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Bellingham Public Library 2022 Highlights

Reaching the end of the year is often bittersweet – it’s hard to believe the time has passed, but it’s wonderful to reflect on all of the year’s adventures and accomplishments. Please join us for a look back at Bellingham Public Library 2022 Highlights, from services to Top 10 materials checked out.

BPL Staff at Halloween

2022 Library Service Highlights

Library Locations Re-Open for In-Person Service

Bellingham Public Library returned to in-person service at all branches on Tuesday, February 15, after a second closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September of 2022, Sunday open hours returned at the Central Library and will now run year-round. This increases the opportunity for all to visit the library with more convenience.

Community Outreach Events

In 2022, BPL staff could be found out and about at all sorts of local events including the Barkley Market, Bellingham Pride Parade, Western Washington University’s Red Square Fair, Bellingham Back to School Block Party, the Goodwill Immigrant & Refugee Resource Fair, Library Parties in the Parks, and more. Library staff love connecting with the community and bringing library services directly to our friends and neighbors.

Community Voices Kits

Thanks to individual private donations and Library Giving Day donations, the BPL developed a series of Community Voices kits that center and celebrate diverse voices and experiences in our community. These kits, developed for children ages birth – 8, provide stories, conversation opportunities and resources to help bridge learning, understanding and connection with others. Each kit contains a variety of children’s books, as well as resource guides to help navigate topics of race, belonging and connection.

Use your Library card to reserve a Community Voices Kit on the Bellingham Public Library website, or by phone. Each kit can be checked out for 3 weeks.

Library In-person Programs Resume

The return of in-person programs brought back popular events such as the annual Children’s Craft Fair, Builders Club, regular Storytimes at the Library, author events, SkillShare programs for adults, and new events like the Bellingham Police Department’s Literacy Initiative, as well as Storytimes at the Bellis Fair Mall. Check out the online calendar to find out what’s happening at the Library.

Summer Reading

Congratulations to all Library Summer Reading Superstars! Summer Reading participants of all ages enjoy reading challenges, special library events, prizes, and recognition of their reading achievements.

In 2022, there were 505 finishers, and thanks to the generous partnerships with the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library and Whatcom Educational Credit Union, Bellingham Public Library gave away 1,366 books to youth over the summer. 873 of those books were distributed out in the community during pop-up book giveaways and programming, and the remaining 493 were awarded to youth Summer Reading finishers.

New Library Staff Welcomed

It takes a hard-working, friendly crew of folks to do all the work behind the scenes and at the Library’s public service desks. Many new staff members were welcomed in 2022. From Library Assistants to Librarians, everyone plays an important role in the work we at the Bellingham Public Library. See a new face at the Library? Take a moment to say hello!

Hybrid Vehicle for Community Outreach

Library staff are constantly on the go. In 2022 BPL added an electric hybrid vehicle for community outreach activities. Wherever you see it on the road, you can be sure it’s transporting staff and materials on their way to serve the public. Give us a wave if you see us!

Land Acknowledgement and Mural installation

On November 4, the Land Acknowledgement words were installed at Bellingham Central Library, inside the beautiful Coast Salish “Spindle Whorl” frame painted by local artist Jason LaClair in the main lobby.

We acknowledge that we gather on territory that has been the traditional and ancestral homeland to the Lhaq’temish (the Lummi people), the Nooksack people, and other Coast Salish tribes of this region Since Time Immemorial.

We honor our shared responsibility to this land and these waters, we commit to learning from Indigenous wisdom, and we strive to repair and deepen our relationships as neighbors and friends.

Book Groups Celebrate 2022

Bellingham is home to many book groups, including the library’s own Bellingham Reads group. Many local book groups utilize the library’s book club kits to ensure that each member of their group is able to read the same book within a month.

A BPL Book Club Kit contains 10 copies of the same book and a reading guide to facilitate book group discussion, and they check out for 32 days. Book groups can choose from among many fantastic titles.

The top 3 most popular kits in 2022 were:

The Friends of the Bellingham Public Library 2022 Highlights

BPL is so grateful for the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library. The Friends are an all-volunteer nonprofit charitable organization which raises money to benefit the library each year through sales of donated books. Thank you to all patrons who also support the library through donating materials to the Friends.

In 2022, The Friends of the Library contributed $27,900 to the Bellingham Public Library to cover the costs of programs, including Whatcom READS, Books for Babies, Summer Reading, Community Outreach events, staff development and more. Thank you Friends of the Bellingham Public Library.

2022 Library Statistics

Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2022…

  • The Bellingham Public Library and branches had 374,807 visits
  • Registered 6,973 new patron accounts
  • Checked out 1,361,070 items, including e-materials
  • Filled 499,168 requests from the catalog
  • Ran 573 in-person and virtual library programs for patrons of all ages, with over 13,000 attendees
  • Distributed 530 free family passes to the Whatcom Museum, Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, and Mindport Exhibits through our collaborative Museum Pass program

Top 10 Adult Fiction Titles of 2022

Top 10 Young Adult Fiction Titles of 2022

Top 10 Children’s Fiction of 2022 for a Variety of Ages

Top 10 Feature Films on DVD in 2022