LUMMI ISLAND - When the island's library opened about 20 years ago in a converted house, it did so with no computers, no DVDs and no CDs.
They were added over the years. Now Island Library needs more room.
The building will get that space, thanks to the members of Friends of the Island Library, which is raising about $200,000 to renovate and expand the library at 2144 S. Nugent Road. The nonprofit group has raised about $110,000 from the community so far.
"We're soldiering on," said Joan Keiper, the group's president. "We hope to be able to start remodeling next spring after the rainy season is over."
The project will add 450 square feet, as well as make the existing space more usable and accessible to people with disabilities. There also will be a new room for teens, and space for small groups to meet - both of which are needed on the island, project backers said.
"The library is a really important part of the community," said Karly Tucker, library manager. "The building, it's time for it to step up into the next era."
Island Library has about 1,600 square feet of usable space, with 200 square feet of that primarily for storage.
The Lummi Island project isn't the only one occurring in Whatcom County Library System.
Construction has started on the South Whatcom Library in Sudden Valley.
And the Friends of the Point Roberts Library are continuing to raise up to $500,000 to renovate the old Julius Fire Hall into a new home for that library.
"We need this for this community, for everybody," said Judy Ross, a member of Friends of the Point Roberts Library. "And everybody needs to help do this."
The nonprofit group has raised about $69,000 so far for the project, which would double the library's current 900-square-foot space.
"People are just remarkably generous," Ross said.
HOW TO HELP
Loose change drives, quilt raffles and jazz concerts are among the ways that groups have raised money to renovate and expand libraries in various communities in Whatcom County. More campaigns are under way:
- Friends of the Island Library is raising up to $200,000 to remodel and expand its library on Lummi Island. To donate, make checks payable to Friends of the Island Library and mail to P.O. Box 204, Lummi Island, WA 98262-0204. The group has a Facebook page.
- Friends of the Point Roberts Library is raising up to $500,000 to renovate the old Julius Fire Hall into a new home for the library. Donors can make out checks to Whatcom County Library Foundation, Point Roberts Building Fund, and mail it to WCLF, 5205 Northwest Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226-9050, or drop it by the library.
The Friends have a blog at foprl.blogspot.com and a Facebook page.
- Fundraising efforts continue for the South Whatcom Library in Sudden Valley. The $300,000 project is under construction. More is online at suddenvalleylibrary.org.
Donations to the campaigns are tax-deductible.
Reach KIE RELYEA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2234.