sticker, one free book bag, and public acknowledgement of your membership.

Volunteer Opportunities

Due to the pandemic, the Friends are not currently recruiting volunteers.  We will update this website when we do begin accepting new volunteers. 

Briefly, volunteer jobs range from helping 2-3 hours at a book sale to more specialized ongoing tasks preparing for those sales.

Book Sales

Due to the Pandemic, the Friends do not have any book sales scheduled at this time. Please check this website for updated Book Sale information.

Nearly New and Friends Display Case

Great deals on fiction and non-fiction books for purchase can be found in the Nearly New Books area on the main floor of the Central Library near the main entrance. Childrens and seasonal books may also be included, dependent on the time of year.  Special books of local, historical, seasonal or aesthetic interest are offered for sale in our Friends Display Case in the Free Books and Magazine area, located on the Central Library’s ground floor.  Information about the Friends as well as how to become a member, can also be found in the Friends Display Case. 

Proceeds from all these book sales benefit the Friends, which in turn benefits the Library.

Donations

Books & Other Materials (Updated Nov. 1, 2021)

The Friends of the Bellingham Public Library are currently accepting donations of the following items: 

  • All Books published in 2000 or newer 
  • DVDs and Audio Books on CDs
  • Magazines 2 years old or newer
  • Rare Books in good condition

Please recycle paperback and hardback books that are torn, musty or have water damage. Your weekly curbside recycle service will pick these up (remove covers from hardback books).

Donations should be maximum of 2 boxes per person per day at the Central Library. The drop off room is on the main floor of the Library. Branch libraries allow 1 box per person per day. 

Cash Donations

We welcome financial gifts. Financial donations fund library services and materials and are another great way to support the library. To make a cash donation, click Donate, fill out the online form, and submit your donation online.  Alternatively, you can print a blank copy of the form to fill out and mail to us along with a check payable to “Friends of the Bellingham Public Library.”  Our mailing address is listed below.

Donations via Amazon Purchases

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Why not make that the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library? To do that, shop on AmazonSmile and choose the Friends there. AmazonSmile has the exact same products, prices and features as Amazon.

Memorial Gifts

Monetary memorial gifts may be made to “Friends of the Bellingham Public Library” to honor the memories of individuals by providing additional materials and/or services to the library. These gifts are combined with proceeds from our sale of books and all monies are used to fulfill funding requests from the library.

Your memorial donation will fund additional materials and services sought by the library. Letters of acknowledgment and appreciation are sent by the Friends to the family and donor.

To participate in the Memorial Gift program, click Memorial Gift, fill out the online form, and submit your donation online.  Alternatively, you can print a blank copy of the form to fill out and mail to us along with a check payable to “Friends of the Bellingham Public Library.”  Our mailing address is listed below.

Board Meetings

Officers meet regularly on the 3rd Wednesday of every other month (except during the summer) at the Central Library. Please call (360) 778-7250 or email friendslibrary3@gmail.com for information and updates.

Annual Meetings

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library is typically scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on the fourth Saturday in April at the Central Library.

Friends Newsletter

The Friends newsletter is published annually:

Contact the Friends

Friends of the Bellingham Public Library
Telephone: 360-778-7250
Email: friendslibrary3@gmail.com
Mail: 210 Central Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225