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...


Have a BAL card? Submit your 3D print project, now!

3D printing is amazing, but if you want to get the most out of your project, your work is just underway after the print comes off the platform. Here are some tips to take your 3D print to the next level. 

A movie director doesn't yell "Cut!" on the set and turn the movie over to the film studio; he relies on multiple takes, angles, and then editors go over the project to make it the best it can be. The same is true for the design process. It is unlikely that you will design a print perfectly and have it come out looking like a finished product, but there are a few simple steps you can take after the print is complete to get a more polished appearance. If it is your first time using a 3D printer, I'd recommend that you start out by selecting a pre-designed print that is well reviewed in a 3D model repository such as Thingiverse. In this example, we will take a pre-designed Pokeball with pink parts and make it look like the real thing!


I recommend using a high resolution setting in your software. At the Barrington Area Library, we typically use a layer height of .14 millimeters on projects as long as they take less than 6 hours to print at that resolution. If supports are needed you can remove them after the job is complete with needle nosed pliers.


Even though the resolution is .14mm, you will still be able to pick out the lines on your print, and after removing supports the print might need some attention. Sanding with a course sandpaper will eliminate many of the surface blemishes and provide a smoother finish. After using a course sandpaper, use a fine grit sandpaper to remove any additional inconsistencies. Below is a picture after sanding with a course sandpaper. Make sure to sand in an open space and use a facemask or respirator when needed.

Prime & Paint

Priming is a step that many people will skip over, but it helps to add an even base and further remove any surface scratches. Additionally, you may not always have control over which color filament is used on your 3D print. For this Pokeball, there were three different colors, so primer helps to mask any color beneath. You can use a spray primer or use a brush and a liquid primer.

After your base coat of primer is applied and dried, you can either use a brush or a can of spray paint to add your color. When the project has large surface areas that are the same color, spray paint is a great choice and a big time saver. When using spray paint, be sure to follow all of the instructions on the can, such as to use in a well ventilated area. 

Other projects may have significantly more detail and can benefit from the use of modeling materials and fine paintbrushes. One of our talented patrons, Dan Tisoncik, primed and painted a 3D printed model of Barrington's Catlow Theater. This took significantly more time and skill to paint, but the tremendous result speaks for itself. 


After you complete a pre-designed print, you might want to take the next step and design your own project. There are some wonderful resources on to get you up and running with 3D design. If this is your first design, I would recommend using the free, web-based software, Tinkercad. Remember, the design process can be a challenge, but you'll walk away with new skills and I'll bet the desire to make another project! 


On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, the library's online system will be updated.
Many online services will be unavailable from approximately 8 AM to 3:30 PM that day.

This includes:

Online and Mobile Catalogs
"My Account" features
Credit Card payments
Phone Renewals
Stacks library app

Thank you for your patience as we implement this important update to our system.