The Barrington Area Library's Executive Director Detlev Pansch will retire on September 30, 2017, after more than nine years of leadership.

At its regular meeting on Monday, September 11, 2017, the Barrington Area Library’s Board of Trustees gathered with core staff to honor Executive Director Detlev Pansch, who will retire on September 30, 2017, after more than nine years of leadership.

“Working at the Barrington Area Library has been the highlight of my career. It has been an honor working with a supportive board and talented staff to bring the Barrington area community the best possible library services,” said Pansch. Pansch is the second Executive Director to serve since the forming of the Barrington Public Library District in 1970.

A resolution honoring Pansch’s service, and granting him permanent cardholder and library member status, was passed at the meeting. In the resolution, the Board acknowledged his careful stewardship of the library’s operating budget, his innovative and thoughtful approach to library services, and his common practice of offering a kind word in acknowledgement of employees who had successfully accomplished important goals for the library. Board President Don Minner remarked, "Detlev has proven himself to be a visionary and passionate leader whose guidance has helped our talented staff to transform the Barrington Area Library into one of the most admired libraries in Illinois and the nation."

Pansch guided the two-year library renovation and revitalization project, resulting in a renewed space that is welcoming, state-of-the-art, and aesthetically beautiful. The Barrington Area Library was one of six libraries featured in the Illinois Library Association magazine’s 2015 annual issue on new library buildings. Other innovations under Pansch’s leadership include a wide variety of digital download and streaming services available to cardholders; the addition of digital studios, a MakerLab, and technology-enhanced meeting rooms and collaborative workspaces; a reinvigorated commitment to exceptional customer service and community outreach; the creation of the library’s distinctive and instantly recognizable brand; and a focus on the arts and creativity in library programming.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Minner said, "While we will sorely miss his innovative ideas and extensive community involvement and contributions, we wish Detlev all the best in his retirement and future endeavors.”

The Board has retained the services of Bradbury Miller Associates in a nationwide search for a new Executive Director. The Library has appointed Head of Operations Vicki Rakowski to serve as acting Interim Director from the time of Pansch’s retirement until a new Executive Director is in place, which is expected to be prior to the end of the year.

TEDxBarringtonArea Library - Thursday, Oct 5, 7 PM

You've heard of TED, the non-profit, global phenomenon devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Its goal? To make great ideas accessible and spark conversation. A TEDx event is a local version of TED - talks by our own community members, designed to energize and inspire.

Come and hear:

Renee Blue, Co-Founder, Mindful Waste
  This Barrington-based nonprofit organization is dedicated to eliminating food waste through education,   prevention, and recovery.

Doug McConnell, Open Water Swimmer
  Investment banker and open water, ultra-marathon distance swimmer, raising funds for collaborative   ALS research.

Joy Wagner, Founder, NeuroBalance Center
  Developer of the fitMS® rehabilitation program, dedicated to providing services and support to MS   patients and others with neuromuscular conditions.

Registration is now full - but feel free to sign up for the waiting list at

Created by Chicago-based, internationally-shown artist Barbara Cooper and our community, through a series of workshops, using recycled materials donated by area residents and organizations.

Inspired by trees and forests, libraries and communities, and our ever-deepening understanding of how all of life is networked together. Learn more about the work on our Gallery in the Library web pages.

Co-commissioned by the Barrington Area Library and the Lake Barrington office of Bartlett Tree Experts.

Opening Reception: Sunday, Sept 24, 1:30 - 4 PM

All are welcome to join us as Network is officially unveiled! No need to register.

1:30 PM:  ribbon cutting and presentation by the artist.
2 - 4 PM:  enjoy a string quartet and refreshments while you experience Network and chat with artist Barbara Cooper.
Take home a free tree seedling, courtesy of Bartlett Tree Experts -- while supplies last.

Join us for a variety of programs inspired by Network

The Root of Tree Care + Tree Walk
Sunday, Oct 8, 2 – 4 PM
Many of a tree's health challenges begin below ground. Mark Younger, certified arborist, Lake Barrington office of Bartlett Tree Experts, explains how to help your trees thrive through root care. After the presentation, we'll head outdoors to see harmlessly exposed tree roots, then take a tree walk in Citizens Park. Dress for the weather and for safe walking. Register.

BACT and BAL Discuss The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
Tuesday, Oct 10, 7 PM

In this groundbreaking work, Wohlleben argues that forests are a social network made of families just like ours – complex, supportive, competitive, and always communicating. In partnership with Barrington Area Conservation Trust – all are welcome! Refreshments. Register. Meeting Room.

Trees: The Neighborhood Builders
Thursday, Nov 9, 7 PM

Whether providing wildlife habitat, being essential to ecosystems, or contributing to the health and happiness of people, forests help build healthy communities. Jessica Turner-Skoff, Ph.D., Treeologist at The Morton Arboretum, discusses the multifaceted roles trees play in enriching the world around us. Register. Meeting Room.

Click here for more Network-inspired programs, and watch for more in the Spring and Summer of 2018!

Check out this cool time lapse video of one of the workshops!

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, artist HOTTEA unveiled "Elaine," a beautiful art installation, in our library atrium. Over the last year, we've been proud and happy to share this work of art with you. We invite you to enjoy and celebrate this unique and special work of art one last time with us on Sunday, August 13, 2017, before it is deinstalled on Monday, August 14, 2017. There will be refreshments, relaxing live guitar music from award-winning musician Jim Green, quiet places to read, relax, create, and admire "Elaine" one last time. Grab those last few photos, too!

No need to register, just drop in and spend some time with us - then get ready for "Network," a new art installation, coming on September 24, 2017.

We invite our community to join with us for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with artist Barbara Cooper on a new, temporary art installation for the Barrington Area Library atrium. Co-commissioned by the Barrington Area Library and the Lake Barrington office of Bartlett Tree Experts, this unique, site-specific work will reflect our ever-deepening understanding of how all of life is networked together.

Barbara Cooper is an award-winning, internationally-shown artist. She is committed to working with community members on the piece, and to using recycled materials whenever possible. The final work will be unveiled at a public reception on Sunday, September 24, 2017, and remain on exhibit for approximately one year.

We need your help to create this extraordinary work of art! Join us for one, two, or all of the following workshop dates:

Sunday, August 20, 2-4 PM

Sunday, August 27, 2-4 PM

Sunday, September 10, 2-4 PM

Please email Public Information Manager Karen McBride at the library: to sign up for the date(s) of your choice, or to inquire about later workshops. Bring a family member, friend, neighbor. Art collectives - bring your whole group! This project is appropriate for children ages 10 and up, so families are welcome. No previous art experience is necessary. Pieces will be created by twisting, braiding, knotting, and other simple techniques. Please dress comfortably and casually.

We are also seeking materials to use for the project. Are you able to donate long lengths of twine, rope, paper, or fabric? For paper and fabric, we are particularly seeking materials in natural colors and finishes. Contact Karen McBride if you are able to help.

Check out this cool time lapse video of one of the workshops!