news

 

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 (balibrary.org), 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


 

March 20, 2020:

Important News Regarding the Barrington Area Library’s Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The Barrington Area Library places the highest value on providing a safe and healthy environment for all customers and staff. We care deeply about the residents of the communities we serve, especially seniors, people with underlying conditions, and others who are at greater risk. Keeping those priorities in mind, we ask you to please note the following service changes:

Friday, March 13 - 31, 2020: all Library programs will be cancelled.

Friday, March 13, 2020: all toys and high-touch interactives, including the iPads and blue blocks, will be removed from the Youth Services department until further notice. The Youth Services and Young Adult Game Rooms will be open as work/study space but no gaming equipment will be available.

These precautionary changes are based on guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which cite social distancing and event cancellations as effective means for preventing the spread of disease.

We advise all customers who are not feeling well to stay home and focus on their well-being. The BALibrary.org website is open 24/7, with tens of thousands of e-books, e-audiobooks, digital magazines, streaming movies and shows, and online research databases available with just a few clicks and a Barrington Area Library card. Now is an ideal time to explore our very popular digital resources.

Concerned about returning your Library materials while you’re at home? No worries. Just give us a call at 847-382-1300 or chat with us online – we’re here to help.

We will continue our rigorous and increased schedule of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the building. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are available to all customers.

We will continue to closely monitor information on COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state/county health departments. Our response will undoubtedly continue to evolve based on that information, and we will keep you informed via our website (balibrary.org), social media channels (Facebook and Twitter), and e-mail newsletters.

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

 

2024 Seed Library Open Now! 

The Seed Library reopened on Thursday, February 1. Please visit the links below to learn about what we're offering, and check out our seed suggestions on the Garden Spot. All produce seeds are non-GMO and organic. Happy growing! 

 

Herbs

Vegetables

Flowers


 

Seed Library FAQ

Q. What’s in the Seed Library?
A. We stock a variety of native and common garden seeds. Produce seeds are non-GMO and organic, and we try to offer both very common seeds (like basil and cosmos) as well as seeds you may not commonly see in stores.

Q. When does the Seed Library open for the 2024 season?
A. Thursday, February 1: 10 AM for BALibrary cardholders, 4 PM for everyone else.

Q. What do the seeds cost?
A. Seeds are free!

Q. Do I need to have a library card to use the Seed Library?
A. Barrington Area Library cards are required during our Seed Library Launch on Thursday, February 1, from 10 AM-4 PM. After 4 PM, the Seed Library will be available for all to use, with or without a library card.

Q. I have a card from another library that is registered with BALibrary. Can I use that to visit during the Seed Library Launch?
A. No. BALibrary cards will be required during the Launch. Reciprocal borrowers and those without cards are welcome to visit any time during Library hours after 4 PM on February 1.

Q. Do you limit seed packets?
A. During the Launch, customers will be limited to 2 seed packets of each variety. For example, we’ll be offering both slicing cucumbers and Armenian cucumbers, and customers may choose to take two of each of these. We’ve stocked more than 50 varieties this year.

Q. Can seeds be held? Can I take some for my friends during the Launch?
A. Due to extremely high demand, seeds are first come first served and cannot be held. During the Launch, we are unable to provide seeds for customers who are not present.

Q. I have questions about seeds that you’re offering. Who can I ask? 
A. The Illinois Master Gardener Help Desk is an excellent resource if you have questions about your garden or particular plants. If you have questions about our program or particular seeds we’re offering, you can contact librarian Liz Kirchhoff at lkirchhoff@balibrary.org.

Q. Do you take seed donations?
A. Yes! You can drop seeds off at the Customer Service desk at the front of the Library. Please include the name of the seed and a way for us to contact you in case we have questions.

Q. How long is the Seed Library available?
A. The Seed Library is available until we run out of seed stocks for the year. Last year we gave our last seeds in April, so we encourage you to visit early!


Seed Library Resources

Seed Sources:

Johnny's Selected Seeds

Main Street Seed

Prairie Moon Nursery

True Leaf Market

 

Helpful Info

ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants for Pets

Germinating Native Seeds

Master Gardener Help Desks

 


Selecting Seeds

It’s nearly time for our Seed Library Launch, and we know that lots of you have been looking at the online lists of the seeds we’re offering this year. With 55 different options, though, we know it can get overwhelming. We’re here to help! Here are some options for tricky ...

Read more...

Helping Your Garden in a Heat Wave

It’s hot out there! When the weather is this hot and sticky, there are a few things that you can do to help your garden. For the most part, high temperatures are no big deal if it’s just a day or two, but more prolonged heat waves can stress and sometimes ...

Read more...

What Will You Grow?

It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through the growing season! Here at the Library, we’re already thinking ahead to what seeds we’d like to offer in the Seed Library beginning in February of 2024. Over the next month, we’ll start ordering seeds from our vendors, gathering from plants growing ...

Read more...

Ways to Winter Sow

Even though it’s a method that’s been around for years, winter sowing has recently drawn lots of attention as an easy and frugal way to start strong seedlings outdoors much earlier than you’d normally be able to in the Midwest. There are lots of different ways to do this, and it’s ...

Read more...

Read more from the Garden Spot blog


About Our Teaching Garden and Teaching Prairie

Begun in 2021 as a partnership between the Library, the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, and the North Cook County Master Gardeners, our Teaching Garden is an outdoor classroom for hands-on, multi-generational learning, as well as a quiet place to relax and read. Located in the southeast corner of the Library’s upper parking lot, the Garden is fully accessible, and offers comfortable seating in a beautiful setting.

The Teaching Garden and Teaching Prairie classes have ended for the season. Our outdoor programs generally resume in mid-May. Visit our Events Calendar in early Spring for upcoming sessions. 

 


Local Gardening News

2024 Seed Library Suggestion Form

Aggressive Plants

BALibrary Garden & Environment Webinars

Composting 101

Conservation @ Home

Garden Design Basics

Illinois Native Plant Database

Jumping Worm Fact Sheet

Summer 2022 Gardeners Corner Newsletter

The Barrington Area Library is proud to announce that it has received a coveted four star ranking in the annual Star Libraries report, published by Library Journal. We are one of only 17 libraries in Illinois to receive a star ranking this year.

For the 2019 report, Library Journal surveyed 6,333 public libraries in the United States, and 261 received star rankings. This places the Barrington Area Library in the top 4% of libraries nationwide, based on six major service measures – physical material circulation, electronic circulation, number of visits, program attendance, public computer users, and wifi sessions, all per capita - from the 2016-2017 fiscal year. As in past years, BALibrary performed exceptionally well in overall circulation (top 2% nationwide) and e-circulation (top 1% nationwide), which comes as no surprise to our staff: we are proud to serve a community of engaged and curious readers of all ages.

The top 30 libraries in each of Library Journal's nine expenditure categories receive three, four, or five star rankings. See the full Star Libraries report online. The Barrington Area Library received three star rankings in 2010, 2017, and 2018.

We are pleased to share our latest annual report, covering the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

This year's report highlights the many ways in which the Library's programs and services support our mission statement and goals.

Explore how the Library stimulates imagination, creates (young) readers, develops information fluency, and fosters lifelong learning, all in comfortable physical and virtual settings.

Discover a group of young makers changing lives around the world, then discover how great stories and screen-free time change lives right here in the Barrington area.

Learn about Library technology, like the BALibrary app, Creativebug software, and genealogy services, and learn about improvements made to the Library building and campus this past year.

Take note of the many ways in which the Library collaborates with both nonprofit and business organizations, building relationships that inspire innovation and real world problem-solving.

We share this annual report with our thanks for your ongoing support and encouragement.

Read the report online below, or download a printable PDF.