We’re happy to announce that the Barrington Area Library building reopened for "browse and borrow" services on Monday, July 27, 2020.

“Browse and borrow” is our way of reorganizing the Library for quick, convenient visits, so you can choose from our great selection of books, movies, and more, while receiving efficient, friendly service from staff, in a safe and clean environment.

Good news: we now have eight computer workstations available for 45 minute sessions in our Business and Technology Center! Please visit our computers/internet page to learn all the details and to make a reservation. Our automated pick-up lockers are back in service, too.

What can customers expect during this phase of the Library’s reopening?

  • The Library will be open all regular hours: Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 9 PM, Saturday, 9 AM – 5 PM, Sunday, 1 – 5 PM.

  • All staff and all Library customers over the age of two years must wear a face covering while inside the Library and at outdoor programs. If you aren’t able to wear a face covering, please contact us so we can find the best way to assist you.

  • Customers may pick up holds inside the Library building, during regular hours, or choose to have items delivered to our pick-up lockers. Customers may also continue to use Parking Lot Pick-Up for holds, during the following hours:

    Monday-Friday, 1 - 6 PM
    Saturday, 9 AM – 1 PM
    Sunday, 1 – 5 PM
  • NEW: Automated pick-up lockers are back in service as of September 1. Get the details.

  • Library staff will be available in every department, to provide assistance, recommendations, and reference expertise, while practicing safe social distancing. Chat, email, and phone service will also be available.

  • Some of our most popular book collections will be moved into the Atrium and Café for quick, convenient checkout.

  • Customers may use Wi-Fi, Simple Scan stations (scan, save, fax, email, and more), Remote Web Printing (send print jobs to the Library for pick-up), and Library Catalog/15 Minute Express Internet stations (quick searching). Customers may reserve 45-minute computer sessions on the eight workstations in the Business & Technology Center.

  • Customers may register for online one-on-one appointments.

  • Most book returns are now back in service. No overdue fines will accrue at this time. Returned items will be quarantined for five-seven days, when they will be checked in and removed from your account.

  • Customers may enjoy Library items even longer with new Loan Periods:

    7 days: Movies on DVD, Blu-Ray DVDs, foreign films, 4K Blu-Rays, video games, Technology Equipment (except tablets)
    14 days: TV series on DVD
    28 days: all other items except tablets
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the building and public spaces and high-touch surfaces will be sanitized throughout the day.

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

  • Youth Services play areas and interactives. Visit our online Events Calendar and Youth Services blog for take-home activity kits and outdoor story times.

  • Meeting Rooms, Zimmerman Room, and Study Rooms.

  • MakerLab and Digital Studios. You may submit 3-D print jobs and complete laser-cutting projects to our Digital Services team.

  • Public seating/work areas: there will be no tables, chairs, booths, or other seating available.

  • Youth Services computers and iPads.

  • Indoor Library programs. We invite you to browse our online Events Calendar for outstanding virtual events for all ages, and outdoor, in-person story times for families.

  • Newspapers & Newsletters - there is no way to disinfect these items between uses, so they will not be available during this phase. This is a great time to try our Pressreader service - free online access to thousands of newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune. Magazines will be available for checkout.

  • Interlibrary Loan.

  • In-person one-on-one appointments.

We know this experience will seem different from the Barrington Area Library you know and love, as some of our most popular services, like the Youth Services play area and our Meeting Rooms, will not be available. We will continue to research best practices and seek out the advice of state and local healthcare organizations, in order to offer expanded services to our community in the future, in the safest environment possible.