4 “Community Catalysts” to Speak at TEDx Barrington Area Library

4 “Community Catalysts” to Speak at TEDx Barrington Area Library

 Have you heard about TED, the nonprofit, global phenomenon devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading? Its goal is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation. A TEDx event is a local version of TED – a community-planned series of conversations designed to energize and inspire. The Barrington Area Library is proud to welcome you to its second TEDxBarringtonAreaLibrary event, featuring four powerful community catalysts. Come … Read more…

Artists, Makers, and Creative Types – the Barrington Area Library Needs You!

Artists, Makers, and Creative Types – the Barrington Area Library Needs You!

 For the last five years, the Barrington Area Library, like many libraries around the world, has offered a “One Book” reading selection. As we met to begin planning our 2016 “Barrington Reads” event, it quickly became clear that we were all pining to do something very different – to think “outside the book,” if you will. After many brainstorming sessions, emails, spreadsheets, and mock-ups, we … Read more…

80. Meet and greet local authors at the Barrington Area Library’s first annual Local Author Fair

80. Meet and greet local authors at the Barrington Area Library’s first annual Local Author Fair

 It’s no secret that Barrington is full of amazing authors and storytellers. From novelists to poets to historians, many Barrington area authors have published works of the highest quality. However, 2015 will be the first time you can meet many of these talented writers all in one place: at the Barrington Area Library’s first annual Local Author Fair! The Local Author Fair will take place … Read more…

32. Books & Beyond: Stephen King’s “11/22/63” the Focus of 5th Annual Barrington Reads Event, Underway Now!

32. Books & Beyond: Stephen King’s “11/22/63” the Focus of 5th Annual Barrington Reads Event, Underway Now!

 It’s been way too long since I’ve written a Books & Beyond post on behalf of the Barrington Area Library! Since we successfully completed our renovation project in 2014, we are busier than ever over at 505 N. Northwest Highway, and I’m amazed at how the months have flown by. Nevertheless, one tradition we began before the renovation is our annual community reading event, Barrington … Read more…

226. The library is alive with the sound of…music?

226. The library is alive with the sound of…music?

 Sunday morning – it’s a phrase that conjures up peacefulness and restoration, whether those things arise from sleeping in, or taking advantage of a quiet house to read, or meeting up with friends to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, or participating in a religious service. For me, Sunday mornings are synonymous with music, the music we make in ministry at my church, St. Anne’s in Barrington, … Read more…

223. The Best-Kept (Business) Secret in Barrington

223. The Best-Kept (Business) Secret in Barrington

 When I am out and about in the community, I’m occasionally stunned (maybe depressed is a better word) by what people don’t know about the Barrington Area Library. They don’t know we offer free e-books and e-audiobooks, along with free-to-download music, magazines, and streaming movies and TV shows. They don’t  realize that librarians are professionals with Masters degrees in Library and Information Science, who know … Read more…

196. Books & Beyond: Get your #throwback on at the Barrington Area Library!

196. Books & Beyond: Get your #throwback on at the Barrington Area Library!

 I’ll never forget the night before our new Youth Services department opened. Everybody on the staff wanted to play with the giant Light Bright, the slide, the LEGOs, and all the other cool stuff.  We just couldn’t because there were still a million little things to get ready for the morning – no time to play. I felt a similar twinge of nostalgia when the … Read more…

165. Come Celebrate Your “Remixed” Barrington Area Library

165. Come Celebrate Your “Remixed” Barrington Area Library

We know there was a time when you thought the Barrington Area Library’s renovation project was never going to end. I even had residents spot me in restaurants to let me know they were betting we wouldn’t be finished on time! Well, with the exception of a few “punch list” items and the audiovisual equipment set up in the remodeled meeting rooms – we’ve reached the finish line.

The Barrington Area Library grand reopening celebration is on Sunday, June 22, 2014. Stop in and see what's new!
The Remix, the Barrington Area Library grand reopening celebration is on Sunday, June 22, 2014. Stop in and see what’s new!

It’s been a wild and crazy ride for 14 months, and we’ve been through just about every construction problem HGTV can throw at you on a Saturday afternoon, and we did not have the Property Brothers to help us out. Nevertheless, we’re delighted, reinvigorated, and so pleased to welcome you to the newly “remixed” Barrington Area Library.

The Playhouse Stage and slide continue to captive kids at the Barrington Area Library
The Playhouse Stage and slide continue to captive kids at the Barrington Area Library

365 Barrington already did an awesome write-up on our new Youth Services department when it opened in January. Even five months later, the excitement in the new kids’ area cannot be contained! Designed with active play and learning in mind, this area of the library is being talked about all over the country. We love the blend of old and new: kids can put on a puppet show, try out some costumes, experience a good old Light Bright (a giant Light Bright, mind you), and experiment with an amazing set of large blocks call the Imagination Playground, but, they can also play with iPads, Windows 8 computers, an interactive Digital Pond and Word Wall. Oh yes – they can also check out a book or movie from thousands of choices, enjoy a story time, and curl up in a comfy chair with something great to read. We’ve got it all covered. If you haven’t seen it yet, come over soon, while there’s time to sign up for Summer Library Club.

On May 28, 2014, the library opened up its new Business & Technology Center.
On May 28, 2014, the library opened up its new Business & Technology Center. Here, Executive Director Detlev Pansch and Building Services Manager Nate Love take down the plastic sheeting to open up the new space.

But we don’t want you to think the renovation is just about new services for children. Another incredible milestone in the renovation was the opening of the new Business & Technology Center on May 28. What will the community find in that new space?

*  A computer lab, plus express Internet stations and laptops for checkout.
A MakerLab and Studio 1, a digital studio similar to our former Media Lab
*  A 10-person conference room that can be reserved by BALibrary cardholders
*  media:scapes, collaborative spaces where small groups can plug their devices into shared monitors
*  Business cubicles for an office-away-from-home space, study alcoves and booths

It may not have a slide, but we’re finding teens and adults are pretty charged up about their new space, too!

The library's Digital Services Manager Mike Campagna tests out equipment in one of the new media:scape rooms
The library’s Digital Services Manager Mike Campagna tests out equipment in one of the new media:scape rooms

Rumors fly around during big public projects like this, and one that I heard several times was that the library was getting rid of its art gallery – not true! I’ve been busy working with two new Gallery in the Library committee members, library employees Sam Adams-Lanham and Ashley Brooke Sero, to bring in some artwork to showcase our new gallery walls. We’re calling this new show “Re-Mastered: the greatest hits of the Gallery in the Library.” It features work from three local artists whose shows were very popular here in the past: Kathleen Eaton, Bruno Vanoudenhove, and Lou Taylor, a local favorite who passed away in 2011. We also have two works apiece by our former Gallery co-curators, Kelly Stachura and Lisa Swarbrick. These talented ladies, both BHS grads, will truly be missed for all the energy, enthusiasm, and creativity they poured into the Gallery since 2006, but their respective art careers are taking them places – literally, all over the world! – and we wish them well in the future.

The Barrington Area Library's new Gallery spaces are spread all over the library, so you can enjoy art wherever you choose to spend your time
The Barrington Area Library’s new Gallery spaces are spread all over the library, so you can enjoy art wherever you choose to spend your time. Here, some works by Barrington artist Bruno Vanoudenhove hang in the new Business & Technology Center.

There are so many wonderful things I could tell you about the renovated library, and pictures I could post of beautiful new spaces, but what I’d really like is for you to come over and see for yourselves. We’re open 7 days a week, of course, and you’re always welcome to stop by and explore. But you’re especially welcome on Sunday, June 22, when the library presents The Remix, our grand reopening celebration! We wanted to throw a party to thank you for your continued support of the library, for your patience through the construction process when it wasn’t always so quiet and pleasant around here, and to give you the opportunity to learn about the improvements we’ve made to this important community asset. Want to know more of the facts and figures about the renovation? Find documentation on the library website.

We’ll kick off the events with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at 1 PM, featuring our Board of Trustees, our Executive Director and department heads, the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, and local elected officials.  Here are more of the fun activities we have planned for our grand reopening…

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128. Library Launches “Read To Feed” Campaign to Benefit Local Food Pantries

128. Library Launches “Read To Feed” Campaign to Benefit Local Food Pantries

Summer reading clubs at public libraries are nothing new. Children, teens, and even adults register for the programs, log in the books they read, and earn rewards ranging from a free book or t-shirt to more extravagant prizes like gift cards and e-readers. This summer, the Barrington Area Library is adding a unique twist to its “Read To Feed” summer library club for adults and teens. Through a partnership with a variety of local businesses, participants can eat, shop, and read to feed hungry residents of Barrington and Cuba Townships.

Post - Read to Feed Logo

“Read To Feed” will take place from Monday, June 2 through Friday, August 15. How will the business partnership work to help the hungry? First of all, adults and teens who register for “Read To Feed” are being challenged to top the number of books read in last summer’s club. A goal of 1,500-plus books has been set. Adults and teens who register will receive some thank you gifts: a free book, chocolate, and Ravinia lawn tickets, while supplies last. Registrants will also be entered in semi-monthly prize drawings.

While club members are busy reading (e-books and audiobooks also count), any area resident can eat and shop at participating businesses to start generating monetary donations to the Barrington and Cuba Township food pantries. A different business will be featured for one day each week. The businesses have selected a date, specific hours on that date, and the amount of the day’s proceeds they will donate to the food pantries if the library’s reading goal is met.

New Barrington Area Library "Read to Feed" Campaign Starts June 2, 2014
New Barrington Area Library “Read to Feed” Campaign Starts June 2, 2014

For example, the first featured business is Jimmy John’s, located at 168 S. Northwest Highway in Barrington. Jimmy John’s has agreed to donate 10% of proceeds from dine-in meals that take place on June 4, from 5 PM to close. Other participating businesses are…

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76. Books & Beyond: Take a Sentimental Journey in Genealogy

76. Books & Beyond: Take a Sentimental Journey in Genealogy

My father passed away about a year and a half ago. Losing a parent really leaves an emptiness in part of your heart, and it also diminishes your family’s collective memory. How long will I hold onto the stories he shared with me about growing up on Chicago’s northwest side, the traditions of his Polish upbringing, and family members I never had the opportunity to meet?

How complete is your family tree? Are you in a situation where you know little or nothing about the ancestors who came before you? Is there a long-held family secret or mystery you’d really love to solve while there is time?

Journeys in Genealogy at the Barrington Area Library
Journeys in Genealogy at the Barrington Area Library

The Barrington Area Library has some serious researchers on our staff, and they would be delighted to help you dig into your family’s history. We’re offering a new adventure this spring called Journeys in Genealogy. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to get some expert help with your genealogy – and be a little bit of a media superstar, too…(there’s more to this than research, let’s just say!)

Image of road heading into the sunshine, wording reads Journeys in Genealogy
This spring, the Barrington Area Library wants to help you fill in your family tree.

What we’d like to do is capture the process of you leaping over your family history roadblocks – on camera. We’re big fans of programs like Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers, which reveal just how much fun it can be to explore the past. We can’t appraise your antiques or clean out your storage shed, but we can possibly shed light on your ancestry and create some real “aha!” moments…

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57. Three Simple Truths about Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Author, Rachel Joyce

57. Three Simple Truths about Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Author, Rachel Joyce

 We’ll be chatting live via Skype with Rachel Joyce, the author of international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, in the Barrington High School Resource Room Sunday (February 23) at 1 p.m. and all are welcome to join us.  We hope you’ll drop by with your questions for Rachel during our interview for the Barrington Area Library’s fourth annual Barrington Reads community reading initiative. … Read more…

45. Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: Chapters 1 – 10

45. Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: Chapters 1 – 10

 I started re-reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry this week to prepare for our upcoming interview with the book’s author, Rachel Joyce.  The book is the fiction selection for Barrington Reads, the annual February community reading event in Barrington.  Hopefully some of you are also reading the book and might consider taking part in our “Tools for an Unlikely Pilgrimage” contest and book discussion.  … Read more…

40. Help Me Interview “Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” Author Rachel Joyce

40. Help Me Interview “Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” Author Rachel Joyce

 When the Barrington Area Library asked me last fall if I would interview the author of this year’s fiction selection for their annual Barrington Reads community reading campaign, I was honored for the opportunity and then immediately felt nervous.  I interview people every day for the stories we share here at 365Barrington.com, but this one’s different because this interview will have an audience.  All are … Read more…