Story Fest Saturday, May 12, 2018, 1 - 4:30 PM, Storytelling, puppets, theater, dance, music, and acclaimed picture book author Aaron Reynolds

Celebrate the many ways stories are shared in this library-wide event. Enjoy interactive performances and hands-on story activities for all ages, including a special presentation and book signing from picture book author Aaron Reynolds. Books will be available for purchase.

Story Fest is made possible thanks to an endowment from former Barrington teacher Marge Luther, and was created to encourage and instill a love of reading in children.


Visit all the performances throughout the day, or choose a few favorites. Most performances will be offered twice, so you'll be able to enjoy as many as you'd like. Between shows, check out other activities throughout the first floor of the library.

Tickets for Author Aaron Reynolds will be available at the Youth Desk starting at 9 AM on a first come, first served basis. Scroll down to learn more about each performer/performing group.

1 - 1:25 PM
Storytown Improv
Meeting Room
Storyteller Chris Fascione
Youth Services Program Room

1:35 - 2 PM
Storyteller Chris Fascione
Youth Services Program Room
Storytown Improv
Meeting Room

2:15 - 2:40 PM
Sea Beast Puppet Company
Zimmerman Room
Hōkūleʻa Academy Dancers
Youth Services Program Room

2:50 - 3:15 PM
Hōkūleʻa Academy Dancers
Youth Services Program Room
Sea Beast Puppet Company
Zimmerman Room

3:30 - 4:15 PM
Author Aaron Reynolds*
Meeting Room
*Tickets required. Free tickets for this event will be available at the Youth Services desk starting at 9 AM on a first come, first served basis.

4:30 - 5 PM
Aaron Reynolds Book Signing
Meeting Room
Books will be available for purchase thanks to Read Between the Lynes, a bookstore located in Woodstock, IL.


Aaron Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling author who has written many highly acclaimed books for kids, including Creepy Carrots!, Creepy Pair of Underwear!, President Squid, Nerdy Birdy, Carnivores and the Joey Fly, Private Eye graphic novel series. He regularly makes time to visits schools where his hilarious hands-on presentations keep kids spellbound.

Nationally-known story-performer Chris Fascione acts out the best of classical and contemporary children's literature and folktales in fun-filled, participatory shows tailored for family audiences. His unique combination of storytelling, mime, juggling and comedy creates colorful characters from literature who tell their stories as laughter abounds.

Hōkūleʻa Academy of Polynesian Arts
Kawika Acevedo and ʻAle Gabino are the owners of Hōkūle‘a Academy of Polynesian Arts, Chicago’s very own Polynesian entertainment company and dance academy. This husband and wife duo founded the island-inspired institution to stay true and respectful to the people and cultures of Polynesia. Since 2000 they have put all of their artistic energy towards learning the various dances, languages, and lifestyles of not only Hawai‘i but also Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand and other neighboring island nations. With authentic dancers, vibrant costumes, and fire dancers, Hōkūleʻa’s full Polynesian revue performs at schools, park districts, street festivals, and private parties year round.

Sea Beast Puppet Company
Founded in 2009, the Sea Beast Puppet Company is known as being a leader in puppetry excellence in the Chicagoland area. The Sea Beast Puppet Company will perform their show, “Shadow Puppet Conspiracy” which is an exciting adventure into the world of improvised shadow puppet performance. A storyteller, using audience suggestions, weaves an original tale as a group of bold and daring shadow puppeteers work together to create and perform the story right before the audience’s eyes. Always original, this show is high energy and hilarious. The Shadow Puppet Conspiracy is a great show for audiences of all ages!

Storytown Improv
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every time. Kids design the setting and help shape the story. The actors, artists, and musicians bring it to life. When the possibilities are endless, no two stories are ever the same.

At a Special Meeting held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 23, the Barrington Public Library District’s Board of Trustees voted to cease negotiations with the Village of Barrington on a proposed Intergovernmental Agreement, relating to the re-routing of Lake Zurich Road to intersect with U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) at the existing traffic signal at Berry Road. The proposed Intergovernmental Agreement included the permanent sale of a parcel of Library District land of more than 2.5 acres from the Library to the Village for highway purposes, as well as a request for additional Library District land of more than 2.5 acres to be used as a temporary construction easement for the length of time of construction. The final vote on the motion to cease negotiations with the Village was 4-2, with one abstention.

In their discussion prior to the vote, Library Trustees cited a wide-ranging list of concerns including: the safety of both the realigned Lake Zurich Road and the redesigned Library parking lots; increased difficulty in entering and exiting the Library campus, which sees an average of 1,000 daily visitors; impaired use of the remaining land, particularly in terms of future library expansion; lack of control over design and execution of the end result; and destruction of the Library’s park-like setting. Also noted was the significant difference between the appraisals of Library District property that had been obtained by the Library Board and the Village of Barrington. The appraisal obtained by the Library District put the total value of the land being requested for permanent sale, and the land being requested as a temporary construction easement, at $3,975,000, with the Village’s appraisal placing the value around $1.4 million. Several members of the Library Board expressed a desire to see other options considered for controlling traffic and improving safety at the intersection of Lake Zurich Road and U.S. Route 14.

Approximately 120 community members attended the meeting. Board President Don Minner opened the meeting by introducing the Library’s new Executive Director, Jesse Henning. Minner also thanked the Village of Barrington for their patience throughout the review process, noting that the Village “diligently answered our questions, and kept the dialogue open with us.” Minner also thanked those in attendance, as well as community residents who had shared their opinions and input concerning the proposed Lake Zurich Road realignment with the Board over the past few years.

Minner then opened the meeting up for public comments. Community members, including Mayor Karen Darch, various representatives from the Village of Barrington, and other government officials, addressed the Board for over an hour. After all public comments were noted, the Library Board began its discussion of the proposed Lake Zurich Road realignment project and Intergovernmental Agreement.

Library Board Vice President Carolyn Clifford began her remarks by noting both the difficulty of the decision at hand, and her respect for the leadership of the Village of Barrington. Clifford then made an extensive presentation relating to the Board’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities, as well as her concerns over the safety and viability of the proposed project, and its long-term impact on library operations and possible future expansion.

After Clifford’s presentation, the remaining six Library Trustees spoke about their own questions and concerns, before taking the vote to end negotiations. Voting to end negotiations were Clifford, Board Treasurer Carrie Carr, Board Secretary Barbara Pintozzi, and Trustee Denise Tenyer. Those voting to continue negotiations were Minner and Trustee Denise Peters, with Trustee Bill Pizzi abstaining from the vote.

For more information on the Library Board's review process on the Lake Zurich Road proposal, we encourage you to view these important documents (appraisal, plats of survey, impact studies) and this list (PDF) of frequently asked questions and responses.

Update: At a Special Meeting on April 23, 2018, the Library District's Board of Trustees voted to cease negotiations with the Village of Barrington relating to the proposed realignment of Lake Zurich Road and related Intergovernmental Agreement. Details on that meeting.

The Barrington Public Library District Board of Trustees continues to research and discuss a proposed Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village of Barrington, relating to the re-routing of Lake Zurich Road to intersect with U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) at the existing traffic signal at Berry Road. This proposed Intergovernmental Agreement includes the permanent sale of a parcel of Library District land of more than 2.5 acres from the Library to the village for highway purposes, as well as a request for additional Library District land of more than 2.5 acres to be used as a temporary construction easement for the length of time of construction.

Residents of the Library District may have questions about the Board’s process as it prepares to vote on the Intergovernmental Agreement. This website contains answers to FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and important documents (impact studies, expert opinions, plats of survey, and more) that explain the Board’s research and review process thus far, and clarify the Board’s next steps before voting on the Intergovernmental Agreement.

February 27, 2018
Barrington Area Library
505 N. Northwest Hwy.
Barrington, Il, 60010
Contact: Karen McBride, Public Information Manager
847-382-1300 X 2100,

Barrington Area Library Board Continues To Review Lake Zurich Road Realignment Proposal

The Barrington Public Library District Board of Trustees continues to research and discuss a proposed intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Barrington, relating to the re-routing of Lake Zurich Road to intersect with U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) at the existing traffic signal at Berry Road. This intergovernmental agreement includes the permanent sale of a parcel of land from the library to the village, as well as a request for additional land to be used as a temporary construction easement for an unspecified length of time.

At its February 26 regular meeting, the Village of Barrington Board of Trustees approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Barrington Area Library in regard to the Lake Zurich Road project. The library board has not yet voted on this proposed intergovernmental agreement, and is currently awaiting final appraisals from both its own expert and the Village’s appraiser.

As it continues to review the proposal, the library board is committed to thoroughly researching and thoughtfully considering every aspect of the proposal and its impact on the library district and its services. To date, the library’s board and its administrative staff have exercised due diligence, by:

▶ meeting with representatives of the Village of Barrington and the Illinois Department of Transportation on several occasions,

▶ requesting impact studies and expert opinions from the library’s architect, Engberg Anderson; the Conservation Design Forum (including engineers and landscape architects); and the library’s attorney, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins,

▶ requesting a full appraisal of the property by MaRous & Company,

▶ receiving input on all sides of the issue from a large number of area residents, those from Village neighborhoods near the library property as well as constituents from throughout the library district, and taking that into thoughtful consideration, and

▶ spending many hours in debate and discussion on the numerous variations and the significant impact of the proposal.

The library board’s chief concerns include but are not limited to: the safety of the more than 1,000 daily visitors – 55% of whom are families with young children – entering and exiting the library campus; and the potential loss of 2.337 acres of space, impacting the future growth potential of the site as well as changing the fundamental environment of the library setting.

After the final appraisals are received, the library board will make a decision on the proposed intergovernmental agreement later this spring.


Barrington Area Library
505 N. Northwest Hwy.
Barrington, IL 60010

About the library:
Our revitalized, 21st century library is a busy, friendly place that supports lifelong, active learning, and an appreciation for creativity and innovation. Customers of all ages and interests visit our library, expecting to find excellent and informed service, programs and workshops that enrich and inspire, and spaces designed for private work and group collaboration.

Jesse Henning will be the new Executive Director of the Barrington Area Library.
The Barrington Area Library and its Board of Trustees are pleased to announce that Jesse Henning will be the library district’s new executive director. Henning’s first day on the job will be Monday, April 16, 2018.

Following the retirement of former director Detlev Pansch in September 2017, the library’s Board of Trustees worked with Bradbury Miller Associates of Kansas City, MO, on a nationwide search to find a new executive director. From a field of several dozen applicants, Henning was one of five candidates to be interviewed in person by the board and core library staff.

“Jesse is a gifted leader with all the traits and experiences needed to build upon the Barrington Area Library’s rich heritage of exemplary customer service and innovation,” said Don Minner, president of the board of trustees. “We are confident that the staff and community will feed off his passion, and embrace him as he guides the library into the future.”

Henning has served as executive director of the Garfield County Public Library District, in Colorado, since 2016. In that position, he coordinated library services across a six-branch system, serving 58,000 residents, with a total operating budget of $4.5 million.

Prior to that, Henning worked for ten years as both youth librarian and adult services librarian at the Westerville Public Library, in Westerville, OH. Henning holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Kent State University, and is currently working on a Master of Public Administration degree, also from Kent State.

When asked what attracted him to the Barrington Area Library, Henning responded, “Throughout the interview process and the in-person meeting, I couldn't help but get excited about the creative ideas I heard from the staff and their infectious enthusiasm for creating meaningful connections between people in the community and their public library. That, and the giant indoor slide.”

Henning credits time spent working with new immigrant children in a homework help center with opening his eyes to how libraries made a positive impact in peoples’ lives, “a place between work and school that was welcoming, safe, and helpful.”

Henning is passionate about the role of public libraries in American communities. “Libraries support our most fundamental rights and allow people to freely exercise those rights, by reading what they want to read, without censorship, organizing or attending a community event at the library, or using library resources to research how government works and how to contact elected officials. The library is the perfect place for folks to do the hard work of democracy that helps us build better and more livable communities.”

On a personal note, Henning is “a big fan of board games with confusing rules and hundreds of pieces.” He took last place in two cyclocross races in Colorado, “and I hope to bring that tradition of athletic success to the Chicago Cross Cup this year.” Library staff noted he was quick to join an impromptu virtual hockey match in the Youth Services department while touring the building. The last time he and his wife were in Chicago, they both tried out for Jeopardy!

Watch the library website,, for details on a public event welcoming Executive Director Henning.