The new Barrington Area Library app is ready and available for you to download!

Use the new app to:

• Access a digital version of your BALibrary card

• Manage multiple accounts

• Search the catalog for books, movies, and more

• Browse and register for events

• Contact us with your questions, find us on social media 

Download the app now in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

For questions and feedback, please contact our Digital Services department:

Let’s read Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, our 2019 Book of the Summer. It’s a story of community, acceptance, and hope. Get involved by coming to a program, starting your own book club with friends or family, or sharing your thoughts on Twitter! #BALBookOfTheSummer

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Her crow friend Bongo and other animals seek refuge in Red's hollows, as the wishtree watches over the neighborhood. It seems Red has seen it all…until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

Attend our Wishtree programs! To register or find more information, check out our online calendar.

StoryWalk®: Picture a Tree
All ages w/caregiver | Drop in
Friday, June 7, 10:30 AM (1 hour)

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Page Turners Book Club
Grades 3 - 6
Thursday, June 20, 4 PM (1 hour)
Monday, July 22, 4 PM

Family Nature Walk
All ages w/caregiver
Friday, June 28, 10:30 AM


Family Book Club
All ages w/caregiver
Wednesday, June 26, 7 PM
Sunday, August 4, 2 PM

Family Volunteering Day at Smart Farm
All ages w/caregiver
Thursday, July 18, 10 AM - 12 PM
Thursday, August 8, 10 AM - 12 PM

Form your own book club! Get started with our guide.

Discussion Questions:
• Why is Red important to the neighborhood? To the animals? To Samar?

• Why do you think the neighborhood doesn’t make Samar and her family feel welcomed? How do you think you would act towards her?

• Why do you think it’s easier for Samar to make friends with animals than other children? Do you ever think it’s easier to talk to a pet than another person? Why or why not?

• Why do you think the boy carves the word into Red’s bark? How does this affect the characters - Red, Bongo, Samar, and her family? How does this affect the whole community?

• Why does Francesca want to cut Red down? How does Red react to this news?

• Red wonders, “How does friendship happen?” (p. 82). How would you answer this question? Does it happen on its own, or do you have to work for it?

• Stephen says, “My parents aren’t bad people. They’re just...afraid of things” (p. 125). How can fear cause people to act? What do you think can help people feel less of afraid of things they don’t know or understand?

• Red says, “I wanted to make a difference, just a little difference, before I left this lovely world” (p. 126). What difference does Red make? What can you do to make a difference in this world?

Activity Ideas:
• Take a nature walk, in a park, forest preserve, or your neighborhood, with a friend or family member. Talk about the trees you see. Do they seem to have different “personalities”? Which trees do you like the most?

• Is there anyone who moved into your neighborhood recently? Try to make them feel welcomed by delivering a care package or note.

• Find an organization that assists people in need. See if you or your family can help in any way, with volunteering, donations, or sharing the word with friends.

• Start a leaf collection; glue, trace, or draw the leaves you find. Use a guidebook to identify the trees they come from, or this online resource.

• Create a portrait of Red, or a tree that’s special to you. Use whatever materials inspire you.

• Add a wish to the library’s Wishtree art, in the Youth Department.

• Make a pledge to welcome people with different backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, or abilities. See the Wishtree printable poster for inspiration.

Keep reading! Finished Wishtree? Looking for more great books? Try one of these.

Summer Reading 2019: Now - August 19
For Kids, Teens, and Adults

Our popular summer reading event is drawing to a close for 2019! Get your reading time and activities logged in now.

How it works:
1. Use your computer, tablet, or mobile device.
2. Create an account at
3. Sign up for 2019 Summer Reading.
4. Get busy: you'll earn points and real/digital badges by logging in your reading, reviewing, and other fun learning activities.
5. Win big: visit the Library to collect your badges and prizes.

Parents: download a description of badges/activities for grades K-8.

All readers can earn:
➠ One free paperback book (reader's choice, while supplies last)
➠ One Summer Reading Pass, good for a free activity at a participating location in the Library district
➠ One Library lanyard

Young adults can win Airpods, and adults can win a gift card toward a great local dining experience!

Grand Prize:
Readers of all ages that complete the reading goal will be entered to win a one-year, six-person membership to the Morton Arboretum. Three passes in all, one winner in each category: Birth - Preschool, Kindergarten - Grade 8, Adult.

Read It Forward:
Great news! Our community of readers reached a collective 1,000,000+ points, far exceeding our 2019 reading goal, so Barrington Bank and Trust will generously donate $1,000 to the Cuba Township and Barrington Township Food Pantries.

Thank you to all our Summer Reading sponsors:
Barrington Bank and Trust
Barrington Park District
Barrington's White House
Pinot's Palette South Barrington
Pinstripes South Barrington
Windy City Bulls

We invite you to read our 2017-2018 Annual Report, with a welcome message from new Executive Director Jesse Henning, an in-depth look at new and innovative programs like Spring Fling and StoryFest, and interesting statistics defining a successful and busy year. You can download it (PDF) with the icon at the top left, or use the controls in the bottom right to view it as a fullscreen publication or zoom in.

We are also pleased to announce that we have received a coveted three star rating in this year's Library Journal survey of American libraries. This puts the Barrington Area Library in the top 3% of libraries across the nation based on five major service measures – physical material circulation, electronic circulation, number of visits, program attendance, and public computer users - from the 2015-2016 fiscal year. For more details on this honor, visit this page.

Our Youth Services librarians have compiled a list of their favorite books, published in 2018, for young readers. We hope they become some of your new favorites, too!