September 2013 is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, as designated by the American Library Association. Public libraries and the endless array of resources they offer to library cardholders add tremendous value to their communities. A library card acts like a ticket to a world of literature, research, technology tools, meeting and study space, live entertainment, the fine arts, and much more.

To celebrate, the library has partnered with eighteen Barrington Area businesses - wow! - for a fun campaign that adds even more value to your library card. From September 1 - 30, 2013, displaying a Barrington Area Library card at one of these participating businesses will mean big savings. To get the details on these amazing offers, download the flyer (PDF) or stop in and pick up a copy at our public service desks (available September 1, 2013). Thank you to the Village of Barrington and the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce for their support of this year's National Library Card Sign-Up Month local business partnership!

Participating businesses include:

Accelerated Rehabilitation Center
Barrington Martial Arts
Bear Family Restaurants/Barrington McDonald's
BlueCherry Frozen Yogurt
Bravura Home & Gift Shop
Fancy Art, *NFP
Felde Chiropractic
Frantonio's Italian Cafe & Catering
Hair By Justyna Salon
Huntington Learning Center
JMK Simple Solutions, LLC
Nature's Select Super Premium Pet Products
Nieminski Robbins & Associates, CPA
Norton's U.S.A.
Signarama of Barrington
Sol Food Natural Soaps
SOLISQ - accessories by Gina Ahn
TCF Bank

Don't have a card? Stop in and register - it only takes a few minutes! The card is your passport to savings year-round, because once September has passed, you can still use it for free books, DVDs, e-books, audiobooks, song downloads, and so much more. Wondering if your old card is still valid? "Barrington Area Library cards might be black, green, blue or even yellow! As long as your information with us is current, your library card remains valid with us and with our local business partners," states Karen McBride, Head of Public Information at the library. Not sure if your card is up-to-date? Come on over and we'll be happy to help. Offer applies to Barrington Area Library cards only.

Please patronize and thank our business partners! Shopping locally really makes a difference in the community.

Felde Chiropractic

Update: July 26, 2013: Miss Becky has fired up the popcorn machine! Come up to the second floor before 5 PM today and enjoy a free, hot and yummy bag of popcorn, to celebrate all your hard work in Summer Library Club this year!

The Barrington Area Library's Summer Library Club is drawing to a close for 2013. This year's theme was "Have Book, Will Travel" so we've decorated the library with lots of travel-themed imagery. One very unique feature is our Popcorn Challenge School Map, located in the Youth Services department. The map features 10 Barrington Area schools on a winding path. Every time Barrington Area kids log in another 2,000 summer library club activities, the library van begins to move around the map, visiting each school on its delivery route, from North Barrington to Barbara Rose.

If 20,000 library club activities are logged in by Friday, July 26, 2013, we'll celebrate by providing free, fresh, hot popcorn to all visitors on that day!
So come on, kids - get your activities logged in before it's too late and Summer Library Club is over for another year! The club for Preschoolers and Students officially ends on Sunday, July 28.


It's no secret that a great read can really take you on a journey of heart, mind and spirit - so we're been celebrating the transportive power of reading with this year's Summer Library Club, "Have Book, Will Travel!"

Summer Library Club for kids is now over.

Teens and adults, your club ends on August 16.

For Young Adults (entering grades 9-12)

June 3 - August 16
Take a reading adventure this summer and earn prizes on your journey! Choose a free book at the reference desk just for signing up. Read and review seven books on the library Web site throughout the summer to be eligible for the grand prize. We’ll also give away weekly prizes to keep you revved up and reading.

For Adults

June 3 - August 16
Pack your bag with books and an e-reader and join us on the road to summer reading fun. Register on the library’s Web site (, by phone or in person. Keep an online log of what you’re reading, whether you’re poolside, jet-setting around the globe or just enjoying the sweet life here in Barrington. Log in your audiobooks, too! Then visit the library to collect your rewards. All participants receive free books and Ravinia lawn tickets, while supplies last. To make it even more fun, we’ll have semi-monthly drawings and a grand prize for those who read six or more titles.

Sometimes you don't need a whole class - you just want to sit down with a friendly, knowledgeable person and get your tech questions answered.
And you don't want a sale pitch! That's why we offer our convenient drop-in sessions. You don't need to register and we can focus on your specific questions. Here's what we're offering in the next few weeks.



Petting Zoo: iPads, Tablets, E-Readers
Tuesday, June 4, 10 AM - Noon

Stop by our table in the lobby every Tuesday between 10 AM and noon to check out the latest devices. Bring your questions about devices, apps, and downloading too!

Appy Hour
Tuesday, June 4, 4-6 PM
Librarians Gwyn and Liz will chat about a variety of fun and interesting new apps. This month, they will feature Mango Languages and Freegal Music.

VHS to DVD Transfer Demonstration
Thursday, June 6, 10-11:30 AM
You've got great memories on those VHS tapes. Now you can transfer them to DVD in our Media Lab. Librarian Gwyneth will demonstrate the easy-to-use equipment, then set up some time in the lab to try it yourself.

Check out our June/July events calendar for even more drop-in tech help sessions!

For immediate release
Karen McBride, Public Information Manager
Barrington Area Library
382-1300 X2100

Barrington Area Library Begins Renovation and Revitalization Project
See a shorter list of renovation highlights.

In 2012, the Barrington Area Library received 400,000 visits from patrons who attended technology and business classes, enjoyed live music and interactive children’s entertainment, expressed their creativity in the Media Lab, studied for finals, and yes, checked out 1.2 million books and movies. For those who thought the Internet and e-readers had made public libraries obsolete, the active, engaging atmosphere at the Barrington Area Library might come as quite a surprise. In April of 2013, the library will begin a year-long renovation project, transforming a 1970s-era building into a 21st century community space. It’s a fitting project for a progressive library that has long been ahead of its time in many other aspects.

The renovation project is being helmed by the architecture firm of Engberg Anderson, Inc. of Milwaukee, WI, and construction management company Shales McNutt of Elgin, IL. Engberg Anderson specializes in libraries and other community-focused organizations and previously worked with the Barrington Area Library on a small renovation project in its Circulation department. Architectural renderings and other documents created by Engberg Anderson for the library can be viewed on a special Web site, at

The project has been approved by the library’s Board of Trustees at a cost not to exceed $8.5 million. Most of the cost for the project will be covered by budget reserves.

The bidding process for the renovation project is now underway. Bids for furnishings will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. on March 25, 2013 (please note this has been changed from the original date of March 21, 2013, 1 p.m. prevailing time), and bids for construction work may be submitted through 1:00 p.m. on March 26, 2013. Bid notices may be viewed on the library’s Web site, The library’s Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Monday, April 15, at 6 p.m. to select the successful bids, with construction beginning as soon as possible after that date.

During renovation, the library will replace outdated mechanical systems, such as heating, air conditioning, electrical and lighting, plumbing and fire protection. Many of these systems date back to the original construction of the building in 1978. “Along with much-needed replacement of mechanical systems, the entire space is being renovated, but the building is not being expanded – it will retain its current footprint,” states Board President Don Minner. “What Engberg Anderson has done is to completely reimagine the interior of the library to make the very best use of the available space.”

Customer service will be available immediately upon entering the library, where guests can also get comfortable in an Internet café environment. In fact, one major improvement will be available before patrons even leave their vehicles – a drive-up materials return box will be placed on the east end of the parking lot, providing convenience and improved safety in the library’s entranceway. Inside, open floor plans will give patrons the best seat in the house, whether by windows with views of surrounding park areas, or in a second floor “reading commons” overlooking the library’s lovely atrium.

The revitalized library will provide more work and meeting space for business persons, students and groups of all kinds. Individuals can enjoy “office away from home” work pods in a fully-equipped business center, while small groups can share technology and conversation in a variety of study/meeting rooms. This business center area will be located right next to an expanded technology center, including a state-of-the-art media lab. “Today, more and more people need work space out in the community. They’re not going into the office every day. They need access to technology, printers, power outlets, and a convenient place to meet and share technology with others. Now we’ll be able to provide that level of service,” explains Library Executive Director Detlev Pansch.

Children are some of the most special visitors to the library and the renovation will provide a number of significant changes to the Youth Services department. The entire department is being relocated to the first floor of the library, for a number of reasons. Safety and convenience are primary – parents and caregivers will no longer have to struggle to get small children, strollers and library materials between the first and second floor, and the stairway will no longer present a safety hazard in the Youth department. The move also combines children’s DVDs and music with adult popular materials, so families can enjoy browsing together for this weekend’s entertainment options.

The entire Youth Services area will be redesigned to encourage interactive learning and imaginative play in an environment that is comfortable, colorful and welcoming to children of all ages. A creation lab and interactive exhibits will make the Youth Services department a true destination spot for children and families within the community, especially when combined with the library’s technology classes and excellent programming for children.

Teens and young adults will find a warmer welcome in the renovated library, too, with booth-style seating, a media lab and gaming room on the second floor. Nearby will be the new “reading commons,” with a variety of comfortable seating options that can accommodate individuals, groups and even small library programs. Books and reference services for adults will find a new home on the second floor as well.

Learn more about the library’s renovation plans and keep up-to-date on progress by visiting the Barrington Area Library Web site: -> library renovation.