The Library is pleased to announce that Study Rooms, Business Cubicles, the MakerLab, and the digital studios will reopen to Barrington Area Library cardholders on Monday, October 26.

For the health and safety of all, please note the following temporary procedures regarding the use of these spaces.

Study Room and Business Cubicle Procedures:

Use of the rooms is limited to Barrington Area Library cardholders.

Use of the rooms is limited to one person at a time.

Customers are required to wear masks while using the Study Rooms and Business Cubicles.

Customers may reserve a room for a session of one hour and 45 minutes. Customers may make one reservation per day.

Rooms will be disinfected after each use. In order to accommodate frequent cleanings, reservations cannot be extended.

The Lounge and Conference Room will not reopen on Oct 26. Watch for future updates.

MakerLab & Digital Studio Procedures:

Use of the MakerLab, digital studios, and their equipment is limited to Barrington Area Library cardholders.

Customers are required to wear masks while using the MakerLab and digital studios.

Customers must make an appointment to use the MakerLab and its equipment. Customers may make one appointment per day.

Customers must make an appointment to use the digital studios, and may use whatever equipment is available, as needed, during the appointment. Customers may make one appointment, for up to two hours, per day.

Use of the rooms is limited to one person at a time. The only exception is a caregiver assisting a child in Studio Kids.

Whenever possible, staff will use remote computer access or other virtual channels to provide customer assistance. Brief in-person assistance may also be available.

Some equipment, such as microphones and Wacom tablets, has been removed from the digital studios.

The MakerLab, digital studios, and all equipment will be disinfected after every use.

The Library's Digital Services staff will determine if outside materials may be used for MakerLab projects. Outside materials may be subject to cleaning or a quarantine period. If staff determines that outside materials cannot be accepted for a particular project, alternative materials will be suggested.


Long-time Barrington Public Library Trustee and Board Vice President Carolyn Welch Clifford recently submitted her resignation due to an out-of-state move.

At its regular meeting on Monday, October 12, 2020, the Board voted not to pursue a short-term appointment to fill the four-year vacancy left by Clifford. Rather, the Board will leave the seat vacant until the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election. In addition to the four-year unexpired term created by her departure, there are two full-term, six-year seats on the Library Board up for election in April as well.

"Carolyn served as a passionate advocate for the Library, its programs, services, and staff. She volunteered countless hours of her time on behalf of the Library District's patrons,” stated Don Minner, President of the Library Board. “We will greatly miss her wise counsel and service."

Minner framed the Board’s decision to not appoint Clifford’s successor as an opportunity for community engagement. "With the spring elections just a few months away, we believe it's in the best interest of Library District residents to determine who they want to serve on the Library Board. Realistically, a new appointee would have only a few months on the Board before having to run for election. That's a lot to ask an appointed candidate. Therefore, we believe the voters should decide who will represent them."

District residents interested in running for election to the Library Board will find more information, including a courtesy candidate information packet, on the Barrington Area Library website: Candidate information packets may also be requested at the Library’s Customer Service desk during all regular business hours.

The seven-member Board of Trustees serves as liaison between the general public and the library. It establishes library policy and mission, adopts the annual library budget, authorizes library services, and ensures that the library operates in accordance with state law and its own policies. Trustees attend meetings, participate in discussion and decision making at the meetings, serve on committees, and stay continually informed on library issues and state of Illinois laws that govern public libraries. Regular Board meetings occur at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, with additional committee and special meetings taking place throughout the year. At this time, board meetings take place via conference call, in keeping with local health guidelines regarding COVID-19 and the number of attendees at public gatherings.

The Barrington Area Library is pleased to announce that it will no longer charge overdue fines.

Why? We want to eliminate as many barriers to library service as possible, and, we’d rather focus our time, energy, and resources on building positive relationships with you, our valued customers!

What does this mean for customers?

Most items check out for four weeks. See a detailed list of loan periods.

A reminder is sent before items are due. Weekly reminders are sent once items are overdue.

Customers may log into their accounts to renew items for up to two additional loan periods, provided they are not on hold for other customers. Auto-renewal is not available at this time.

At four weeks overdue, a bill for replacement is sent, and the customer’s library account is paused. Paused accounts may not be used to borrow physical materials. To reactivate an account, items more than four weeks overdue must be returned or renewed, or, the replacement cost must be paid.

Our Customer Service team has been systematically removing old overdue fines from accounts as well. Fees will still apply in certain circumstances: MakerLab materials, Meeting Room coffee service, Non-Resident Library Cards, Interlibrary Loan items that are not picked up.

How and why did the Library make this decision?

Every community is unique, and every public library must balance the unique wants, needs, and characteristics of the community it serves with the need for due diligence and fiscal responsibility. In order to make a well-informed decision regarding the elimination of overdue fines, BALibrary staff spent more than a year researching the borrowing process. What that process revealed: Barrington Area Library customers are conscientious stewards of library materials! On average, at any given time, only about .6% of the Library’s collection is overdue. Only about .2% of the collection is ever more than 21 days overdue. The Library believes that strong sense of responsibility to the larger community will remain, even without overdue fines.

Also discovered in the research process: overdue fines disproportionately affect children, which goes against the Library’s mission goal of creating young readers. When barriers are removed and opportunities are increased, everyone benefits.

Eliminating overdue fines will also improve efficiency and the Library’s bottom line. In years past, one out of every five Customer Service transactions related to fine payment. Fines collection costs the Library more than $22,000 a year in staff time and vendor costs. Those human and financial resources can now be used for initiatives that foster positive community relationships.

When the Library temporarily closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19, plans were already underway to eliminate overdue fines. During the closure, the Library extended due dates so overdue fines would not accrue, even after the Library reopened in July. Customer Service staff also worked behind the scenes to waive all previous outstanding overdue fines from customer accounts. The Library Board of Trustees approved the final policy change to eliminate overdue fines at its regular meeting on Monday, September 14, 2020.

What happens if I have lost an item?

A bill for lost items is sent at four weeks overdue. Customers may simply return the items and the bill will be cancelled. If the item is lost, damaged, or unable to be returned, customers may pay the bill online or in person at the Customer Service desk. Under this new policy, customers are charged a discounted library rate equivalent to the replacement cost, with a small processing fee. If a customer finds an item after paying the bill, a refund may be processed up to 90 days after the item was declared lost.

Beginning Monday, September 14, 2020, computer workstations in our Business & Technology Center will reopen to the public. Eight workstations will be available, along with printing and scanning services.

Most other Bus & Tech Center services and spaces remain closed until further notice. Wi-Fi is available but there is no seating available at this time - feel free to sit outside or even in your car to use Wi-Fi. Remote 3-D printing and laser cutting are available from our Digital Services department.

Please note these important details about using the computer workstations:

  • Customers will be able to make one 45 minute reservation per day, via the Library website.

  • Walk-up reservations will also be accepted.

  • Reservations are valid only for the specific time slots listed below. No exceptions can be made. We advise that you arrive at or before the time of your reservation, to get the full benefit of your time slot.

  • Guest passes will also be available on a first come, first served basis.

  • Every hour, beginning at 15 minutes to the hour, the computers will shut down and the entire department will close for disinfection. All customers must vacate the department and take all belongings with them.

  • Customers over the age of 2 must wear a mask at all times while in the Library building.

Computer Reservation Times

Please note that no exceptions to this schedule can be made at this time. Make your online reservation here. Use the same log-in information that you use for your BALibrary account.

Monday-Friday Saturday Sunday
9 - 9:45 AM 9 - 9:45 AM 1 - 1:45 PM
10 - 10:45 AM 10 - 10:45 AM 2 - 2:45 PM
11 - 11:45 AM 11 - 11:45 AM 3 - 3:45 PM
12 - 12:45 PM 12 - 12:45 PM 4 - 4:45 PM
1 - 1:45 PM 1 - 1:45 PM  
2 - 2:45 PM 2 - 2:45 PM  
3 - 3:45 PM 3 - 3:45 PM  
4 - 4:45 PM 4 - 4:45 PM  
5 - 5:45 PM    
6 - 6:45 PM    
7 - 7:45 PM    
8 - 8:45 PM    

Read the library's Computer Use Policy.
Scanning/Printing services: Our Simple Scan Stations use touchscreen technology for fast, simple scanning to PDF, Word, or HTML formats, with options to save, email, or print. We recently updated our Simple Scan Stations to provide even more functionality: check out the list below. You'll find Simple Scan Stations in the Business & Technology Center and in Youth Services, both located on the first floor, and on the second floor in the Adult Services area.
What can you do at a Simple Scan?
FREE Services:

  • Scan materials to:
    • USB drive
    • Email (as an attachment)
    • Smartphone
    • Google Drive
    • One Drive
    • Dropbox
  • Restore Pictures: Enhance and/or restore faded or damaged images
  • Text Translation: Translate text to 64 different languages
  • Scan Text to Audio: Translate text to an audio file in 54 different languages

Additional Paid Services:
Scan-to-Print ($.10/pg B&W; $.25/pg Color)
Scan-to-Fax ($.50/pg domestic; $1/pg international)

Try new Simple Scan Stations the next time you visit BALibrary! Need to print? We have printers for all our Internet computers. Want to print at the library from your wireless laptop or even from your home computer?Use our Web Printing Service. Get all the details and set up your print requests.

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.