A library card is a powerful tool because it gives you access to the wide variety of resources and events provided by your local library. In South Barrington, you can get a library card for the Barrington Area Library, which is full of many amazing features. In addition to the large collection of books, magazines, newspapers, historical records, and movies and TV shows on disc, this library also holds fantastic events, houses incredible technology you can use, and provides access to some of the best databases for audiobooks and e-books, online learning, and more.
Here are some of the awesome resources you can take advantage of at the Barrington Area Library.
Digital Studio Rental
Image via Flickr by Jeremy Levine Design Licensed CC BY 2.0
On the first floor of the library’s business center, you’ll find digital studios equipped with high-tech computers and content creation devices and accessories. These studios are meant for kids and adults creating projects like films, A/V projects, and podcasts. Cardholders can reserve the room in advance or use it on a walk-in basis as long as there are no reservations, and they can reserve the room for a maximum of two hours at a time.
Studio 1, which is meant for students in ninth grade and up, as well as adults, has an Apple Mac computer loaded with creative software like iMovie, GarageBand, Photoshop, and many more. You can check out other devices like headphones, a drawing tablet, cameras, tripods, hard drives and memory devices, and microphones. Studio Kids is for grades eight and below to work on their projects using equipment like Mac computers with creative software, microphones, cameras, and tripods.
If your kids need to complete an A/V project for school or just want to create content, these studios are a great way to access this technology for free.
Also located in the Business & Technology Center is the MakerLab. This area houses the library’s 3D printers, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and a computer numerical control (CNC) machine that can etch and cut hard materials.
Cardholders can take advantage of this technology to create all sorts of projects, and it’s a great way for creators of all ages to flex skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). You can even purchase materials from the library or bring them yourself. There are also computers equipped with Adobe Creative Suite software, Silhouette Studio, and others that you can use to create and alter designs as well as bring them to life.
This space is a great resource to make unique gifts or even prototypes. Children might want to use the space to create projects for school or for fun.
You can use the library’s resources to make cool stuff at home, too. The Barrington Area Library puts together unique, kid-friendly craft projects for different age groups that they can complete at home. All you have to do is register for the kit using your library card, pick up the kit of materials at the library, and follow the instructions with your children to complete a cool craft. Some previous Take-and-Make kits include a DIY calendar, a pour-painting portrait, and DIY paintbrushes using everyday items.
Children’s and Family Events
The Barrington Area Library also hosts in-person and virtual events for kids of all ages and their families to participate in. You can attend a story time event, including All-Ages Story Time or Family Story Time, where you either come to the library or log into the Zoom event for a fun story. The library hosts Family Reading Night, where everyone in the family can come to the library for a special sleepytime story, and at the Family Explorers event, everyone plays a game or completes an activity while learning at the same time.
This library also hosts parent-and-child classes and events perfect for parents and the littlest kiddos. During Drop-In Play, you and your toddler play games and participate in fun activities with other families. At Baby Rhyme Time, you and your infant play language games and sing songs that help improve your child’s language skills.
Visit the Barrington Area Library’s event calendar online to see the times and dates for your family’s favorite events and to register for each event.
In addition to kids’ activities that promote a love of reading and stories, the Barrington Area Library also hosts book clubs and other fun events for adults. There are both in-person book clubs and virtual book clubs that have you reading a new book each month and coming together to discuss it. Other events include trivia and brain games, meditation, crafting, cooking demonstrations, and author talks.
The Barrington Area Library partners with many of the best online databases for online classes and learning resources for adults, teens, and kids of all ages.
- Creativebug: The library allows cardholders to access Creativebug’s hundreds of unique craft, art, and sewing demonstrations, curated by Joann Fabrics.
- HelpNow!: This resource provides live, one-on-one tutoring for homework and writing assistance as well as Spanish language tutoring for students in third through 12th grades.
- HelpNow! Test Center: This resource provides live virtual tutoring and study help for students preparing for the SATs, ACTs, AP exams, and TOEFL.
- LinkedIn Learning: With LinkedIn Learning, you can learn new skills or improve current ones, including those in business, creative fields, and specific career tracks.
Hoopla and Kanopy
Hoopla and Kanopy are two databases that have a variety of media you can check out and access digitally. On Hoopla, you’ll find thousands of audiobooks, e-books, movies, TV shows, and other media. With your Barrington Area Library card, you can access up to 10 pieces of media each month for free. Kanopy is a great, free source for streaming movies and TV shows. What’s more, you can access as many Kanopy titles as you want, there’s no waiting in line to check things out, and you can stream to a Roku device, smartphone, tablet, or computer.
So there you have it, seven awesome features of your local library you can take advantage of in South Barrington. At Crème de la Crème of South Barrington, we, too, have a library where kids can explore all sorts of age-appropriate stories, in addition to other curriculum elements that improve language learning, reading comprehension, and creative thinking. Contact us to learn more about how our daycare, preschool, and before- and after-school programs can help your children thrive.