At its regular meeting on Monday, September 14, the Barrington Area Library Board of Trustees offered its gratitude to Carolyn Welch Clifford, who is retiring from the Board after more than 19 years, including more than 9 years as Board Vice President.

The Board presented a resolution of appreciation to Clifford, acknowledging her contribution as a "passionate advocate for the Library, its programs, services, and staff." Clifford has volunteered countless hours of her time on behalf of the Library’s patrons, provided wise counsel to Library leaders and Board of Trustees, and championed the Library’s objectives to stimulate imagination, develop information fluency, foster lifelong learning, and create young readers. She also served on the Board during a major Library facility redesign and revitalization project in 2013 and 2014. After being honored with the resolution, Clifford was also made a Permanent Cardholder of the District.

On behalf of the Barrington Area Library community, we offer our admiration and appreciation to Carolyn Welch Clifford for her leadership, commitment, and years of service to the District. 

It's been our pleasure to begin rolling out in-person services to you, our community, over the past few weeks.

The Library building remains closed to the public until further notice. Our goal from day one has been to continue offering as many library services as possible, in the safest way possible, keeping the health of customers and employees as our highest priority. We're following a phased reopening plan, with several weeks between each phase, giving us time to obtain needed supplies and fixtures, process thousands of new books and movies that arrived over the last few months, rearrange library spaces in accordance with appropriate social distancing standards, and perfect new services.

Book returns began reopening the week of June 8, and all but three are now open and ready for your returns. (Advocate Good Shepherd, Barrington High School, and the indoor return at Willow Recreation Center remain closed.)

We remind you that there is no hurry to return items. No overdue fines will accrue, and when items are returned, they are being held in quarantine for three days, so they will remain on your library account for awhile longer.
Details about book return locations.

Parking Lot Pick-Up service began the week of June 15, and in July we are offering expanded hours. Current hours are Monday-Friday, 1 - 6 PM, and Saturday, 9 AM - 1 PM. We've already delivered more than 17,000 items to more than 1,000 customers! We will continue to offer this service for the foreseeable future, even after the Library building reopens its doors to the public.
Details about Parking Lot Pick-Up service

When will the Library building reopen?
Our phased reopening plan specifies Monday, July 27, as our official reopening date. For the first phase of reopening, expect to find:

  1. full browsing access to books and movies for adults, teens, and children - technology equipment will also be available for checkout;
  2. Parking Lot Pick-Up and indoor hold pick-up;
  3. friendly, professional assistance and expertise from our staff, keeping social distancing standards in mind;
  4. all staff and visitors wearing face coverings, in accordance with Governor Pritzker's mandate and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines;
  5. a clean and welcoming environment, sanitized to industry standards.

Full details coming soon, so watch our website, our social media channels, and our e-mail newsletters for information.


Dear Readers,

The recent killing of George Floyd, among other killings and systemic injustices experienced by black Americans and people of color, has horrified and disturbed communities across our country – including our own. In the wake of this tragedy, people across the country and in our community are speaking out, assembling, and sending the message that racism and hate are unacceptable in our institutions and communities.

As a First Amendment institution, the Barrington Area Library stands with those who choose to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech. Freedom of speech includes the right to read, view, listen to, create, and access information free from censorship and this right underpins our work as library professionals. The First Amendment also guarantees the right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for a redress of grievances. It is a necessary civic duty to exercise these rights and the Barrington Area Library is here to support all residents in that endeavor.

As an institution dedicated to serving all members of our community, the Barrington Area Library also stands with those working to end systemic racism, inequality, and other barriers that limit opportunity and potential within our community.

Restoring our community in the face of ongoing injustice and a global pandemic is difficult work. Each of us, including the Library, has a responsibility to help build an engaged and inclusive community.

Whether you choose to learn more about the history of racism and discrimination in our country:
• The DuSable Museum of African-American History, Chicago
• African American History Online: A Resource Guide - Library of Congress
• African American Heritage: National Archives

hear from anti-racist voices:
• Anti-Racist Reading List (BALibrary e-books)
• Social & Systemic Injustice Video Playlist - Kanopy
• New York Times Anti-Racist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi

contact your legislators:
How To Contact Your Elected Officials
How To Start a petition

document this moment in history for future generations: email our Local History Librarian Kate Mills

learn from the experiences of other people (including a program this Sunday, June 7, After The Rally: What Next?), or use our parking lot when attending the peaceful protest in Citizens Park on Saturday, June 6 – know that your Library is here to help.

Thank you for reading.
Jesse Henning
Executive Director
Barrington Area Library

During these challenging times, we're doing all we can to provide Library materials, services, and expertise to you and your household. While the Library building remains closed until further notice, we're expanding and enhancing the ways we serve you digitally and in person.

Try our new Parking Lot Pick-Up service!

Parking Lot Pick-Up is an easy, convenient, and safe way for you to borrow books and other materials from the Barrington Area Library. Here's how it works. 

  1. Search the online catalog for books and movies.

  2. Place requests on items you'd like to borrow. If you already have items on hold, those requests will be automatically changed to Parking Lot Pick-Up requests. Note that items may only be picked up at the main Library at this time. Also, Interlibrary Loan service is unavailable until further notice.

  3. Watch for an e-mail or text notification when the items are ready for pick-up. Come to the Library during Parking Lot Pick-Up hours: Monday - Friday, 1 - 6 PM, Saturday, 9 AM - 1 PM.

  4. Park in a designated pick-up spot (near the book return), call the number on the sign, and tell us the number of your parking spot.
  5. If all six spaces are full, please pull around to the front of the aisle near the Library canopy, and wait for the first available spot to open. Have your Barrington Area Library card number ready when you call. Walking or biking, or don't have a mobile phone? Come to the pick-up table outside the building and follow posted instructions.

  6. A staff member will check out your materials and deliver them to your vehicle.

  7. Enjoy your Library materials, and rest assured: our building has been disinfected to EPA standards, and our staff equipped with PPE/social distancing training and equipment. Health and safety remain our highest priorities.

Questions? E-mail or chat with our Customer Service representatives, Monday - Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM. .

June 12: You may begin to notice "overdue" items in your library account. Rest assured: no fines will accrue at this time. The drive-up book return at the main Library and eight other return locations are open again. Click this link to see which returns are open and which remain closed until further notice.

Please note: all returned items will be quarantined for seven days, due to guidelines from the Reaching Across Illinois Library System. So even after you return items, they will remain on your account for another seven to ten days.

Please do not worry about overdue fines - we've got you covered. We appreciate your patience and good will during these challenging times.

What else can the Barrington Area Library do for you?

COVID-19 local information and helpful resources - medical assistance, senior care, food pantries, help for small businesses, much more

Apply for a Barrington Area Library card online - even if you've never had a card before - or renew your card, in order to make use of these outstanding digital resources. We're expediting these processes as much as possible at this time.

Digital collections, including thousands of e-books, e-audiobooks, digital magazines and newspapers, streaming movies and TV shows. Many of these providers have expanded their offerings to give you more choices, and more checkouts per month, at this time. Get started:

Ask questions, get assistance: our Customer Service and Adult Services teams are here to help, Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 6 PM.
Use the Library’s email contact forms: or online chat via our website or social media sites
to send in your questions. Make sure you're on our e-mail newsletter list, too - that's the best way to stay informed about Library services.

Download or stream thousands of music selections, from classical to contemporary hits.

Wifi: feel free to use wifi from your car out in our lower parking lot.

Online research and learning services. Great for students participating in e-learning, great for the whole family: explore your genealogy, learn a new language or a new computer skill.
Research services:
Online courses/video tutorials:
NEW: is making its Library Edition available for free to at-home users at this time. Get started on our Genealogy page, have your BALibrary card number handy:


The Barrington Area Library will be temporarily closed to public entry as of 9 PM, Friday, March 13, 2020 and until further notice.

Why is the Library closing until further notice?

The Library has been closely monitoring information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for several weeks. We have taken this unprecedented precaution based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and local health authorities, which cite social distancing and event cancellations as effective means for preventing the spread of disease. We care deeply about the health and safety of the communities we serve, especially seniors, people with underlying conditions, and others who are at greater risk. We want to support the efforts of our school district, local government, and healthcare organizations, by making this well-informed, proactive decision for the public good.

Take care of yourself, take care of your loved ones, and we look forward to serving you when we are able to reopen the Library building to the public.

How can I stay informed about the Library closing?

We will keep you informed via our website (, social media channels (Facebook and Twitter), and e-mail newsletters. Our response to this situation will undoubtedly continue to evolve, so please stay in touch.

How and when do I return my Library materials?

There is no need to worry about returning Library materials during this temporary closure. Until further notice, due dates will be extended and customers will not accrue fines on any items borrowed from the Library.

Will there be any Library services available during the closure?

In addition to items you currently have checked out, Barrington Area Library cardholders will also have 24/7 access to our outstanding digital collections of e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines and newspapers, streaming movies and TV shows and music, and downloadable music. Students and anyone with research needs may make use of our online research databases and homework help. We hope these resources keep you and your household informed, entertained, and connected during the coming weeks.

We encourage you to keep in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where we’ll do our best to answer your questions and share helpful information and resources. You may also use the Contact Us email form on our website – we’ll respond to your messages as quickly as possible.

What about Library items that I have on hold?

If you received notification that your on hold items are now ready for pick up at our remote lockers, you have seven days from the notification date to pick them up. 

If you currently have holds on items in our catalog, those holds will remain in the system and will reactivate when the building has reopened.

We encourage all community members to seek out reliable, factual information about coronavirus disease. The following websites are helpful resources for staying informed.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Share Facts About COVID-19”

Illinois Department of Public Health, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”

Lake County, IL, Health Department, “COVID-19”

Cook County Department of Public Health, “Novel coronavirus”

Village of Barrington, “Information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)”

World Health Organization, “Novel Coronavirus 2019” website