October 3, 2023

Mary Vermillion
(360) 305-3645

WCLS Presents Open Book: A Festival for Readers

Nov. 5 Inaugural Event Celebrates Readers, Writers and Bookish Enthusiasm 

Readers and writers, rejoice! Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) presents Open Book: A Festival for Readersnoon-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Ferndale Events Center5715 Barrett Road, Ferndale. The free event presented in partnership with Village Books and Paper Dreams and the Whatcom County Library Foundation celebrates readers, writers and bookish enthusiasm with author presentations, book talksand weird and wonderful hands-on book-related experiences at more than 20 booths and stages.

Find details and sign up for exclusive sneak peeks at 

Experiences include Main Stage appearances by poet Rena Priest, author and illustrator Phoebe Wahl, Washington State Poet Laureate Arianne True, and biologist and author Thor Hanson. At the Local Authors Stage, guests can attend a reading by local poets with new titles in 2023listen to a group reading by the Red Wheelbarrow Writersand gain publishing insights at a panel for aspiring writers. The Teen and Youth Stage features activities for young writers, a storytime with author and illustrator Phoebe Wahl, and a Teen Poetry Open Mic 

WCLS librarians will take to the Main Stage to pitch their favorite books of 2023. They’ll also present the Golden Apple Educator Awards to three Ferndale teachers who consistently partner with the library system to make a difference in the lives of young people.  

Books and fun book swag will be available for purchase at the Village Books and Comics Place pop-up shops. Friends of the Birch Bay Library will be selling tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches as a fundraiser for the Birch Bay Vogt Library Express.  

At Open Book, guests can try letterpress printing courtesy of Bison Bookbinding; tour the WCLS Bookmobile and WTA Whatcomics bus; relax in the Reading Lounge; join a book club; learn how to mend booksinteract with braille and talking books; attend a Silent Disco; and gather reading recommendations. Prize drawings include an online book chat with America’s Librarian Nancy Pearla virtual book club discussion with poet Ross Gay and a Phoebe Wahl book collection signed by the author.  

“We’re excited to offer this inaugural event for our community of readers,” says WCLS Executive Director Christine Perkins. “At Open Book, you’ll connect with other readers and writers, find books for yourself or people on your gift list, and revel in all things book related. It's going to be a lot of fun. Bring a friend. Bring six friends! We’ll see you there.” 

About WCLS: Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) serves Whatcom County residents outside the city limits of Bellingham through online resources (wcls.organd at 10 branches: Blaine, Deming, Everson, Ferndale, Island (Lummi Island), Lynden, North Fork (Kendall), Point Roberts, South Whatcom (Sudden Valley) and Sumas. WCLS also has a bookmobile (serving Glenhaven, Birch Bay, Wickersham, Lake Samish) and a Library Express on Northwest Drive. The Birch Bay Vogt Library Express is in development. Apply for a free library card at any location or online at 

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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