Long-time Barrington Area Library Trustee Richard J. Ryan has been awarded the ALA Trustee Citation by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

The ALA Trustee Citation, established in 1941 to recognize public library Trustees for distinguished service to library development, honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards. Ryan is one of two recipients this year.

Ryan has served as a Trustee of the Barrington (Ill.) Area Library for a total of 33 years. He served as board treasurer from 1974 to 1980 and board president for 25 years from 1985 to 2010. He is currently fulfilling a six-year term that ends in 2015. Even before he was elected to the board in 1974, he served on the Barrington Area Development Council’s ad hoc library committee and acted as co-chair of the library coordinating committee for publicity. In 1991, the library broke ground on a 31,000-square-foot addition and renovation project for the library he had help to build in 1978. Ryan is now working with the Board of Trustees and library administration on a planned renovation of the library building.

A statement of support submitted to ALTAFF by current Library Board President Don Minner praised Ryan for his persistence in seeing projects through to completion, his tirelessness in advocating for the library within the community, and his openness to new ideas and services within the library. In 2011, Minner and the other trustees bestowed upon Ryan the honorary title of President Emeritus. Executive Director Detlev Pansch notes that Ryan is both an engaged board member and enthusiastic library user, checking out materials several times a week, greeting staff members by name and often attending monthly staff meetings to acknowledge service milestones of longtime employees. As Minner stated to ALTAFF, “Richard J. Ryan’s decades of work on behalf of the Barrington Area Library can be seen and felt in every part of the building and its grounds, and experienced in all of its collections and services.”

Recipients of the ALA Trustee Citation will be announced at the Opening General Session of the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif, on Friday, June 22, 2012. More information about the ALA Trustee Citation is available on the ALTAFF Web site:


El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), April 30, is the culmination of the year-long, daily celebration of children, families, and reading. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

The Barrington Area Library celebrated with with a week of fun, Spanish language activities for children, including storytimes, crafts and a scavenger hunt. Assistant Librarian Barbara Alvarez also visited some local school children who shared Spanish language stories in the two videos below.

Youth Services Assistant Librarian Barbara Alvarez visited Ms. Guerrero's class at Roslyn Elementary School, too, and they shared a Spanish language favorite, Book Fiesta.

Youth Services Assistant Librarian Barbara Alvarez recently visited Roslyn Elementary School, where teacher Blanca Moran and her Kindergarten students read us a story. Check out the video!

Want to learn more about el día de los niños/el día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day)? Visit the official Web site from the American Library Association.


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.