Chelmsford Public Library is located in the center of Chelmsford near the intersection of Rt 4 and Rt 110. Getting to the library the first time may be a little confusing as it sits in the middle of a roundabout. But fear not, just go around for a second time (or third time in my case) until you get to the driveway that says “enter”. There is plenty of parking in front and to the side of the library. The main library entrance is wheelchair/ stroller accessible.
The Chelmsford Public Library includes the main library in the town center, and the Anna C. MacKay branch in North Chelmsford. This overview is for the main library in the town center. The Chelmsford Public Library is part of the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC). MVLC is an alliance of 36 public libraries serving the Greater Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts. MVLC libraries share a catalog, inter library delivery services and access to databases.
As soon as we walked in, we went straight to the Children’s Room.
This is a large inviting space, complete with a toy area, rows and rows of chapter books, picture books, children’s videos and audio books AND a cozy corner near big windows -- perfect for reading!
There are several nooks for kids to explore. Our favorite was the beautiful painting mural all over the kid’s room. The color and drawings are so bright and vivid.
My kids were immediately drawn to the toy area. The toy area has a play kitchen with play food, puzzles, blocks and a huge pile of stuffed animals. My kids were easily entertained with all the toys.
The children’s area has a designated little snack area which is perfect for having a few goldfish to keep the littles going. There is also a craft area, set up with crayons, scissors and paper. The craft area is set up as “help yourself”. My oldest wanted to sit down for a little bit and work on the pumpkins that were precut and ready to be colored.
The family restroom is located near the toy area. There are additional restrooms located outside the children’s room. There is also a coffee machine to the left as you enter the library from the main doors.
The library offers story times for children ages infant through 6 years old. There are weekly drop in programs. The programs are all listed on their events calendar (and most on the Macaroni Kid event calendar too) along with a description of each of the programs. We have been to the preschool, toddler and Dads & Donuts programs -- all are great!
Most recently, my kids and I attended the Toddler Rhyme Time on a Friday morning. We arrived 15 minutes early to make sure we got settled in and to be sure we found a good spot. Having been to a few of the story times at this library, I knew it would get busy. Sure enough, the children’s room was already bustling when we arrived!
As we entered through the children’s room area, the library attendant informed us, they would announce when it was time to go in to the meeting space. There is no pre-registration for this program. Once it was time to proceed to the meeting room, my kids and I claimed a cozy spot on the big colorful rug on the floor. There were about 30 kids with their families in the room. The program started right on time at 11 AM.
The program was led by children’s librarian Deborah. Deborah started with a disclaimer to put all of us parents at ease. Deborah explained it’s okay for children to get up, move around and be loud -- that’s what kids do! This program had everything, from storytelling, to dancing, to bubbles and egg shakers. We started with a sweet little song “The More We Get Together”. This was the perfect song to get my little one's attention. We then did another song, where Deborah would start off and the kids would join in and follow along with the hand gestures, “Open, Shut, Them”. The program continued with more songs like “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and a hand puppet show to the song “Old MacDonald”. The program also included the use of magnets with animals on the white board that went along with the songs. We sang a different version of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, with lyrics on the white board for us to follow along.
During the program we read two books and then the kids were able to go up to the front to get egg shakers (my kids' favorite). They used the shakers for a few songs and then returned them (my kids' least favorite part!). Towards the end, Deborah came over and blew bubbles all over the room and right up to the kids -- always a hit! This program is certainly one of our favorites and Deborah does a great job in keeping the little ones engaged.
Any child age 6 or older, or in 1st grade, can get a library card. Younger readers can check out library titles using their parents’ cards.
There are 3 computers with Internet access and many educational games for children located in the Children’s Room. Computers are also available for looking up titles from the library catalog. The computers have kid-appropriate headphones. My oldest daughter played one of the math games, which combined counting with music and animals.
In addition to the computers set up in the children’s room, the library has laptops available for check out within building. These are checked on an hourly basis and have to be used within the library grounds.
Chelmsford Public Library hosts several clubs and events for grades 5 – 12. This includes the summer reading program where teens register and earn raffle tickets for prizes big and small just by reading, checking out books, and keeping a reading log. Through out the year they also have programs such as arts & crafts, volunteering opportunities and book clubs.
- Check the library calendar for upcoming events, including music and computer classes, movie nights for teens and more. If you don’t see a program that you like, the library has a program proposal form where you can suggest ideas for new programs on their website.
- The library has recommended reading list for kids by ages that are continuously updated.
- The library offers services such as museum passes, proctoring, printing, notary and tax services.
- The Library offers Kindergarten readiness kits: backpacks filled with books and activities to expand children’s literacy, math and fine motor skills
- After your visit at the library, continue onto Chelmsford center. There are plenty of lunch options and the Bruce Freeman rail trail is also right there. Perfect for getting a little walk in on the stroller or a bike ride.
Children’s Room Mural
This is a captivating mural that completes the space. Artist Yetti Frenkel painted the mural in 2007 in memory of Library Trustee Steven Maloney. Steve died suddenly in January 2006 leaving his wife Cynthia and two young children. Steve grew up in Chelmsford and was a great library supporter. Steve was also a meteorologist, he loved weather and distinct seasons in New England. The mural has weather and nature scenes that Steve loved, including the mourning cloak butterfly.
Chelmsford Public Library
25 Boston Rd
Chelmsford, MA 01824