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Library Frequently Asked Questions

Hours and locations with limited services

Masks are required for individuals age 2 and older in all public spaces at Bellingham Public Library.

Our website has the most up-to-date information. It is being updated continually as circumstances and staffing availability change.

Library Services currently available:

  • In-person browsing of collections at Central, Fairhaven and Barkley branches
  • Pick up holds without an appointment
  • In-person service at Help Desk and Children’s Desk and all branches
  • Public computers
  • Public restrooms
  • Public seating
  • Newspapers
  • Book Donations, Friends of the Library Free books and Magazines

Library Services not currently available

  • Study and meeting rooms
  • In-person storytimes and other programs
  • Early Learning Center
  • Friends of the Library book sale area
  • Microfilm
  • Video Relay Service

As of July 1, a Drop Box at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, as well as 24-hour returns at the Bellingham Public Library’s Central, Fairhaven and Barkley Village branches, all of which are now open. Library materials may also be returned to any Whatcom County Library System location.

As services shift and change after the pandemic, Bellingham Public Library and Haggen have agreed to permanently close the Library Drop Boxes at the Sehome, Meridian and Barkley Village Haggen stores in Bellingham.

Our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Haggen company for its generosity in funding these highly-utilized Library Drop Boxes, and annual operating support for collecting the materials, as a public service for the Bellingham community for the past 27 years.

The Library Drop Boxes at Haggen stores were closed in March 2020 as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have not reopened. After the 16-month closure, it has been determined that the current wooden drop boxes are at the end of their lifespan and no longer operable.

The boxes were originally purchased by Haggen in 1994. They were used regularly by thousands of Library patrons and Haggen customers until the March 2020 closure.

Bellingham Public Library will continue to explore options to meet our community needs.

Curbside Pickup Service by appointment will continue at the Central branch only. If you wish to use Curbside pickup you must choose “Bellingham” as the location when you place your hold (not Fairhaven or Barkley.) See webpage for Curbside Holds Pickup Service

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.

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

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 our partnership with the Bellingham Public Schools.

Yes! WiFi is available 24/7 outside our two largest library branches.

  • Central Library: Try the street parking on Central Ave. (south side of the library).
  • Fairhaven Branch: The parking lot has coverage.
  • Barkley Branch: Not available.

See our Computers and WiFi page for instructions on connecting to WiFi. A library card is not needed to access this service.

Bellingham Public Library is following the City of Bellingham’s vaccination guidelines which state:

Effective June 30, 2021, fully vaccinated employees may work on-site without wearing a face covering or social distancing. This change is consistent with the safety standards required by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. 

The City is using an electronic form to verify employee vaccination status. It is only required if employees no longer wish to wear a face mask or social distance at work. Employees who decline to provide vaccination verification are not considered fully vaccinated and must continue to socially distance and wear protective face masks.