Non-Traditional Library Items

The library offers much more than traditional books, DVDs, and music. Check out our non-traditional collections below – and let us know if you have a non-traditional interest we can explore!

Ukulele Kit

Learn to play the ukulele! The Ukulele Kit contains one standard ukulele, a how-to-play book, a tuner (with instructions), one pack of felt picks, one pack of extra strings, a strap, and a black nylon carrying case.

The kit is available at Main Library, can be checked out for three weeks, renewed twice, and should be returned where it is checked out.

Bike Tool Kit

Bike tool kitEach Bike Tool Kit comes in a black plastic toolbox and is chock full of anything you’d need to fix a bike! Kits are available both at the Main Library and MacKay Branch, can be checked out for a week, renewed twice, and should be returned where it is checked out.

Each kit includes: Fold-up hex wrench set — Chain checker — Mini chain brute chain tool — Cable & housing cutter — Master link pliers — GearClean brush — Pedal wrench — Compatible “L” wrench — Triple spoke wrench — Screwdriver — Tire lever set — Patch kit — Can of super lubricant — Cassette lockring tool — Portable tool tray — Contents card.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Our Puzzle Swap collection is located in the Fireplace Room in the built-in bookcase to the right of the fireplace. We envision the collection growing over time, and would ask you to consider donating to the collection if you are able, or so inclined. The guidelines for borrowing or donating puzzles are:

  • Puzzles may be borrowed, but do not need to be checked out
  • Please discard a puzzle if you find any missing pieces
  • Please do not return puzzles to the book drop
  • Donated puzzles may be dropped off at the Circulation or Information Desk

Binge Boxes

Would you like nothing better than to just curl up under a blanket this weekend and binge on some great movies? Check out a Binge Box and make it happen!

Binge Boxes contain six DVDs related to a single theme – 80s movies, Boston movies, chick flicks, etc. The included movies are listed on the outside of the box and in the catalog. We’ll keep adding more to the catalog as we collect more movies, but if you have suggestions for binging, please let us know.

Binge Boxes circulate for 1 week, can be requested, but cannot be renewed, and patrons are limited to one box at a time.

Experience Bags

How about a trip to Paris without the expense or travel? Maybe you’d prefer a cool weekend with the kids filled with fun and interesting projects? Well, now you can do both with our Experience Bags! We’ve gathered together different items (books, movies, DVDs, even video games) around a certain theme and packaged them up in a tote to create an Experience. For example, the “Taste of Italy” bag is filled with a cookbook, a book on Italian wine, an Opera CD, a food-themed novel, and a couple of movies known for featuring Italian food.

See how it works? Reserve a kit in our catalog, or find one of the luggage tags, displayed on the kiosk in the Library’s lobby, and experience something new this weekend! Experience Bags circulate for 3 weeks, can be requested, but cannot be renewed.


telescope-childWe have two telescopes (one at the Main Library and one at the MacKay Branch) that patrons can check out just like a book or DVD. They are small but powerful – easy to take home with a built-in carry handle, but strong enough to provide views of craters on the moon or the rings of Saturn. You can reserve the telescopes through our catalog, and then check it out for one week. Patrons must be 18 or older to check one out, and a picture ID is also required. The telescopes each come with an operation manual, a starguide, and a headlamp. Telescopes cannot be renewed.


Get a better understanding of your home’s electricity use. The Main Library has multiple kill-a-watt devices, which your appliances can be plugged into to monitor electric kilowatt consumption. You will also learn how to reduce energy costs by identifying the real energy abusers.

Museum Passes

Our Friends group provides passes to 20+ local museums, parks, and activities. Chelmsford residents and members of the Friends can reserve passes in advance; non-members can use passes if they’re available the day you’d like it.

Wireless Internet Hotspot (Take Wi-Fi With You!)

Here’s a way to access the internet almost anywhere you go – including your own home, even if you don’t have internet access! You can check out this mobile hotspot, through which the Library provides internet access via T-Mobile’s cell phone network. Anywhere a cell phone works, this should too. You can connect your wireless device to it (iPad, smartphone, laptop, etc), and browse the internet using our mobile connection. Reserve the hotspot through the catalog, and it circulates for one week. Before taking this on vacation, check T-Mobile’s coverage map to make sure the beach you’re going to is covered!


We have laptop computers patrons can borrow for in-library use. There are laptops both at the Main Library’s Reference Desk and at the MacKay Branch. They work just like our regular public computers, except you can use them from a comfortable chair or a study room. Patrons must be 18 to checkout a laptop, and we’ll hold your driver’s license while you’re using it.

Roku Streaming Video Player

rokuplayerAn alternative to DVDs is our Roku box – you can plug this directly into your TV and watch movies from the library’s collection by streaming them through your home’s wireless network. You can see the list of titles and reserve the Roku through the catalog, and it circulates for one week.

Playaway Audiobooks

Playaway audiobooks are self-contained audiobooks on their own MP3 player. They can be checked out just like any other library item (for three weeks, and you can renew them twice if no one is waiting), and the best part is their size and ease of use. Just add your own headphones, or plug it into the AUX jack in your car, and you can start listening – no downloading required, no CDs to change!

Board Games

Check in at the Reference Desk to borrow chess, checkers, scrabble, backgammon, Monopoly, and Chelmsfordopoly. There is a games table near the Young Adult area with the boards; the pieces are available at the Reference Desk.

Video Games

We have a variety of video games for all ages! There are games for different popular consoles, and the collections are located in the Children’s Room, Young Adult area, and at the main Circulation Desk for adult video games. This is a growing collection, so please let us know what you like and which console you have.

Backpack Activity Kits

Our children’s backpack kits can be checked out for a week and contain a collection of items on different topics. For instance, the Science backpack contains books, a DVD, an activity sheet, and more; the Literacy backpack contains books, DVDs, and literacy games. These are available in the Children’s Room and are updated regularly.