Staying in town for Spring Break? You'll find plenty to do for kids and teens here at the Barrington Area Library.
Check out the programs below, or just come on over and hang out with us!
Enjoy the giant Lite Brite and the Imagination Playground blocks, our awesome Game Room and Studio Kids, and our massive collection of books, DVDs, and other resources.

Friday, March 22, 1:30 PM
Drop in and join Hiccup and Toothless on an exciting Viking adventure – we’ll even provide the popcorn! How to Train Your Dragon is rated PG by the MPAA for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language. Meeting Room. Seating is first come, first served, and priority admission will be given to Barrington Area Library cardholders.

Monday, March 25, 10:30 AM
Grades 3 – 6

Design and make cute, squishy keychains to keep, gift, or trade. We will use common household items, including latex balloons, to make our squishies. Register. Program Room.

Monday, March 25, 2 PM
Grades 3 – 8

Bust out your best dance moves as we code Sphero robots to dance to a song. Register. Program Room.

Tuesday, March 26, 11 AM
Drop in and travel down the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy, Toto, and their best friends; Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and Tin Man. Madcap brings this epic adventure to life with breathtaking puppets in this enchanting, family-friendly classic. Meeting Room. Seating is first come, first served, and priority admission will be given to Barrington Area Library cardholders.

Tuesday, March 26, 3 PM
Grades 4 – 8
Take apart computers and other everyday items to get a look at what makes these machines work. Register. Program Room.

Wednesday, March 27, 10 AM
Ages 2 – 6 w/caregiver
Dance, wiggle, and shake at this groovin’ storytime. Don’t forget your dancin’ shoes! Drop in. Meeting Room.

Wednesday, March 27, 1:30 PM
Grades 3 – 5
Wednesday, March 27, 3 PM
Grades 6 - 8
Design a custom temporary tattoo on the vinyl cutter. Register using the date links. Program Room.

Thursday, March 28, 2 PM
Ages 7 – 12
Gary Kantor teaches children the techniques for transforming plain balloons into amazing balloon animals. Caregivers are more than welcome to join in the class. Register. Meeting Room.

Friday, March 29, 10:30 AM
Drop in and build an incredible structure with the library’s fort-building supplies. Program Room.

Friday, March 29, 1:30 PM
Grades 1 - 3
Friday, March 29, 3 PM

Grades 4 - 5
Use flashlights and cameras in the dark to create original pieces of art. Register using the date links. Zimmerman Room.

Photo copyright Kimberley Butler One Author One Barrington April 2019 photo of author Neil Gaiman

Photo of Neil Gaiman - copyright Kimberley Butler

April 2019: Join us as we share and discuss books by author Neil Gaiman.

We love Gaiman's unique take on imagination, nostalgia, and childhood, and we think you might, too. Join us for a whole month of activities that explore the magic found in our own imaginations. All ages welcome except where specified. Coming soon: look around our Gallery in the Library for a scavenger hunt of surprising, slightly magical photo opportunities!

Neil Gaiman is an award-winning, prolific author of short fiction, novels, comic books, and graphic novels for children and adults. Born in the UK, he has lived in the midwestern United States since 1992, and currently serves as professor in the arts at Bard College, New York. His works have been made into movies and television programs, and have sold tens of millions of copies. 

Book Discussions

Adult Book Discussion: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Monday, April 15, 2:30 PM OR Thursday, April 18, 7 PM
A surreal, occasionally magical exploration of memory and childhood, “...told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.” Librarians Liz and Hayley lead the discussion. Copies available from our Book Club collection; large type, audiobook, and downloadable copies also available. Register using the date links above. Meeting Room.

Page Turners Book Club: Coraline
Grades 3 – 6  |  Register
Monday, April 15, 4 PM
Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar to, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others. Pick up a complimentary copy of the book, read it, and join us for a discussion and activity. Program Room.

Family Book Club: Fortunately, the Milk
All ages w/caregiver
Monday, April 22, 6:30 PM OR Saturday, April 27, 2:30 PM
Father arrives home late from getting milk for breakfast, then describes how alien abduction, pirate attack, and time travel got in his way. Read the book together as a family, then come for discussion and activities. All are welcome: recommended especially for children ages 4 - 8 and their families. Register using the date links above. Program Room.

Creative Workshops, Entertaining Events

Let’s Dance Big Band  |  Register
Friday, April 12, 7 PM
Lively swing music from an 18-piece big band! A special part of our One Author, One Barrington celebration, this event features photo opportuni-ties, special refreshments, and two hours of fantastic music – the Atrium dance floor is open! Meeting Room.

An Evening of Illusions with Jeanette Andrews  |  Register
Friday, April 26, 7 PM
All ages
Magician and artist Jeanette Andrews leads this evening of elegant, interactive magic and illusions. Hailed as one of the most innovative illusionists today, her performances have been praised by PBS and the Chicago Tribune. Meeting Room.

Whimsical Watercolors
Tuesday, April 2, 2 PM OR Tuesday, April 2, 7 PM
Create a whimsical miniature water-color painting inspired by The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Register using the date links above. Meeting Room.

Comic Drawing
Thursday, April 4, 3 PM
Interested in storytelling through comics and graphic novels? Create panels, learn about digital creation tools, and explore our collection of comics and graphic novels. Drop in. Atrium.

England Coast to Coast  |  Register
Thursday, April 4, 7 PM
Take in the scenery, adventure, sociability, and international cast of characters on the famed Coast to Coast path, a 200-mile hike from the Irish Sea to the North Sea via the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, and a side trip up England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike. Meeting Room.

Coraline: The Movie
Grades K – 8
Friday, April 5, 3:30 PM
Join us for a viewing party – including popcorn! – of this animated film, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s popular middle grade novel. Rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements, scary images, some language, and suggestive humor. Drop in. Program Room.

Ethereal Art  |  Register
Tuesday, April 9, 2 PM
Local artist Barb Beckman’s creations can be seen from mid-March through late April in the Gallery in the Library. In this program, she demonstrates her techniques for making art from clear and colored glass and mirrors. Register. Meeting Room.

Chicago’s Sweet Candy History  |  Register
Tuesday, April 9, 7 PM
For most its history, Chicago produced about one-third of the nation's candy: Brach's, Snickers, Milky Way, Wrigley's gum, Cracker Jack, Baby Ruth, Butter-finger, Tootsie Rolls, Frango Mints. Find out why Chicago was a favored location, how immigrants played a critical role in confectionery history, and how the candies got their names, then take a fun quiz. Delicious fun with historian Leslie Goddard. Register. Meeting Room.

Neighbor Nights: Local History Showcase  |  Register
Wednesday, April 10, 7 PM
Enjoy refreshments and join Librarian Kate in a fascinating look at the Library’s local history collection: books, newspapers, photos, family trees, online resources, and more.

Soapmaking for Beginners
Thursday, April 11, 2 PM OR Thursday, April 11, 7 PM
Learn the basics of the melt and pour soapmaking method in this hands-on class. Learn to use scents, dyes, dried botanicals, and other elements to create two unique soaps to take home. Register using the date links above. Meeting Room.

Get Your Board Game On  |  Register
Saturday, April 13, 1 PM
Stop by to play a variety of board games, both classic and new - fun for players of all ages. Meeting Room.

Magical Terrariums
Wednesday, April 17, 2 PM OR Wednesday, April 17, 7 PM
Create a magical world of your own using a cookie jar, faux plants, and fun elements created in our MakerLab. Register using the date links above. Meeting Room.

Magical Realism Book Talk  |  Register
Monday, April 22, 6 PM
Not quite fantasy, not quite reality, magical realism refers to books that take ordinary events and give them a magical or otherworldly spin. Librarians Liz and Hayley share favorite examples of teen and adult books that use magical realism, in this fast-paced and fun book talk. Register. Meeting Room.

Laser-Cut Coraline Charms
Tuesday, April 23, 3 PM
Celebrate the enchanting world of Coraline with a themed, laser-cut keychain. Drop in. Atrium.

Heroes On The Air  |  Register
Wednesday, April 24, 7 PM
Radio historian and Those Were the Days host Steve Darnall guides an audio-visual tour of the 1930s, star-ring heroes (Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, and Superman) who made their way from comics to radio—and legendary heroes who began in radio and went on to conquer the world. Register. Meeting Room.

Faerie Lanterns
Tuesday, April 30, 2 PM OR Tuesday, April 30, 7 PM
Create a fantastical lantern that will illuminate the silhouette of a whimsical landscape or creature. Register using the date links above. Meeting Room.  

We invite you to read our 2017-2018 Annual Report, with a welcome message from new Executive Director Jesse Henning, an in-depth look at new and innovative programs like Spring Fling and StoryFest, and interesting statistics defining a successful and busy year. You can download it (PDF) with the icon at the top left, or use the controls in the bottom right to view it as a fullscreen publication or zoom in.

We are also pleased to announce that we have received a coveted three star rating in this year's Library Journal survey of American libraries. This puts the Barrington Area Library in the top 3% of libraries across the nation based on five major service measures – physical material circulation, electronic circulation, number of visits, program attendance, and public computer users - from the 2015-2016 fiscal year. For more details on this honor, visit this page.

Our Youth Services librarians have compiled a list of their favorite books, published in 2018, for young readers. We hope they become some of your new favorites, too!

The Barrington Public Library District was once again honored with a three star ranking in a national survey published by Library Journal.

See the full Library Journal article here. This year, a total of 7,361 libraries were surveyed, with 257 being named "star libraries." This puts the Barrington Area Library in the top 3% of libraries across the nation, based on five major service measures – physical material circulation, electronic circulation, number of visits, program attendance, and public computer users - from the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The top 30 libraries in each of Library Journal's nine expenditure categories receive three, four, or five star rankings.

As we did last year, the Barrington Area Library ranks higher in e-circulation (the lending of e-books, e-audiobooks, and other digital materials) per capita than most star libraries across the U.S. - in any budget range! In fact, our e-circulation per capita puts us in the top 20% of the star libraries in this service measure. In several other categories, our performance is higher than libraries within significantly larger budget ranges. 21 of the 2018 star libraries are located in Illinois.

We're proud to serve you here in the heart of this wonderful community. Watch for our annual report in a few weeks and learn more about our busy and innovative Library!