news


Jason Pinshower, new Executive Director of the Barrington Area Library

Jason Pinshower, current Head of Operations for the Barrington Area Library, will move into a new role as the Library’s Executive Director on January 12. Pinshower replaces Vicki Rakowski, who joined the Library staff in 2017 and has served as Executive Director since February 2021. Rakowski is leaving to take on a new opportunity at the helm of another suburban Chicago public library.

 

 

"While we are sorry to see Ms. Rakowski move on to another library, we are excited to name Mr. Pinshower as our new Executive Director," said Library Board of Trustees President Carrie Carr. "It speaks to the high caliber of our staff that such a well-qualified internal candidate can be promoted to the leadership role. We are confident that Jason is the right person at the right time to take the Barrington Area Library forward."

Pinshower began working at the Library in 2018 as Head of Adult Services, and stepped into the role of Head of Operations in June 2021. He earned a Masters of Library and Information Science from University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2013. He has worked in libraries for 20 years, and came to Barrington after four years at the Fox River Valley Public Library District in East Dundee, where he served as Librarian, Digital Services Manager, and Adult and Teen Services Manager.

“I am humbled and honored to be the next Executive Director of the Barrington Area Library. It has been a joy working with our amazing staff and community over the past four and a half years, and it is the greatest pleasure of my career to lead and serve the Library in my new position. I look forward to continuing the strong momentum our organization has built up, utilizing our values to lead our Library into the future.

Pinshower enjoys hiking, fishing, and the outdoors, along with music and, of course, reading. A lifelong resident of the northwest suburbs, he lives in Cary with his wife and three children.

The Library and its Board of Trustees extend their gratitude to Rakowski for her leadership and service. Carr stated, "Our Library has been very fortunate over the years to benefit from executive directors, such as Ms. Rakowski, who have continually improved and advanced upon our mission. She will be greatly missed by staff and patrons. We wish her much continued success in her new role and career."

“I have loved my time at BALibrary. It’s been an honor to work with our remarkable staff, and to serve this wonderful community,” Rakowski said. “Mr. Pinshower will do a fantastic job leading the organization, and I know he and the staff will continue to do great things.”

We invite you to read the Library's latest annual report, covering the fiscal year of July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022. 

We are particularly honored to present highlights from a conversation between lifelong resident Jack Lageschulte (pictured on the left) and our Executive Director, Vicki Rakowski. We were deeply saddened by the news that Jack had passed away in November of 2022. He had received his Barrington Area Library card more than 80 years ago, and was still making good use of it, digitizing the family's VHS tapes and attending Second Fridays performances with his wife, Marilyn. You'll be inspired by the legacy of service and positive influence Jack and his extended family have left to the Barrington area.

The annual report also features three additional "power users" and their unique stories about what the Library means to them, and great news about how Library attendance and circulation are on the rise.

Speaking of great news: the Library was once again named a four star Library in an annual survey by Library Journal. Read all about this important national recognition.

 

For the third time, the Barrington Area Library has been honored with a coveted four star ranking by Library Journal in its annual Star Libraries report.

For the 2022 report, Library Journal surveyed 5,359 qualifying public libraries in the United States, and 258 received three, four, or five star rankings. This places the Barrington Area Library within the top 4-5% of libraries nationwide, which speaks volumes about the Library’s commitment to innovative and friendly customer service.

This year's ranking is based on data from the Library's 2019-2020 fiscal year, which included three and a half months when the building was closed due to the COVID pandemic. It is not surprising to find that, in this year’s report, the Barrington Area Library ranks particularly high on digital services: electronic circulation, which includes e-books, e-audiobooks, and other digital materials; wifi usage; and website hits.

Rankings are based on eight major service measures – physical material circulation, electronic circulation, number of visits, program attendance, public computer users, wifi sessions, e-resource information retrievals, and website visits – measured per capita. Libraries are also ranked by their annual operating budgets. The Barrington Area Library is the highest ranked four star library within the $5.5-9 million expenditure range.

The Library received its first four star ranking in 2019, after being named a three star library three times since the report was first published in 2009. See the full report on the Library Journal website.

We thank our generous, supportive community for always encouraging us to reach for the highest standards in library service.

The service improvements that began at the Library in August of this year are well underway. We are pleased to announce that three new study rooms, or "Cubicles," are now available in the second floor balcony area. The rooms are suitable for 1-2 guests, and include a table, chairs, and power outlet. One room also has a whiteboard.

Barrington Area Library cardholders may reserve these rooms on our website. For more information or a same-day reservation, please stop at the second floor Reference Desk.

The new holds pick-up area is now available directly across from the Customer Service desk, conveniently located just inside our front entrance. Watch for more improvements coming soon: a special room for nursing mothers, a Local History room, a computing area on the second floor, and improved book browsing on the first floor.

Exciting changes are coming to BALibrary over the next few months. We’ve heard your feedback and we’ll be bringing you new features and more of what you already love:

  • holds pick-up area closer to the front entryway;
  • quieter adult computing area on the second floor;
  • local history room for easier access to our incredible collection of Barrington area historical resources and digitization equipment;
  • nursing room for caregivers and our youngest visitors;
  • three additional study rooms.

In addition, the first floor café and Customer Service area will be reorganized to provide a better browsing experience for all ages.

While work is underway, holds pick-up and some browsing collections will be temporarily housed in the Atrium. Can’t find what you need? Please ask, we’re here to help!

Why now? After eight years in our renovated Library, we want to respond to customer suggestions and provide an even better BALibrary experience. Aspects of this projects were planned before the pandemic, and now that more visitors are returning to in-person Library services, it's the right time to make these improvements.

We estimate that these projects will be completed in October 2022. We will work closely with our contractors to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum.