A week-long literary festival that celebrates contemporary storytelling alongside our centuries-old fascination with the printed word.


Rebecca Makkai and One Hundred Years of Chicago Arts
Friday, April 21, 7 PM 

How much do you know about Chicago’s arts scene? Rebecca Makkai discusses her award-winning novel The Hundred-Year House, set on the North Shore. Photos, stories, and the colorful, offbeat lives of artists. Book signing to follow. Register. Meeting Room.

Local Author Fair
Saturday, April 22, 2 - 4 PM

Barrington is full of amazing authors and storytellers.
Enjoy author meet and greets, book signings, and great conversation with these creative and talented individuals. The first 50 attendees to purchase a book will receive a free Author Fair messenger bag.

We'll post more details on the authors after the application deadline.


Raymond Benson and the James Bond Phenomenon  
Sunday, April 23, 2 PM

All things 007, straight from Raymond Benson, officially commissioned author of original James Bond novels. Explore the life of Ian Fleming, the history of the novels and films, and Benson’s experiences as a Bond author. Register. Meeting Room.


Meet The Author: Sonali Dev
Tuesday, April 25, 7 PM

Meet one of the most buzzed-about new romance authors! Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories in which she explores issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in happily ever after. Book signing to follow. Register. Meeting Room.


A Brief History of Bookmaking
Wednesday, April 26, 7 PM

Chicago book artist April Sheridan presents the history behind the book as object in this lecture and hands-on workshop. Try it yourself! Register. Meeting Room.


Meet The Author: Charlie Donlea
Thursday, April 26, 7 PM

Chicago area author Donlea found a hit with his first thriller Summit Lake. Hear about that project and help him launch his new book, The Girl Who Was Taken, due to be released on Tuesday, April 25. Book signing to follow. Register. Meeting Room.


Barrington Area Library Day
Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden
Friday, April 28, 2017

Did you know that the Chicago Botanic Garden has a gardening library? Come explore this hidden gem with us. Special program for BALibrary cardholders only - details and registration here.


Meet The Author: Robert Kurson
Saturday, April 29, 2 PM

Bestselling author Robert Kurson discusses his latest, Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship, as well as previous works Shadow Divers and Crashing Through. Book signing to follow. Register. Meeting Room.


Looking for meaningful, local volunteer opportunities? Drop in on Sunday, April 2, for Volunteer Match!

On Sunday, April 2, from 1:30 – 4:30 PM, the Barrington Area Library will host its first-ever Volunteer Match. 20+ local non-profit organizations will be here to answer your questions and tell you about their volunteer opportunities. Put your time, talents, and energy toward a good cause and know that you're making a difference right here in our community! Drop in and explore all the possibilities.

Here is a list of participating organizations - we'll add more as they come in:

► Barrington Area Council on Aging
► Native Seed Gardeners
► The Michael Joseph Foundation
► Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
► Barrington Area Conservation Trust
► JourneyCare
► Barrington Area United Way
► Barrington Noon Rotary
► BStrong
► Barrington Area Development Council
► The Build Team
► Citizens For Conservation
► Buehler YMCA
► Smart Farm of Barrington
► National Alliance on Mental Illness - Barrington Area
► Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois
► League of Women Voters
► Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble
► Relay for Life - Barrington
► Boy Scouts of America
► Joyful Hands - Habitat for Humanity
► Hands On Suburban Chicago

Love comics, cosplay, gaming, LEGOs, crafts, and pop culture?
Don't miss Comic Con Barrington!


Artist Alley: meet comic artists and creators like Artistic Dragon Studios, Donovan Scherer, Kumate Works, Fred Herring, Jhim43, Zach Lehner, Darrick "DC" Chen, and Paul Alan.

Be amazed by LEGO creations from Ara Bonsignore and the Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club.

Come decked out as your favorite character for a cosplay contest, costume parade for kids, photo booth, and cosplay workshop led by professional Lisa Hale.

Keep your eyes open for a meet and greet photo op with impersonator Rick Aspen as he brings Captain Jack Sparrow to life!

Enjoy crafts, gaming including PokemonGo, live model drawing, and a character-creation class for kids with comic creator Jim McClain.

It's free, it's open to the public, all you have to do is register and show up! Register online.
Share this digital flyer (PDF) with your friends and spread the word!



In the spirit of all those other year-end lists, we thought we'd take a moment to reflect on what an outstanding year it has been at the Barrington Area Library. Read the list below or click through the slideshow to see the year in pictures.


We begin with three highlights (there were many, many highlights!) from last February's "Barrington Creates" celebration.

1. The LEGO Library, created by Ara Bonsignore. It took Ara one month to build this incredibly detailed replica of our library. See photos and get more details at 365 Barrington.

2. The giant Barrington coloring mural, created by artist Sara E. Michaels. Sara drew the original in black and white, we printed it on our giant poster printer, and you got busy coloring! We put up three versions of the mural so everyone would have a chance to color.

3. The CreatorFair, an afternoon event celebrating the creative spirit right here in Barrington. More than 20 local artists, makers, designers, and craftspersons came out and demonstrated their talents. See photos and more details.

Then in April, it was...

4. Star Wars Sunday! Young and old fans of the classic and beloved movies came out in costume to enjoy crafts, trivia, photo opportunities, and all things Star Wars.

5. Our new library website, with a cleaner, more responsive design that works well on every type of device. We love the results and we hope you do, too!

6. Our annual Local Author Fair. 30 authors from Barrington and all over the Chicago area brought their books and came out to meet and greet with potential readers. We can't wait for this year's event!

June brought an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience to Barrington...

7. The "Elaine" atrium art installation by HOTTEA. Minnesota-based, internationally known artist HOTTEA describes his work as “interacting with public spaces non-destructively.” HOTTEA, whose full name is Eric Rieger, has created an original work of art, "Elaine," commissioned by the Library for its beautiful atrium. You have to see it to fully appreciate it - stop in anytime the library is open. well as the return of a summertime favorite.

8. Summer Library Club for Kids. In 2016, 1,432 Readers and Pre-Readers signed up for the club, reading a total of 14,700 books! Barbara Rose School won the club, with the highest percentage of students who read 10 or more books over the summer.

9. Summer Library Club for Adults. More than 200 adults and young adults signed up for the club, which has a unique twist: readers are challenged to help us reach our total goal of 1,000 books read, so that our sponsors at Barrington Bank and Trust will keep their promise: a $1,000 donation split between the Barrington Township and Cuba Township food pantries!

Our list ends with a highly memorable evening in October...

10. TEDxBarringtonArea Library 2016. As with our first year, we were blown away by the wisdom, passion, and "Ideas Worth Spreading" shared by our four 2016 speakers: Bob Lee, Courtney Quigley, Dr. Brian Harris, and Joyce Palmquist. Watch our speakers from 2015 and 2016 online right here.

What a wonderful year! While these special events and experiences rank high on our list, we hope you also enjoyed the classes, workshops, meeting rooms, concerts, plays, books, movies, music, art displays, and customer service you received at the Barrington Area Library all year long. It's our pleasure to serve this beautiful and supportive community. We look forward to seeing you in 2017!

See which e-books were most popular at BALibrary in 2016
See which books were our staff favorites in 2016

Have a little old-fashioned holiday fun with us on Thursday, December 22!

11 AM – 1 PM:  Enjoy sweet treats in the atrium while Librarian Liz gives you great book suggestions.
Pick up a “Share A Book’ personalized bookmark and some library swag.

11 AM – 4 PM:   Escape holiday stress – color a beautiful bookmark or full page design.

1 – 4 PM:   Enjoy a fresh bag of hot popcorn while you browse for books and movies.
Take an “elfie” in our holiday photo booth.
Pick up a “Share A Book’ personalized bookmark and some library swag.

Drop in for a little while or spend the day with us - we'll be the ones decked out in our holiday flair...