On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, the library's online systems will undergo an upgrade. This is not an extensive upgrade, and it is expected to take only a few hours that day. Nevertheless, the following systems will be unavailable from approximately 6 AM - 1 PM on November 18:

Library Catalog
Mobile Catalog
"My Account" features
Telephone renewal
Credit card payment
Owl iLibrary app
OverDrive e-books/audiobooks
3M Cloud Library e-books
OneClickdigital audiobooks
Comics Plus

We'll keep you posted on our progress - thanks for your patience!

On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, Barrington Area Library Executive Director Detlev Pansch and Business Liaison Librarian Barbara Alvarez presented the first of two donation checks to area food pantries. A check for $567.00 was presented to Cuba Township Supervisor David F. Nelson and staff to be used to stock the shelves of their food pantry. This money was donated by generous local businesses during the library's Summer Library Club for adults and young adults. Patrons were asked to read 1,500 books during the summer months, while businesses pledged a portion of one day's proceeds if that reading goal was met. Nine businesses made contributions to the final total of $1,134.00, which will be split between Barrington Township and Cuba Township. Donating businesses included:

Cooper’s Pizza
Paul’s Burrito Express
Nature’s Select Pet Products
Savory Salads
Calibrè Coffee
Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria and Pub
Cook Street Coffee

Top donating businesses were Calibrè Coffee in South Barrington, Paul's Burrito Express, Cooper's Pizza, and Cook Street Coffee, all in Barrington. We thank all who participated, either by making a donation, or by signing up for Summer Library Club and logging in books read. "We were excited about the possibility of doing something new with Summer Library Club, by keeping a focus on reading, but adding in an aspect of social good," stated Executive Director Pansch. "The library staff was really energized by the opportunity to contribute in a positive way to relieving hunger right here in our community." Some additional funds were donated by individual library staff members.

Barrington Area Library Executive Director Detlev Pansch (far left) and Business Liaison Librarian Barbara Alvarez (far right) present a food pantry donation check to Cuba Township Supervisor David F. Nelson (center) and his staff on Tuesday, September 30, 2014.





Thanks to all participating businesses! This promotion has now ended.

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, as designated by the American Library Association. While residents of the Barrington Area Library district may apply for a card at any time, and a library card always brings value and savings into your household, the library likes to offer extra encouragement during the month of September. This year, we've come up with something new and exciting for those who sign up for a new card, who renew an expired card, and even for those who have cherished their BALibrary card for years.

Two women stand at a customer service desk, holding small tote bags

Kelly and Laura are ready to give you your library tote bag full of valuable coupons when you sign up for a library card - this month only, while supplies last

Beginning Tuesday, September 2, 2014, patrons who sign up for a new Barrington Area Library card or who renew an expired Barrington Area Library card will receive a mini library tote bag and library pen. In addition to being a great place to tuck in your library books, movies, and CDs, this bag is also stuffed with valuable coupons from a huge variety of local businesses! Participating businesses* include:

• Allure Massage Spa
• B. Chones
• Barrington Bank and Trust Company, N.A.
• Barrington Martial Arts
• Calibre Coffee
• Calico Corners
• Carol & Company
• Clarke’s Bakery & Deli
• Cooper’s Pizza | Big Iron Horse BBQ
• Cory Cosman @
• Costco Wholesale
• Frantonio’s Italian Deli & Café
• Georgio’s Pizzeria & Pub
• Grassroots
• Hair By Justyna Salon
• Heads Up Boutique
• Holistic Acupuncture
• Huntington Learning Center
• JC Licht | Epco Paint & Decorating Center
• Jennifer Michaels Hair Studio
• Kaleidoscope School of Fine Art
• McDonald’s
• Meatheads
• Nature’s Select Premium Pet Products
• Norton’s U.S.A.
• Peaces Art & Adornment
• Savvy Spirit
• Solisq
• T.T. Patton
• Tootsies Shoes

While we want to welcome newcomers to the library, and those who may have let their card membership expire, we also want to reward long-time customers. So, we'll be giving away an additional 50 tote bags with coupons to current BAL cardholders who enter their name, card number, and contact information into the online form below. One entry per card number, please. Drawings will be held on Friday, September 5, Friday, September 12, and Friday, September 19.

Great deals don't last forever, and this offer ends after we've given away 250 mini tote bags. If you want yours, get here soon to sign up for a card or to renew your card. Current cardholders - the earlier you enter your information into the contest form, the better your chances of winning! Happy National Library Card Sign-Up Month from your friends at the Barrington Area Library, and THANK YOU to all of these generous local businesses who participated.

*Please note: due to varying numbers of coupons that were donated, some bags may not contain coupons from every listed business. For the biggest and best selection, get your card soon!

Due to an important upgrade to the library's Polaris system, many online services will be unavailable on Monday, August 11, 2014. Unavailable services will include:

Self Check-In/Check-Out stations
Online library catalog and mobile catalog
Credit Card Payments (Online and Self Check)
Telephone and online renewal
Owl Library app
3M Cloud

We anticipate that these services will be unavailable from 7 AM until approxiately 5 PM on Monday, August 11. Even though the self-check stations will be down, you will still be able to check out and check in library materials that day, at the Customer Service Desk. In the event that online services become available earlier in the day, we will keep you informed. Thanks for your patience as we implement this significant upgrade.

June - August 15, 2014: In celebration of the Barrington Area Library's complete renovation, the Gallery in the Library has brought back select works by some of the most popular artists to exhibit here in the past. Stop in and enjoy paintings by Kathleen Eaton, Bruno Vanoudenhove, and Lou Taylor, along with photography by Barbara Pintozzi and former Gallery co-curators Kelly Stachura and Lisa Swarbrick!

Kathleen Eaton is a Chicago area artist interpreting city and suburban life. Her works reflect a fascination with architectural spaces and the unexpected solitude or human activities that occur within them. From this perspective, her paintings explore the emotional landscape between imagination and reality in man-made surroundings. Eaton graduated with a BFA from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Her works have been featured in shows for over 20 years and many pieces have been acquired for public, corporate, and private collections. You may have seen her large murals at Midway Airport.

We are delighted to feature the works of Kathleen Eaton again in the Gallery in the Library. Her 2012 show, Urban Landscapes, was one of the most popular Gallery exhibits of all time, and resulted in Eaton’s painting Entrance to the Red Line being featured on the cover of the Illinois Library Association Reporter magazine.

For more information on her work, please visit her website at:

Bruno Vanoudenhove uses his photographic background to create photorealistic portraits in black and white acrylics on canvas. Born in Belgium, he is now a resident of Barrington, where he began a career as a freelance architectural photographer. When he first arrived in the United States, he was awed by the tall buildings, and marveled at how this concrete “garden” created a skyline that integrated both form and function, yet ebbed and flowed with nature. He transformed his love for well-known Chicago landmarks into intense and elegant art works. He has studied drawing and painting at Harper College.

We are delighted to feature him again in the Gallery in the Library, showing some of the most popular works from his 2010 show, Black Tie, as well as additional pieces.

For more information on his work, please visit his website at:

Lou Taylor, former resident of Cary and Barrington, was an artist and photographer. After receiving photography training in the Navy during World War II, Taylor also trained at the Modern School of Photography in New York and the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

Professionally, he owned LFT Studios, and produced photography, illustration, and fine art for corporate and private collections for 70 years. Personally, Taylor offered community art workshops through the schools and park district, and took great interest in preserving, through photography and art, the treasured rural countryside. The Library was honored to host Taylor’s final public show in May of 2011. Upon his death in December 2011, a number of pieces were gifted to the McHenry County Historical Society to benefit their programs.

The library greatly appreciates the loan of these exhibited works from the McHenry County Historical Society in Union, IL.

For more information or to purchase one of Taylor’s works, please visit: -> Gift Shop -> Rural Images by Lou Taylor

Barbara Pintozzi: Few of us have time to examine closely the intricate patterns, colorful hues, and graceful arrangement of flowers in the garden. Barbara Pintozzi’s garden photographs are a call to slow down and look more thoughtfully at nature and gardens, in order to increase your appreciation for growing things and green spaces.

Shot without a macro lens, these images were inspired by Pintozzi’s observations of her garden, revealing the stories hidden within. The artist hopes that you, too, will hear the flowers speak.

Pintozzi has been working creatively in the arts since childhood. Pursuing music for a time, she took photography courses in college and was active in a camera club. Pintozzi’s photography has received awards from the Chicago Area Camera Club Association, Chicago Flower and Garden Show, and Gardening Gone Wild’s “Picture This” competitions. She also features her photographs in her garden blog, Mr. McGregor’s Daughter, and explores her artistry further in her welded garden sculptures. In her role as Barrington Area Library Trustee, Pintozzi serves as a member of the Gallery in the Library Art Advisory Committee. Pintozzi previously displayed her garden-inspired photography in the show, “In the Garden of Live Flowers,” Spring of 2012.