Family Game Day November 4

kids checkersBring the fams and enjoy an afternoon of “gaming” on Saturday, November 4 from 1 to 4pm at the Harnish Main Library. You’ll find classic, traditional, and newer tabletop games like Giant Jenga, Pictionary, sorry!, Zombie Dice and Mario Party. Game enthusiasts of all ages are welcome to bring their own game and share. We are also a PokeStop and PokeGym site so you can look for lures or do battle in our gym. While you’re here, enter a drawing to win a game of your own! No registration required.

As noted in an August 2017 article in USA Today, there is renewed interest in board games as families look for ways to spend time together and people in all age groups seek to unplug. “Sales of hobby games — a complex and strategic variety of board games — in the U.S. and Canada grew 21% in 2016, says Milton Griepp, president of industry news outlet ICv2.”

Whatever the trend, board games are here to stay! Drop in any time between 1 and 4pm on Saturday, November 4 and try a new game or two. Or just pull up a seat at the Pictionary table and have some fun with an old favorite.

“Captain Cranky” Visits the Library

marionettesGet ready for a one-of-a-kind pirate adventure presented at the Harnish Main Library on Monday, October 9! Kids ages 3 through 12 (with parent/caregiver) will Sail the Seven Seas with Captain Cranky and his Crew in this unique presentation by Dave Herzog’s Marionettes.

Dedicated to preserving the uniquely American art form of the marionette variety show, this professional puppet company specializes in the art of the marionette.
Herzog performs more than 350 shows each year — and he designs and creates each and every “performer” by hand.

Register for this dazzling, engaging performance before it fills up! Read more about marionette variety shows and their history on Dave Herzog’s web site.



View the Eclipse @ Your Library

Join us on Monday, August 21, to eclipseexperience the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States in 38 years. To see the eclipse well, NASA recommends a clear spot with a good view of the sky, which you’ll find at the Harnish Main Library. Our event runs from 11:45 to 2:45pm, with the peak of the eclipse at 1:19pm in our area. The closest location to view the total eclipse (when the sun is completely blocked by the moon) is in Carbondale, Illinois.

Never look directly at the sun without appropriate eyewear: regular sunglasses are not safe to view the eclipse. The library will be giving out special viewing glasses to attendees on August 21 (courtesy of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation with additional help from Google, National Science Foundation, and NASA). Solar eclipse viewing glasses will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, one pair per person (ages 5 and older).

We will distribute tickets for the viewing glasses in the café area beginning at 9 am on Monday. We will give out one ticket per person in line (ages 5 and older), with no exceptions. Tickets can be redeemed for glasses beginning at 11:30 am. Distribution of the glasses will take place outside, in front of the library building, in a special cordoned-off area. Only people with a ticket will get a pair of glasses.

Attendees are also welcome to view the eclipse safely via the NASA Television livestream broadcast in our lower level meeting room and on the screen on the first floor. We will also have many self-directed eclipse-related activities, such as how to make a sun dial, drawing a corona, an “Eclipse in Six” project, a UV light experiment, and more. Pinhole viewers will be available at the Youth Services and Adult Services desks upon request.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon casts a shadow on Earth, fully or partially blocking the sun’s light in some areas. Observers within the path of totality will be able to see the sun’s corona (weather permitting). Observers outside this path (such as our location) will see a partial eclipse.

The next total solar eclipse visible over the continental United States will be on April 8, 2024. Read more about the eclipse at

Via, a recollection of the scientists who raced to view the total solar eclipse in 1878.

Adapted from Experience the 2017 Eclipse Across America (NASA, Rev 6/17).

May 6 is Free Comic Book Day

Celebrate comics and graphic novels by pic_comicbook6picking up a free comic book at both Library locations! We’ll have a costume contest for kids and teens, superhero craft stations, a comic-themed photo booth, a scavenger hunt, and much more! Open to the public; all ages welcome. One comic book per visitor, please.

Free Comic Book Day Schedule:

10am – 4pm Button making, T-shirt cape craft, door hanger craft, coloring sheets, photo booth, light-up light saber craft, make your own comic book. Fill out a card to tell us about your favorite graphic novel, manga, or comic book and win one of 6 graphic novels!

11 – 11:30am Youth Costume Contest

12 – 2 pm Star Wars and More! Meet comic/novel writer John Jackson Miller, learn about his work in the Star Wars universe and be amazed by his vast knowledge as a comics industry historian. Please register.

2 – 4 pm “This is the day  you will always remember as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!” Look for the quirky pirate roaming the library and raising a ruckus.

2:30 – 3 pm Teen Costume Contest

pic_comicbook5 pic_comicbook3 pic_comicbook4

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.

Winter Wellness Event

On Saturday, December 10 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, meet Mercy Health System nurses and learn how to keep you and your family healthy this winter. Gather information about Mercy services, facilities, and staff. Nurses will offer free on-the-spot blood pressure checks and information about winter safety and holiday wellness. Kids can get coloring books, nurse hats, and doctor hats and participate in a trivia game. This event will take place in the main lobby of the Harnish Main Library, 2600 Harnish Road in Algonquin.

Halloween is spooktacular at the Library

Kids can have a screaming good time at the Library’s halloweenmany Halloween programs! Dress up in costume to dance, hear stories, and have a fiendishly fun time. Who knows? You might see a costumed character at one of the service desks!

Drop in for one or more of our Halloween-themed happenings at both Library locations:

Thursday, October 20, 2016
10:30 AM
Stop in and make a spooky craft! For ages 7 and under with a parent/caregiver.

Monday, October 24, 2016
6:30 PM
Dress up in your costume and dance to some Halloween songs!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at Eastgate Branch
11:30 AM
Come in costume to this Halloween Edition of Music and Movement. It will be a spooky fun time!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
10:00 AM
Dress up in your costume, hear some seasonal stories and come celebrate Halloween. We will parade through the library and a few giveaways will be handed out after storytime.

Thursday, October 27, 2016
10:00 AM
Celebrate Halloween! Come in costume, hear some seasonal stories and  parade through the library. Giveaways will be handed out after storytime.

Friday, October 28, 2016
10:00 AM
A Halloween-themed storytime perfect for babies (1-23 months). Babies are invited to dress up in their Halloween costume.

Friday, October 28, 2016
11:00 AM
Enjoy a Halloween story and song and play time. For children 1-35 months. Babies/toddlers are invited to dress up in their Halloween costume.

Friday, October 28, 2016
1:00 PM
A Halloween-themed storytime perfect for babies (1-23 months)! Babies are invited to dress up in their Halloween costume.

Saturday, October 29, 2016
10:00 AM
Dress up in your costume, hear some seasonal stories and come celebrate Halloween. We will parade through the library and a few giveaways will be handed out after storytime.

Don’t Miss Our Maker Fair

Celebrate the latest in technology, crafting, and gadgets post_MakerFairat our Maker Fair! Mark your calendar for a fantastic all-ages event on Saturday, September 24, from 10am to 4pm. If you get hungry, Trail Dawgs will be in our parking lot from 11:30am to 3pm. The entire Harnish Main Library will be packed with demonstrations, workshops, and hands-on activities throughout the day, including:

10 am  Barnes and Noble LEGO Demonstration
11 am  LEGO WeDo Construction
11:20 am  Makey Makey Invention Kits
11:40 am  Sphero Robots
12 pm  Rocketry
1 pm  Yarn Spinning
1:30 pm  Sewing Machine Demonstration
2 pm  3D Printer Demo
3 pm  KEVA Plank Competition

There will be lots of cool stuff on display at the Maker Fair, including:

  • Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter
  • Cool Crafts
  • Ozobots
  • Snap Circuits
  • Button Making
  • …and much more!

Enjoy prize drawings, food, giveaways, and more at this family-friendly event. No registration required — just stop by and be inspired by a whole new world of creativity and gadgetry at your Library.

Take a Hike with the Library

Celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4 by participating in a guided 45-minutepic_post_fen hike through the Lake in the Hills Fen at Barbara Key Park (1500 Jefferson Street, off of Pyott Road). Presenter Barbara Wilson, Land Conservancy Volunteer, will guide your way and offer insights about the geographical features and history of the fen. This unique wetland opened in April 2011 and features 229 acres adjacent to the 27-acre State Nature Preserve.

This program is for individuals and families with children ages 5 and older. Meet at Barbara Key Park, Shelter #2, rain or shine. No strollers are allowed due to unpaved paths. Be sure to wear older shoes or boots, as the area can be muddy and wet. Many of the areas we will explore are in full sun, so hats and sunglasses are also recommended. Enjoy a free hot dog lunch after the hike, courtesy of the Library.

Registration is required, but this program is open to all public library cardholders. Two hikes times are available (click on the time to register).

9:15am, Saturday, June 4
10:0am, Saturday, June 4

We appreciate the partnership with the McHenry County Conservation District in organizing this program. Questions? Contact Virginia Donahue at 847-458-3144 or


National Library Week April 10-16

Celebrate everything libraries and library staff do for their community! Your library provides access to books, DVDs, online resources, vocational training, study rooms, technology programs, crafting workshops and more. Libraries offer opportunity to all. Libraries transform. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries nationwide each April.

We're celebrating! On April 12 and 13, AAPLD will participate in "Jeans for Charity" day, where staff members can make a donation for the privilege of wearing jeans to work. All proceeds will benefit Pioneer Center of McHenry County

Both Library locations will also be collection points for a Food Drive to benefit Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry. Visit their web site for suggestions and a printable shopping list.  As a bonus, reciprocal borrowers (non-AAPLD cardholders) who owe fines to AAPLD can donate non-perishable, unexpired food items during National Library Week and we will waive their fines (applies only to fines owed to the Algonquin Area Public Library District). 

We've got a lot going on during National Library Week, but, then again -- we always do. Programs for all ages happen nearly every day. Or you can just pull up a chair and hang out in our cafe, first floor reading areas, or children's play area. Here are this week's highlights (please note where registration is required):

Guess How Many!
April 10-16, both Library locations
Children can come in anytime during National Library Week and guess how many Starburst® candies we have in our jar! The guesser with the closest guess will win the whole jar of candy.

Create Your Own Bookmark
April 10-16, both Library locations
Children can use our supplies to create their own stylish bookmark during National Library Week.

Queens of the Adriatic 
Sunday April 10, 2 to 3:30 pm, Eastgate Branch
Al Popowits takes us on a tour of Venice and the coast of Croatia, including Murano and Burano islands. Cruise the Dalmatian coast experiencing the ancient and medieval charms of Split, Sibenik, and Dubrovnik. Croatian history, food, and drink highlighted. For adults. Registration required.

Excel 1
Monday, April 11, 1-2:30pm
Monitor finances, organize your address book and more with this beginner’s look at Microsoft Excel 2013’s basic functions. Learn how to enter data, use autofill and autosum, insert a chart, templates, save and print. Basic computer and mouse experience required. Registration required.

Sensory Gardens
Monday, April 11, 7-8 pm
In sensory gardens, plants and other design elements are selected to provide experiences for heightened sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. Learn how to plan for a beginner's small sensory garden. For adults. Registration required.

Perler Bead Craft
Tuesday, April 12, 4:30-5:30 pm, Eastgate Branch
Children in grades 2-8 can design their own special Perler bead craft. Registration required.

In the Teaching Garden: Lab Session
Wednesday, April 13, 6:30-7:30pm
We will be planting the early spring/hardy plants in the organic square foot vegetable garden bed. Ages 18 and older. Registration required.

Children’s Dance Party
Wednesday, April 13, 6:30 pm
Shake and shimmy at our spring dance party!

Macaroni Soup! Family Concert
Thursday, April 14, 10 am
Sing along, dance along and play along at this concert full of kid friendly, active songs! Macaroni Soup! provides active musical entertainment that sparkles!

From Land Records to Google Earth: Mapping Your Family’s Place
Friday April 15, 5 - 6:30 pm
Jane Haldeman of It's Relative interprets the numerous sources for our ancestor’s legal land description. Learn where to look, how to convert section and range into Google Earth, and see how that property looks today. For adults 18 and older. Registration required.

After Hours Genealogy Workshop 
Friday April 15, 6 -11 pm
Join genealogy enthusiasts for an evening of personal research time and free access to Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest, the Historical Chicago Tribune, and more. Librarians will be available for research help. Snacks and drinks provided. Bring your own laptop or use a library computer. Limit of 30 Library desktop computers. Please indicate if you require a desktop. For adults 18 and older. Registration required.

Little S*T*E*A*Mers
Saturday, April 16, 2-3pm
Let’s explore the world around us. Each month we will do Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Math experiments/activities. For kids in K & 1 grade (5-7 years old). Registration required.   Open to all cardholders.