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A History of Barrington by Arnett C. Lines provides more information about the library and the community.

Barrington Area Library local history page

History of the Barrington Area Library

While the military campaigns of World War I were being organized, an educational campaign was being launched in the small town of Barrington, Illinois. The campaign started when widow Caroline Ela passed away and left $1,000 in her will to help form a public library.  A committee was formed to let the voters know about the benefits of a tax-supported public library.

Unfortunately, the first referendum held on September 16, 1914 did not pass, but the Barrington Woman’s Club decided to establish a library with donated books and a volunteer staff. Space was provided at Cameron’s Drug Store and this library opened in early 1915.

As the book collection grew, the library made several moves to larger quarters until 1924 when the Barrington Village Board offered space in Village Hall. During the next year, Barrington residents approved a library tax and a tax-supported library became a reality.  The Barrington Woman’s Club turned over the library to the village and the first library board was elected in 1926.

The library remained in Village Hall until 1957 when a new library was constructed at Monument and Hough Streets. In this colonial-style building designed by architect Ralph Stoetzel, the first full-time librarian was hired in 1963. In the coming years, interest grew in forming a library district, which could serve additional communities.  In 1969 and 1970, referenda were passed which made the village library a district library serving portions of four counties in an area of 72 square miles.

With the expansion of the area and population served, the Library Board began negotiating for a new library site. The Jewel and Kendall Companies in Barrington donated seven acres of land on Northwest Highway for a library in 1972. A bond issue was approved for a new library building at this site in 1975.

Designed by the architectural firm of Coder Taylor Associates, the library opened its doors in 1978. In 1989, the architectural firm of Ross Barney & Jankowski was hired to design an addition to the library. By 1993, the building was expanded to its current 60,000 square foot size.