Martha headshot

Martha Cohen

Martha Cohen, Library Director

Martha grew up in Northampton MA. She graduated from Northampton High School and then Trinity College, where she majored in sociology and theater. She got her MLS (Master of Library Science) from Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Martha’s first job out of library school was at Mt Holyoke College Library. Next, she ran the Mass Audubon Libraries in Lincoln MA for 5 years and then headed west, where she served as the reference/teen librarian with King County Library System near Seattle WA for 20+ years. While in Seattle, she met her spouse, Christie Karis, originally from Chicago, who is retired as a small business planner and now does volunteer non-profit financial advising.

Martha and Christie live in Florence with Martha’s son Ian and their Maine Coon cat, Pookie.

What does Martha love about being our librarian?

I love reading stories to kids, talking with folks about the books they like and don’t like, buying books and DVDs for the library that make folks’ eyes light up when they see them on the shelf, helping people of all ages find answers to all kinds of questions.

I love to see people meet friends and neighbors in the library and share book and movie suggestions with each other. I love the energy of our library when it is busy, full of contented people and excited kids and I love the peace of our library when folks are browsing shelves, finding personal treasures with other folks working diligently on their computers, accessing the larger world.”

Favorite reading: Martha prefers to read historical mysteries, sci-fi fantasy with strong heroines and funny, inspirational memoirs.

You’ll also find Irene Branson and Sherrie Scott at the library, serving out generous helpings of expertise and good cheer. What do they enjoy most about the library?


Irene Branson

Irene says, “I enjoy seeing how friends and neighbors connect at the library.  People use the library’s services to locate a wide variety of information and entertainment items.  Joining the CWMARS collaborative has made a powerful difference in how much we have available for patrons.  Still, the majority seems to truly love browsing the “new book” table and the shelves–so do I!”

Sherrie offers a one-liner that sums it all up: I just love the patrons!”