All posts by Jeff Hartman

Library Receives AARP Grant

The Chelmsford Public Library is excited to announce that we are one of 260 grantees chosen for a 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grant! As part of an education and awareness campaign for the recently approved Land Acknowledgement for the town of Chelmsford, the Chelmsford Library and the town’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee are partnering to foster education about the town’s history of both its land and its people. The greater Chelmsford area comprises, in part, the homelands of the Pawtucket-PennacookAbenaki, and their close neighbors the Massachusett and Nipmuc peoples. With the help of an intergenerational team of volunteers, we will establish informational kiosks and freestanding mini libraries throughout town — near historical markers, in public parks, and at trailheads – that will increase community awareness of Chelmsford history and help make connections between the present and the past.

The outdoor mini libraries will house assorted books written by Indigenous authors as well as books about local Indigenous nations and their history, present, and future. This project will empower Indigenous peoples within our community and beyond, and will direct residents and visitors alike to resources regarding Chelmsford history, local Indigenous nations, and the shared land on which we all work, learn, and play.

The combination of these informational kiosks and mini libraries will be promoted as a Trails and Tales adventure that will encourage community members to get outdoors, commune with nature, and visit all the locations. Community members will be able to hike the trails and bring home some informative materials from each trek. This component will particularly appeal to people 50-plus and their families as a health and wellness activity that promotes intergenerational learning and wellness.

This fall the library will also offer a connected series of programs led by and focused on Indigenous peoples as well as the significance of land acknowledgements and Indigenous-led land conservation efforts throughout the state. The program series will include author talks, creative workshops, interactive art and music events, and historical lectures by Indigenous presenters.


Concerts at MacKay 2022

This summer marks the full return of the outdoor concert series to the heart of the community in North Chelmsford! The MacKay Branch, just off of Vinal Square, has played host to outdoor music for more than twenty years, and it was a blow to have that interrupted by Covid in 2020. After a short slate of shows in 2021, this year we’ll feature weekly concerts every Wednesday night at 6:30 pm from July 6 through August 24. The series kicks off with jazz guitar by the award winning Abe Ovadia and continues with bands playing classic rock, folk, and soul music! In August, the concerts will pivot towards family fun, with acts that highlight singing and dancing for kids and library patrons of all ages. (In the event of rain, concerts will be moved to the Senior Center.)


While the MacKay Branch has been closed to the public since the beginning of the Covid crisis, it continues to be open for curbside pickup for hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the Pop-Up Library will be available every week during the concerts. Just last month, Community Preservation funding for the branch’s needed HVAC improvements were approved at town meeting and the library is working with the town facilities department on re-opening the building, hopefully in the fall!

2022 Friends of the Library Scholarships

The newly formed CFOL Scholarship Committee received several applications for this year’s award, and all of the applicants had excellent academic records and impressive resumes. The essays of two of these applicants were exceptional, and related the impact the Chelmsford Library has had on their lives. At the June meeting of the Friends, these young women were each awarded $500 to help them with their school expenses this fall. Sarah Evans is planning to attend Grinnell College and major in Political Science and English, and Arina Kondakchyan will be attending UMass Lowell and studying Elementary Education. We wish both of these young women much success!

Friends of the Library Scholarship

The Chelmsford Friends of the  Library has $1,000 in scholarship money to be awarded to one or two Chelmsford High School graduating seniors who will be attending a 2- or 4-year college or university full-time in the fall.  Preference may be given to seniors who have had an ongoing relationship with a library/libraries or have volunteered and/or worked for a library.

  1. Scholarship(s) will be awarded annually in spring.  Details TBD.
  2. The number and value of the awards will be based upon the number and quality of applications.
  3. All decisions of the CFOL Scholarship Committee will be final.

Our intent for this scholarship money is to provide financial assistance towards the purchase of the recipient’s textbooks or other similar educational fees or expenses. Applications are available to download and print here: or through the CHS guidance office/Naviance.

Application Requirements: Scholarship applications must include the following documents:

  1. A completed application form (see Page 2). Please type or print all information where possible.
  2. Copy of your high school transcript.
  3. Copy of your CHS Secondary School Record (resume), which details your in-school and out-of-school activities.

Submit applications to:

Subject line: CFOL Scholarship Application

Application deadline: April 24, 2022  by midnight 

English Conversation Circle Volunteer Needed


What’s an English Conversation Circle? It’s a weekly group meeting where new English speakers can practice their skills. We have two each Tuesday: the morning circle is for beginners, and the afternoon for more advanced students.

We are in need of a new volunteer to run the morning, beginners’ circle. We need someone who enjoys talking to all kinds of people, building friendships and encouraging conversation among the group members. The circle is a fun, safe place where new English speakers can ask questions and learn from one another. You might have a few discussion topics planned, an article from a New Reader newsletter to share, or an English exercise to lead, but you would mostly take your cues from what the group members want to learn or talk about. Class is one hour per week starting at 10am, and prep time is estimated at less than an hour a week. You would have access to our collection of ESL materials as well as our copy machine. The group is currently meeting on Zoom, but may switch to in-person or a combination as conditions improve.

Training as an ESL teacher or tutor is preferred, and a desire to help people is a must. Previous volunteers have found this to be a very rewarding experience.

Please contact Vickie Turcotte, or 978-256-5521 x1106 for more information.

Enjoy learning a new language with LingoLITE

LingoLITE Language Learning

We now have access to LingoLITE, a simple language learning resource that teaches common phrases in 30 different languages. You can set the interface language and the language of study, and the audio and video is from native speakers. This is a great resource for travelers and for people trying to learn the very basics of a language and common phrases that will help them get through everyday life. Check it out today and if you have any questions please ask the Reference team!
Geometric Mural by Yetti Frenkel

New Young Adult Mural

Geometric Mural by Yetti FrenkelArtist Yetti Frenkel, who originally painted the natural scenes that decorate the Children’s Room in 2007, returned to the library this past month! She grew up in Lynn and now lives in Newburyport and has created murals for nine different public libraries, as well as numerous other works of public art. She has created several unique mosaics in the past and has combined that concept here with a jewel-toned painting technique. The design for the Young Adult area was inspired by the idea to make something fun, colorful, and geometric to celebrate the exciting and creative work found in the books and graphic novels there. Stop by to see this amazing new art in the library’s lower level!

About Yetti:
I love story-telling, and my artistic work often contains a narrative quality and implied story. For thirty-five years my inspiration was my home town of Lynn, Massachusetts, where I documented scenes of everyday life in the tradition of the Ash Can School. Other series include scenes of commuters on the subway, grooms at Suffolk Downs, and performers I knew when I worked for the Big Apple Circus. These images are created in a variety of media, including watercolor, oil, and pastel.

Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

One Book Arbor Day Giveaway!

Arbor Day Tree GiveawayUPDATE: As of Friday morning, we are out of lilacs, but still have plenty of spruce and persimmon! Starting Thursday, April 29, come to the library to pick up your tree seedlings! No reservation necessary – the seedlings are available on a first come, first serve basis in the Main Library Lobby. We have three options for you: Common Lilac, Persimmon, or Blue Spruce. We will even carry them out to curb-side if you would prefer, just tell us which species you want! We do not have a limit on the number per person, but we do ask you to think carefully about how many trees your property can accomodate. There is a basic guide provided by the Arbor Day Foundation, here:, and if you register we will send you a link to a quick information session provided by one of our own local tree specialists. All the details here: