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.

The Barrington Area Library stands in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Hate crimes against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have been on the rise in America over the past year, adding to the systemic injustice this population already experiences. We grieve for lives senselessly lost and the ongoing trauma felt by other victims and their loved ones.

As a library, we believe one of the strongest tools in the fight against discrimination and intolerance is education. Empathy and understanding flourish when we open ourselves up to everyone’s stories, voices, and experiences.

The Barrington Area Library is committed to furthering its own knowledge and ability to act as an open, equitable institution. Libraries are for everyone and all are welcome here.

Fostering lifelong learning is a central part of our mission. If you are interested in further self-education on these issues, we have compiled a list of resources to deepen understanding of the AAPI experience, ranging from online resources to books available for checkout.

Resources And Reading Lists

Web Resources:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Becoming an Upstander

Be The Change Barrington

Videos from the Courageous Community series:
Confronting Prejudice | With Jenan Mohajir, includes how to intervene safely and effectively

Becoming America | With Eric Liu of Citizen University and Aspen Institute

Love, Anger, & Apology | With Valarie Kaur, author of See No Stranger

Masks are optional, but recommended, at the Barrington Area Library. The Library will continue to prioritize safety precautions during programs, including reduced capacity and physical distancing.

The Library is open all regular hours:
Monday - Friday: 9 AM to 9 PM
Saturday: 9 AM to 5 PM
Sunday: 1 to 5 PM

Meeting Room and Zimmerman Room now available to BALibrary cardholders - full and reduced capacities available

Reservations must be placed by a BALibrary cardholder. A variety of room capacities and set-ups are available, based on your group's safety preferences. Masks are optional, but recommended. Ready to place a reservation or check for available dates? Click here or use the "book a room" link at

Study Rooms, Business Cubicles, and First Floor Conference Room open to full capacity
Please note:

  • BALibrary cardholders may reserve a room for a session from 15 to 120 minutes. Customers may make one reservation per day, with one renewal (for up to 120 minutes) if the room has not been requested by another customer.
  • Reciprocal borrowers (who have registered another library card with BALibrary) may use a study room for one hour on a walk-in basis, and may renew the room for a second one hour time slot if it has not been reserved by a BALibrary cardholder.
  • Rooms are cleaned on a regular basis, and new air filtration devices are in use.
  • Book online now.

Pick-Up and Delivery options:

BALibrary cardholders may:

Computers and Technology:
Customers may use:

      • Laptops available for checkout at the Business and Tech Center desk;
      • Wi-Fi;
      • Simple Scan stations;
      • Remote and in-house printing;
      • Library Catalog/15 Minute Express Internet stations;
      • Business & Tech center computers: customers may reserve in advance, walk-ins and guest passes also available;
      • Some Youth Services computers;
      • The MakerLab is open again to BALibrary customer appointments. Book yours by emailing
        Submit 3-D print jobs and complete laser-cutting projects
        to our Digital Services team.
      • Studio One and Studio Kids are now available. Details.

Visit the computers/Internet and MakerLab pages for more details.

In order to provide the safest experience possible, some Library services and facilities will not be available during this phase. These include:

        • Some Youth Services play areas and interactives - visit us in person to see which interactives are now available.
          Visit our online Events Calendar and Youth Services blog for take-home activity kits and virtual programs. We are now offering in-person programs as well.
        • Youth Services iPads.


Vicki Rakowski, new Executive Director of the Barrington Area Library
Vicki Rakowski, current Head of Operations for the Barrington Area Library, will step into a new role as the Library’s Executive Director on February 13. She will replace Jesse Henning, who has served as Executive Director since April 2018. Henning is leaving the Library and heading to Denmark to pursue an exciting opportunity for his family.

“We are very pleased to name Ms. Rakowski as our new Executive Director,” said Library Board of Trustees President Don Minner. “With her knowledge and experience, we expect that she will step into the role seamlessly while providing the leadership to ensure that our talented and dedicated staff continue to meet the varied needs of our patrons and community.”

Rakowski has been in the library profession for 13 years, receiving a Masters in Library and Information Science from Dominican University in 2010. She began her career in Youth Services, then moved into a series of management positions, joining the Barrington Area Library team in January 2017. As Head of Operations in Barrington, she has overseen the Customer Service, Material Services, and Building Services departments, and served as Interim Director from October 2017 – April 2018. She also has an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University.

“I am truly honored to be the next director of the Barrington Area Library. I look forward to leading our staff through the difficult times we face at present, as well as the challenges and opportunities in our future. The four years I have spent in this organization have shown me time and again that this is a special library in a special community. I am proud to continue my work here in this new role.”

Rakowski is an avid reader and gardener. She is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area, and currently resides with her husband in Oak Park.

The Library and its Board of Trustees extend their sincere gratitude to Henning for his leadership and service, which included significant achievements such as the elimination of overdue fines, the completion of critical maintenance projects for the building and campus, and the introduction of updated library policies to expand access to more area residents.

Board President Minner stated, “While saddened that Director Henning is leaving us, we extend our best wishes for success in his next endeavor and thank him for his many accomplishments, guidance to our staff, and efforts for our district.”

"It has been an honor serving this community,” said Henning. “From my first day on the job, I have been awed and amazed by the level of civic and social engagement among Barrington area residents and how this library plays an important role in supporting that community spirit. I am proud to have worked with a staff so fiercely dedicated to providing efficient, effective, and transformative library service. The Barrington Area Library is truly a special place and I am glad to have played a part in writing its story."


The Barrington Area Library is pleased to release its Annual Report for the fiscal year 2019-2020.

Read the report online to learn how the Library makes space - physically and virtually - to connect district residents with learning opportunities, fun and enriching community events, myriad local non-profit and volunteer organizations, and perhaps most importantly, with each other.