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Library Giving Day

Thank you for your generosity and participation in Library Giving Day 2022!

This online fundraising event gives library lovers like you a chance to celebrate and support the vital services libraries provide in our communities.

Online donations to Bellingham Public Library are collected through the Whatcom Community Foundation. Library Giving Day donations are held in an Unrestricted account to be utilized by the Library immediately.

What will Library Giving Day donations support at Bellingham Public Library in 2022?

Bellingham Public Library Board of Trustees invites donations to Library Giving Day to allow funding for items or projects that are not currently funded through the City of Bellingham’s budget for the Library. In 2021, Library Giving Day raised $15,000 to elevate and increase access to diverse voices by purchasing additional Spanish Language and Anti-Racist reading materials to meet the high demand, as well as invest in important Digital Storytelling projects to build community through sharing and listening.

In 2022, two projects have been identified as in need of special funding.

Community Voices Book Kits

In Children’s Services, staff are eager to continue our Anti-Racist work by curating Community Voices Book Kits that center and celebrate diverse voices and experiences in our community. These kits will provide stories, conversation opportunities and resources for families that help bridge learning, understanding and connection with each other.

Community Drop Boxes

The Library’s Public Services staff also hopes to re-establish Community Drop Boxes to increase access to Library services in areas of our community most in need. Library Giving Day funds will allow the Library to purchase high-quality, weather-resistant Drop Boxes for long-term use.

Why are these projects important now?

As we build on the progress of 2021, there remains immense work to be done in our community and throughout our nation toward racial understanding and reconciliation. Community Voices Book Kits will help children and families have these important conversations.

Also in 2021, the Library and Haggen Stores permanently closed the Community Drop Boxes at the Sehome, Meridian and Barkley Village Haggen stores in Bellingham. Implemented in 1994, these boxes were highly utilized as a public service for 27 years. The existing wooden boxes had reached the end of their lifespan and were no longer operable. However, demand for this service remains high. In 2022, the Library seeks to purchase new, weather-resistant Community Drop Boxes to extend service to diverse areas.

How will how will these projects help the Library meet its mission?

The mission of the Bellingham Public Library is “Connecting our community with each other and the world.” Strategic Directions include: “bring people together for shared experiences that strengthen our understanding of each other,” and “offer library services and experiences beyond our buildings to meet people where they are.”.

What will be the benefit of these Library Giving Day projects?

These initiatives will increase access to important materials and allow the Library to reach into communities where access is most needed.

Why should I be excited about giving?

Both of these projects are designed to strengthen our community. Community Drop Boxes  augment the Library’s ability to build connections and access to services. Community Voices Book Kits expand the Library’s connection to kids and families.

Bellingham Public Library Community Conversations Project

In 2018, BPL conducted a 3-month Community Conversations project, involving 343 people in group and individual conversations. We learned the following:

  • People want to be connected, safe, valued, respected and accepted by others, with opportunities to be engaged and ever-learning together.
  • But they are concerned that our community could be more inclusive, safe, and sustainable, with resources and opportunities more equitable and prevalent for all.
  • As people talk more about those concerns, they talk about the need for authentic connections that strengthen our understanding of each other’s diverse experiences, that bridge inequities in access to community resources and economic opportunity, and that reduce divisions and feelings of exclusion.
  • They say we need to focus on building a welcoming and safe community with well-funded public spaces, where relationships and connections can flourish, where reliable information is accessible to everyone, and where barriers to opportunity are acknowledged and reduced.
  • And if non-profits, faith-based organizations, people in leadership positions, our government, and our good and creative neighbors played a part in those actions, folks would be more likely to trust the effort and step forward.

Bellingham Public Library’s shared values include:

  • Belonging: We believe in the power of belonging. When people belong, they are more able to learn, connect, survive and thrive.
  • Equity: Libraries are powerful forces for community change by promoting equity, diversity and inclusion. We work to foster understanding and accessibility, and to ensure all people see themselves and our city’s diversity reflected in our collections, services and facilities.