Get in the Spirit!

The best place to be during the holidays? The Library, of course. We’re your one-stop shop for holiday-themed movies, music, and books! And don’t miss our programs/events where you can enjoy holiday sights and sounds, create gifts, learn how to endure the winter weather, and more!

Sneezy the Snowman
Tuesday, December 20, 10 to 10:45am
Warm up to a silly story about a snowman who just can’t seem to stop melting. After reading Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright, we’ll have a blast creating a snowman craft! For children ages 4 to 6 who can attend on their own. Register. 

Winter Break Activities
December 26-30
Stop in at the Youth Services Department on your Winter Break and play a board game, color, create crafts or play with robots! We’ll have different activities each day.

Your Research Starts Here

Whether you’re serious genealogist or just dabbling in family history research, the Library has everything you need. We offer online resources as well as materials for checkout. If you need one-on-one assistance, our genealogy librarians Kristen McCallum and Virginia Donahue can help.

Visit our Genealogy Resources page on the Adult Services blog.

Learn more about Genealogy and what’s involved.

Check out our upcoming genealogy classes:

Will the Real Sven Larsson Please Stand Up? Getting Started in Swedish Genealogy
Tuesday, October 18 • 7–8:30 pm
Genealogy Lecturer Dr. Dan Hubbard discusses Swedish last names that can be fluid and confusing, and Swedish geography that trips up the uninitiated. Learn about available records. Register

Genealogy Steps to Success
Friday, November 4 • 5–6:30 pm
Librarian Kristen McCallum will walk you through the fundamentals of solid genealogical research. Learn tips for recording and organizing your research. Discover how to use information from family sources and public records to fill in the leaves of your family tree. A refresher course suitable for beginning to advanced genealogists. Register

After Hours Genealogy Workshop
Friday, November 4 • 6–11 pm
Our popular semiannual evening of personal research time returns! Librarians will be available for research help. Access Ancestry Library Edition and other useful resources. Snacks and drinks provided. When registering, please let us know if you need a library desktop computer or will bring your own laptop to use our free Wi-Fi. Limit of 30 library desktop computers. Register

Researching at Appomattox Court House: Genealogy through the Lens of the Civil War
Tuesday, November 15 • 7–8:30 pm
Records aren’t just about soldiers and sailors! Dr. Dan Hubbard will take you through a variety of unusual records created before, during, and after the Civil War and tell the story of a whole generation. Register

“Holy Cow! Where are My Polish Chicago Catholics Now?”
Sunday, November 20 • 2–4 pm
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin will help you find your Polish ancestors’ sacramental records (i.e., baptism, confirmation, marriage and funeral documents). This presentation will also be offered as a webinar. More information posted on the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) web site at, PGSA Notebook, and Rodziny prior to the meeting. The meeting and presentation are open to the public. Register

Spend Your Summer in the Garden

Gardeners of all ages are welcome to actively participate in the first season of AAPLD's new Teaching Garden! We have classes, workshops, and hands-on experiences happening throughout the summer, as well as weekly drop-in office hours staffed by a University of Illinois Master Gardener. You might say we're "Wild About Gardening," too! Click on the program name to register. 

For Adults

Early Veggie Harvest/Tender Veggie Plantings
Thursday, June 9, 10 - 11 am
Work alongside a Master Gardener in the Teaching Garden to help with the early vegetable harvest and planting tender vegetables. Get trips and tricks for your garden along the way!

Midsummer Madness
Monday, June 20, 7 - 8 pm 
Spend a little of the longest day of the year in the Teaching Garden! We'll harvest some early crops, cut some flowers, add new plantings and more.

How to Cut Flowers for Arrangements/Bouquets
Wednesday, July 27, 10 - 11 am
Working in the Teaching Garden and learning how to cut flowers for arrangements and bouquets.

Master Gardener Hours
Fridays in June, July & August (weather permitting), 9:30 - 10:30 am
Have a gardening question? Want to learn more about the Teaching Garden? A University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener will be available to answer your questions. No registration required: just drop in.




For Kids

Tomatoes From Outer Space, Part 2 
Wednesday, June 8, 10 - 11 am
Junior gardeners are invited to participated in the Tomatosphere project, where gardening and space science meet. In this session, we'll collect and record data on our seedlings and then plant them in the STEM Garden section of the Teaching Garden. For kids going into grades 4-8.

Planting a STEM Garden
Wednesday, June 15, 10 - 11 am
Using math, science, and engineering skills, we'll plant seeds and seedlings in the Library's Youth STEM Garden. For kids going into grades 2-5. 

Take a Genealogy Road Trip!

Get on the bus with AAPLD for the opportunity of a lifetime: to explore one of the largest genealogy collections in the United States. Genealogy Librarians Kristen McCallum and Virginia Donahue will accompany you to the Wisconsin Historical Society Library & Archives in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, June 25. The bus leaves Algonquin at 7am and returns at 7pm.

Spend a full day researching your ancestors in one of the largest genealogical collections in the United States–right on the University of Wisconsin Campus. Upon arrival at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS), enjoy a 30-minute orientation tour by a WHS genealogist. Reference librarians will be on duty to provide assistance and AAPLD Librarians Kristen McCallum and Virginia Donahue will also be available to assist with individual research. Register today to guarantee your spot on the bus!

Genealogy Road Trip
Wisconsin Historical Society Library & Archives, Madison, Wisconsin
Saturday, June 25, 7 am-7 pm
Adults over 18
Fee: $40 (lunch on your own)

Money Smart Week is April 23-30

Get a grip on your personal finances with Money Smart Week programs at the library! From a tax-free saving and investing workshop to a College Illinois 529 Prepaid TuitionPlan seminar, we have the programs you need to improve your money smarts.  Registration is required: click on the program name to register.

Tax Free Saving and Investing Made Simple
Monday, April 25, 7 to 8pm
Jarid Brockman, AAMS® Edward Jones Financial Advisor, will present the basics for smart saving. It’s not how much you earn, but how much you keep. Learn the differences between Tax-Free Bonds, IRAs, Roth’s and more. Bring your questions for straightforward answers.

Understanding Credit Reports and Credit Scores
Tuesday, April 26, 7 to 8:30pm
Ed Beckstrom, Education Coordinator,will teach you the “ins and outs” of the credit reports and credit scores to help you analyze your credit and determine ways to improve your credit score. Presented in partnership with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northern Illinois.

College Illinois 529 Prepaid Tuition Planpic_post-dollars
Wednesday, April 27, 7 to 8pm
With the pricetag of a college education rising every year, it’s difficult to imagine what tuition will cost when your kindergartener graduates high school. Learn about the College Illinois 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan, which is designed to help families keep college tuition affordable by paying today’s rates for their future college attendee(s). Save money later by planning now!

Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances.

Celebrate May in AAPLD’s Teaching Garden

Spring is here…and so is our new Teaching Garden at the Harnish Main Library!  With four raised beds, each planted with a unique garden plot, the Teaching Garden will be an active outdoor learning laboratory.  It will offer learning, gardening, and programming opportunities to residents of all ages.pic_teachinggardenpost

The Teaching Garden will contain a STEM-themed garden bed for youth, a square foot vegetable garden bed for all ages, a cutting garden, and a raised sensory garden bed. Vegetables and plants harvested from the gardens will be donated to the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry. Programs will be offered in partnership with the Village of Algonquin Recreation Division and McHenry County Master Gardeners. Don’t miss our May adult events in the Teaching Garden:

Planting the Cutting Garden
May 4, 6:30 to 7:30pm

Thinning the Garden
May 18, 10 to 11am

Planting the Sensory Garden
May 23, 6:30 to 7:30pm

The Library will be offering once-a-week open sessions with University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners on hand to answer gardening questions from patrons and the general public.  Master Gardeners will also introduce patrons/public to the gardens, explaining the four different beds and answering questions about the plantings.

For more information about the Teaching Garden, please contact Alexa Newman at 847-458-3168 or

Programs Celebrate Tour of First Folio

One of the most iconic documents in history is visiting Illinois as part of a nationwide tour, and it will be on display a mere 18 miles from the Library!  The Lake County Discovery Museum (Wauconda) will host a national traveling exhibit of William Shakespeare’s First Folio, considered one of the world’s most treasured books.

AAPLD presents the following programs highlighting Shakespeare’s amazing talent:

Reader’s Theatre: Shakespeare Light
Wednesday, February 10, 7 to 8pm
An interactive dramatic reading of Shakespeare’s classic pastoral comedy “As You Like It.” It’s filled with laughs, love, mistaken identities, and much silliness. We’ll start with a brief introduction to the play before beginning our performance. No acting experience is necessary; only willingness to read aloud. Parts will be assigned at random. For children ages 9 years and up: teens and adults are also welcome.

Super Simple Sonnet Writing
Tuesday, February 23, 7 to 8pm
Discover the unique characteristics of a Shakespearean sonnet , a 14-line structured rhyming poem. Explore contemporary versions of sonnets. Then channel the Bard and create your own! Attendees will be entered into a random drawing for the very entertaining POP SONNETS: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs by Erik Didriksen.

Why Shakespeare?
Wednesday, February 24, 7 to 8pm
Actor and speaker Bill Hammack gives a performance-oriented lecture illustrating the greatness, versatility, and astounding genius of The Bard by performing & dissecting several speeches and monologues. Learn about Shakespeare the man and how his body of work came to us. Attendees will be entered in a drawing for two tickets for Shortened Shakespeare at Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier.

All programs are open to the community at large (an AAPLD card is not required). Register for these programs by visiting or by calling the library at 847-458-6060, extension 143.

The First Folio will be exhibited from February 3 through 28 during regular hours at the Lake County Discovery Museum, 27277 N. Forest Preserve Road, Wauconda, 847-968-3400. The First Folio comprises 36 plays, including “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar,” “Twelfth Night,” “The Tempest,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “The Comedy of Errors” and “As You Like It.” The tour commemorates the 400th anniversary in 2016 of Shakespeare’s death. It is produced in association with the American Library Association and the Cincinnati Museum Center.