Library Closure FAQs

This page updated regularly. Please check back often for the most current information or Ask Us.

Where can I find up-to-date information about services while the library is closed?

Our website will have the most up-to-date information. It is being updated continually as circumstances and staffing availability change. We announce many changes on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well. Our social media pages are open for all to view, no account or sign-in required.

Why are the library drop boxes closed?
Why can’t the library offer “curbside” service or allow people to come in to pick up their holds?

The availability of our staff is limited. Most are likely to be working from home to follow social distancing directives. Staff also may be re-deployed to other city emergency services tasks while our facilities are closed. These and other unknowns leave us unable to commit to retrieving and processing items left in drop boxes, or offer services such as holds-only pick up and curbside service, while our facilities are closed.

What should I do with library items I borrowed?

Please keep them. All library drop boxes are now closed. Due dates for items will be extended as long as we remain closed. And remember, there are no overdue fines!

When are your telephone and email services available during your closure?

While our facilities are closed to the public, we are answering telephones, responding to emails/email forms, and processing online library card applications. These services will be limited by staff availability, thank you for your patience.

See our Locations and Hours page for information on when staff are answering phones.

I’ve forgotten my PIN number, what do I do?

Try the last 4 digits of your telephone number. If that doesn’t work, call us and we’ll help you create a new PIN. We’ll be taking telephone calls on a limited schedule during our closure.

What will happen to items currently on hold?

If you have holds ready for pick-up, they will be waiting for you when we re-open.

Can I sign up for a library card without coming in?

Yes! Visit our Library Card page for information about how to sign up for a library card online.

While our facilities are closed to the public, we will still be answering phones and email, and processing online library card applications. These services will be limited by staff availability, thank you for your patience.

Children enrolled in a public K-12 school in Whatcom County likely have a school card that enables them full access to digital resources. Call us and we can check this and get you your child’s barcode and PIN number. See our ConnectEd page for information about .

Can I still borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks when the library is closed?

Yes! This is a great time to check out all our digital services; eBooks and eAudiobooks, eFilms and eDocumentaries, eMagazines, online newspapers (including The Seattle Times and The Bellingham Herald), online computer and language learning, and more! Choose “Digital Library” on the menu bar near the top of this page for a complete menu of our digital services, and Ask Us if you have questions.

Will wifi still be available outside library buildings when you are closed?

No changes are being made to the availability of 24/7 wifi outside library branches or other city facilities.

What will happen to library staff while your facilities are closed?

Thank you for your words of support for our staff! During facility closures, our staff will continue to work and be paid. They will be available to help you by telephone and email. We are helping protect their health while they are working by following workplace guidelines from health officials.

Why did the library close? When will the library re-open?

As announced on Friday, March 13, 2020, all Bellingham Public Library locations will be closed to the public, starting Monday, March 16 until further notice, in an effort to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This closure follows Whatcom County Health Department recommendations and direction from the City of Bellingham.