The Barrington Area Library has once again been honored with a rare, four star ranking by Library Journal, in its annual Star Libraries report. The Library is one of only 15 Star Libraries in the state of Illinois. We thank you, our community, for supporting us so well and taking full advantage of all the benefits your BALibrary card offers, year after year.

For the 2021 report, Library Journal surveyed 5,846 qualifying public libraries in the United States, and 261 received three, four, or five star rankings. This places the Barrington Area Library within the top 4% of libraries nationwide, based on seven major service measures – physical material circulation, electronic circulation, number of visits, program attendance, public computer users, wifi sessions, and e-resource information retrievals - measured per capita. Libraries are also ranked based on their annual operating budgets. This year's ranking is based on data from the Library's 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The Barrington Area Library ranks particularly high - in the top 6% in the nation - on electronic circulation, which includes e-books, e-audiobooks, and other digital materials. The Library also shines in areas like physical circulation (books and DVDs) and wifi usage, and ranks well over the national mean in all but one category.

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.

The Youth Services staff have picked their favorite books published in 2021 for readers from ages 0-13. We hope you and your family find some new favorites here, too!


If you weren't able to join us for our seventh annual TEDxBarringtonAreaLibrary on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, we're pleased to announce that the videos are now available for online viewing! Learn more about our featured speakers and then follow the links to their videos.

Rev. Jeanne Hanson, retired Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling Center of the Northwest Suburbs: "The Power of Connection"

Rafael Malpica, Director of Hospital Programs at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital & Advocate Condell Medical Center: "That Doesn't Happen Here: Moving From Denial To Impact"

Nathaniel Rouse, Director of Equity, Race & Cultural Diversity Initiatives at Barrington 220 School District: "The Importance of DEI Work in Schools and the Impact on School Communities"

If you aren't familiar with TEDxBarringtonAreaLibrary, it is a locally organized version of TED, the series of inspiring talks meant to inspire and engage. Download and read the biographies of this year's speakers here. We encourage you to watch, listen, share, and discuss this year's videos with other community members!

Our 2021 MakerLab Holiday Gift Guide is ready for you!

It really is better to give than to receive, especially when you make your gifts using the MakerLab. Customize one of the projects in the guide, or create something entirely your own. Don't worry about technical expertise. Our Digital Services staff is available to help through a virtual or in-person, one-on-one appointment. Please e-mail us, or contact (847) 382 - 1300 x 2050 to set up an appointment.

Located on the first floor in the Business & Technology Center, the MakerLab gives Barrington Area Library cardholders access to a variety of cutting edge tools including 3D printers, a laser cutter, CNC machine, and vinyl cutter. These tools can be used in countless ways, from practical uses (3D printing spare parts for appliances) to artistic projects.

Once again, we have put together a holiday gift guide, where customers can see examples of the wide variety of projects that are possible with MakerLab technology. MakerLab appointments are going quickly this holiday season, so browse the guide for inspiration, and book your appointments ASAP.

Please note:

MakerLab is open to Barrington Area Library cardholders by reservation

• One group may use the MakerLab at a time. Groups should be 3 people or fewer

• Masks are required by staff and all customers ages two and up

No food or beverage is allowed in the MakerLab

The Barrington Area Library is proud to offer a new service, Explore More Illinois, to Library cardholders. Explore More Illinois is a cultural pass program that allows Illinois public library cardholders access to discounts at museums, park districts, historical societies, arts centers, recreational facilities, and other attractions.

Get started right now at Explore More Illinois: You'll find this same information when you click the Explore More Illinois logo from the Library home page and the kids' page.

Select the Barrington Area Public Library District from the drop-down menu and enter your BALibrary card number and the password/PIN for your Library account. There are attractions all across the state, including the the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Chicago Children's Museum, Anderson Japanese Gardens, Ernest Hemingway Birthplace, Illinois Holocaust Museum, and more! Questions about this new service? Ask at the Adult or Youth Services reference desks or at 847-382-1300.