The Real Librarians of Chelmsford

What is the best way to get to know a librarian?  By getting them to dish about books, of course!  Each month, we will introduce you to one of the librarians of Chelmsford Public Library.  This month, we talked to Jeff Hartman, Marketing and Community Relations Specialist.

Jeff started at the Chelmsford Public Library in January of 2018. He began working in libraries as a volunteer, then a page, then a circulation assistant, before sliding sideways into doing marketing and outreach. Since he started out as a teen, he has worked in seven different libraries. Jeff has a graduate degree in medieval history and occasionally teaches classes, when he is not busy promoting all of our great programs and services!

We asked Jeff…

What was your first library?

The Morse Institute Library in Natick, MA. I started out volunteering in middle school, spending a summer in the basement discarding old magazines that they were getting rid of before they moved to a temporary building during a major renovation.

What is on your nightstand right now?

Solutions and other Problems by Allie Brosh

What book do you love to suggest to patrons?

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

What are your three “desert island books”?

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman: (This is a ten volume set, so maybe I’m cheating? But I don’t care!) It’s a triumphant, poignant reimagination of classic mythological figures with a modern sensibility of the shared experience of living, dreaming, and dying.

The Sagas of  the Icelanders:  A large, translated collection of the stories written in the 13th and 14th century by and about the descendants of Vikings who tried to settle down into a quiet life of farming on a volcanic island in the north Atlantic. Between constant family feuds, going off to fight for or against the king of Norway, trolls and the undead, it’s quite the journey and convinced me to go into studying the history that inspired it.

Hercule Poirot’s Casebook by Agatha Christie: Over 800 pages of classic mysteries! If I’m on a desert island, I want volume!

What is your favorite place to read?

On my couch with my cat curled up next to me.


What book should be adapted into a movie, but hasn’t been yet?

Maisie Dobbs as a prestige TV series, please and thank you!

What book would you most like to read again for the first time?

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Last book that made you laugh or cry (or both!)?

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsin Muir.



Why do you love being a librarian?

Convincing people that libraries are still relevant in the 21st century as the heart of the community, a source for education and entertainment, and as the bedrock of a democracy by making information available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.