Home » Reopening Phases

Reopening Phases

Bellingham Public Library buildings and book return locations are closed during Phase 1 of Washington State’s “Safe Start” reopening plan.

Library services available to the public include:

  • Limited phone service
  • Email and chat service
  • Get a library card online
  • Access to our extensive digital library
  • Various online activities such as virtual story time, book discussions, and other social media activities
  • Limited WiFi outside Central and Fairhaven branches

Many staff return to work on site at the Central Library. The outdoor book returns at Central are open and returned materials are quarantined for at least four full days before they are checked in.

Donations are not being accepted.

Additional library services available to the public include:

  • Library materials returns open at the Central Library
  • Phone service Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm

Curbside Holds Pickup Service is available at the Central Library location. Items held for our Barkley and Fairhaven locations are also available to pick up at the Central Library. 

Additional Library services include:

  • Curbside holds pick up Monday-Saturday 10am – 6pm
  • Visit the Curbside page for details
  • Requested materials will move between BPL and WCLS
  • Returned materials will now be quarantined for at least 24 hours before being checked as recommended in the REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) study.

Why Bellingham Public Library is not able to open for in-building browsing:

With a strong desire to serve our community in response to the Governor’s original Safe Start Phase 2 guidelines in June, Bellingham Public Library immediately consolidated all staff and services from its 3 branches to develop and implement a Monday – Saturday curbside pick-up program and 24/7 returns, at the downtown Central Library, which is the most efficient space for the operation. This contact-free, curbside program has been highly utilized over the past five months and is continuing to successfully allow Library staff to provide physical materials to nearly 2,000 patrons per week, and to circulate up to 12,000 items per week. The space in the Central Library Children’s area and meeting rooms on the basement level has been transformed into a production line to operate the service in a safe and socially-distanced manner.

In July 2020 the Central Library also began an extensive remodel project on the first floor, expected to be complete in spring. For the success of these two ongoing initiatives, as well as space and staff limitations, Bellingham Public Library is not currently able to open its branches to the public at 25% for in-building browsing as allowed in the Governor’s October 6 revised Phase 2 guidelines. However, the Library is evaluating options to add public computing access under the new guidelines, to further serve community needs.

Bellingham Public Library locations will open with limited public access. Health and safety guidelines will determine opening dates and level of access to spaces and services.

Library locations will open with full services at all locations. Health and safety guidelines will determine opening dates and access levels.

Donations of items will again be accepted.