The Barrington Area Library is proud to introduce Freegal, a new service providing free, legal music downloads to Barrington Area Library cardholders.

Patrons with a valid BALibrary card can go to the Freegal Web site and download FIVE free songs each week. Songs are provided from the Sony Music catalog, a huge collection of music spanning many decades and genres and hundreds of thousands of songs. Popular artists like Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson are available, along with bands like Foster the People, Train, Mumford & Sons and The Fray. Familiar classics by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand can be accessed with one click of the mouse and the eclectic listener can browse genres from acapella to zydeco. Classical music is available as well, as are new and classic music videos (music videos use up two credits per week).

Songs are downloaded in the mp3 format, with no DRM (digital rights management), so they can easily be transferred from home computer to mobile devices.

Try Freegal today! Click the Freegal link and type in your full library card number and start listening to great music in minutes. Have questions about Freegal? See the FAQ section on the Freegal Web site or stop in and talk with an Adult Services librarian.

Trouble accessing Freegal?

1) Make sure your Barrington Area Library card is still valid. Not sure? Stop by the Customer Service Desk.

2) Getting an "About Freegal" screen? Try clearing your browser cache, or, if using Internet Explorer, change to Compatibility View.

To change to Compatibility View:

As soon as you enter the Freegal site, click the Compatibility View icon in your toolbar.

It looks like the icon that is circled in red in the image to the left.

UPDATE 4/11/2012:

Library pick-up lockers and book returns are now back in service at all locations, including the Village of Barrington Hills.

Thank you for your patience as we gave our remote locations a Springtime sprucing up.


For Immediate Release                               March 15, 2012

Contact: Karen McBride, Public Information Manager, 847-382-1300 X205


Barrington Area Library Trustees vote to move forward with renovation plan

After several months of study and consideration, Barrington Area Library trustees have unanimously voted to move forward on plans to renovate the 33-year-old library facility. The vote took place at the regularly scheduled board meeting on Monday, March 12.

After a failed attempt to build a new library through a 2008 referendum, the trustees pursued an alternative goal of renovating and refurbishing the existing building. In 2010, the board commissioned a Strategic Facilities Plan, which evaluated the current facility and provided a number of potential scenarios for renovation. Now that the renovation project has been approved, the board and library administration will move forward in a responsible, deliberate fashion to eventually provide what Executive Director Detlev Pansch calls, “a 21st century library with a vastly improved customer experience.”

The current library building opened its doors in 1978 with an addition completed in 1992. Some mechanical systems date back to the original building and consequently are in great need of repair or replacement. With these major capital improvements already in sight, the board felt this was the optimal time to consider other improvements to the building and grounds. "We are confident that the interior renovation of the library will benefit all our patrons. When complete, we will have transformed the facility into a more functional, accessible space giving us the ultimate flexibility in delivering our services. In addition, we will have replaced aging mechanical systems which are on their last legs,” states Board President Don Minner.

The cost of the renovation project will be covered through current budget reserves, rather than a tax increase. The board felt this was the best option for preserving the library building as an important community asset while remaining fiscally responsible. The next phase of planning for the renovation consists of giving the existing building a thorough and detailed analysis, evaluating the activities and service points of each department and the space needed for those activities. This analysis will be provided to the architect, who will use it to begin the initial design phase. Outdoor parking lots and lighting will also be reconsidered as well as the information, technology and space needs of new generations of library users. The project may be completed as early as the summer of 2013, if the renovation proceeds according to the proposed timetable. “With thoughtful planning now, we hope to keep the entire project running smoothly on course and minimize disruption to our patrons,” states Pansch.

The Barrington Area Library is located at 505 N. Northwest Highway, Barrington, IL. Serving more than 44,000 residents of Barrington and many surrounding communities, it is the largest library district in Illinois, geographically speaking, covering 72 square miles. The library is open 7 days a week and offers a comprehensive selection of books, DVDs, music and more for children and adults. Learn more at the library’s virtual branch:


More news on the library renovation: "Library board approves $98,000 for plans," Barrington Courier-Review, Friday, March 16, 2012.

Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts of the USA, we welcome author and historian Stacy Cordery to the Barrington Area Library. Cordery will speak about her latest book, Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts, on Tuesday, March 6, 1:30 PM. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the presentation, courtesy of event cosponsor the Lake Forest Book Store.

Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low was a Southern belle both brazen and modest, traditional in manner and yet impossibly forward-thinking. Despite a life of relative privilege, she faced tremendous challenges in life yet was determined to teach women to be self-reliant, adventurous and morally responsible. Cordery is an award-winning professor of history at Monmouth College and the author of biographical works on President Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Her latest work on Juliette Gordon Low has won her praise from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today and the work was selected as one of the Christian Science Monitor’s “Twenty Non-Fiction Books to Watch for in 2012.” If you are currently involved with the Girl Scouts, have fond memories from your childhood or simply want to learn more about a fascinating female in American history, register for this free program. Enjoy complimentary tea and Girl Scout cookies, too.

Register on the library's Web site with this link: Stacy Cordery and Juliette Gordon Low registration or by calling 847-382-1300.

Praise and media for Stacy Cordery and Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts.

Interview with Cordery by Diane Rehm, American University Radio/NPR.

Interview with Cordery by Jeff Glor, CBS News Author Talk

Review from Kirkus Reviews

Wall Street Journal: "The merit badge here goes to Stacy Cordery's biography..."


We're proud of all the kids who visit us, but the Barrington Area Library has a special place for some of our youngest guests who participate in our Kindergarten Reading Club. In the 2011-2012 Kindergarten Club, 62 children participated, reading more than 3,300 books. Hats off to our Kindergarten Reading Club champions, each of whom tackled 100 books in just 5 months! Here are their custom-made READ posters (click for a full size image) - you can also see them on display in the library's Youth Services department on the second floor. Congratulations to all the Kindergarten Reading Club members - keep on reading!