Summer ☀️ Reading Bags for Kids at Sawyer Free Library!

“Welcome to Summer” Reading Bags for kids are available at Sawyer Free Library Curbside Pick-up!  The library can add one to your curbside order or just call us and we can send one out for you! While supplies last!☀️ Happy Summer! 🌈.

“Welcome to Summer” Reading Bags are filled with Imagine Your Story program information including the event calendar, activities, and fun summer treats.

For more information about the Sawyer Free Library’s “Imagine Your Story” Summer Programs, to register, or request books and materials for curbside pickup visit: or call 978-325-5501. 🏖

June 30 CACF Grant Application Deadline Just Days Away

June 30 CACF Grant Deadline Fast Approaching

Online Applications Available

The revised deadline for grant applications to the Cape Ann Community Foundation (CACF) is next Tuesday, June 30, 2020 now just a few days away.  The CACF Board of Directors, in addition to extending this year’s application deadline, has streamlined the application form and submittal process.  Printed copies of applications are no longer necessary. A submittal by email is sufficient.  A pdf of the revised application is available on the CACF website  Board members have also created the application as a Google form, which is available here.  Many organizations have submitted applications already, but for those that have not time is running short.

Eligible applicants include religious, educational, scientific and cultural institutions; poverty relief agencies; and in general any organization that qualifies as a 501(c) (3) charity and is based in or providing services to the Cape Ann community. Local governments and their subdivisions, including schools, in the communities of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport are also eligible to apply for CACF grants.

CACF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization established in 2015 by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce to manage funds and award grants from the proceeds from the Cape Ann License Plate.  CACF will make grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for projects that support the Foundation’s mission to improve the economy and overall quality of life for the residents of Cape Ann in the following areas:

  • Regional promotion: projects that support and enhance the quality of life for the Cape Ann region and the communities of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport; and promote Cape Ann as a desirable place to live, work, recreate and vacation.
  • Economic Development: projects that expand employment opportunities and enhance the economic vitality of Cape Ann, including but not limited to projects that facilitate the start-up of new enterprises or the expansion of existing enterprises on Cape Ann.
  • Training and Education: projects that support the training and education of the current and future Cape Ann workforce, including entrepreneurial training, to help Cape Ann residents succeed and thrive in the 21st century economy.

In their first three annual grant rounds the Cape Ann Community Foundation has made awards totaling $39,000 to 14 Cape Ann area non-profit organizations and schools: Action, Inc., Backyard Growers, Cape Ann Art Haven, Cape Ann Farmers Market, the Educational Foundation for Rockport, Generous Gardeners, Manchester Essex Regional High School’s Green Team, Pathways for Children, Project Adventure (in partnership with Schooner Adventure), Rockport Exchange, Sawyer Free Library, The Open Door, The Sunrise Fund and Windhover Performing Arts Center.

“My fellow Board members and I encourage all Cape Ann area non-profits and municipalities with eligible projects to submit proposals for this funding cycle,” said CACF Board President Ruth Pino. “And remember, any Massachusetts resident can buy the Cape Ann License Plate. We need more Cape Ann plates on the road to ensure funding for worthy initiatives in the future,” Pino added.

Sawyer Free Library’s Fun Filled Summer Reading Program for Kids and Teens Kicks off Thursday, June 25

The Sawyer Free Library (SFL) is excited to kick off its 2020 Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is Imagine Your Story,” and while it may feel slightly different from previous years due to COVID-19, the library is planning to make this year’s Summer Reading one to remember with an emphasis on fantasy, fairy tales, and folk tales.

This annual program aims to combat summer learning loss in children by encouraging patrons of all ages to read during the summer months and participate in library activities. Due to SFL’s current closure, this year’s children and teen program will take place solely online until it is safe to gather in person. The summer fun will officially begin on Thursday, June 25, at 10:00 am on Zoom with Wildlife Encounters, where everyone can meet virtually amazing live animals in this exciting show presented by the Wildlife Encounters Ecology Center and Farm School. Register online to receive the Zoom link.  

“We are so excited to start our Summer Reading Program,” Christy Rosso said SFL’s children’s librarian. “Although our format is different this year, our goal remains the same – – to connect our community with educational, fun, and literacy-based activities. Reading, doing projects, telling stories, and learning are great ways for families to spend time together this summer.”

The Children’s Library Staff have begun distributing to its younger patrons and their families “Welcome to Summer Reading Packets” filled with program information including the event calendar, activities, and fun summer treats. The packets will be available through SFL’s curbside pick up or home delivery services. People can register for the program online.

SFL will also be hosting many events and activities throughout the summer. This year, these activities will all take place online via videos on the Sawyer Free Library Children’s Services Facebook page and YouTube Channel or live via Zoom Meeting links.  Activities include “Summer Storytime with Christy” every Wednesday morning, author presentations, Family STEAM activities, Lego Challenge contests with fun prizes, Summer Crafts Take and Make, and more. The library will have materials available for many of the activities and be available before each event using the curbside pickup service.

Along with the Wildlife Encounters Virtual Program on Thursday, June 25 families of the library’s younger patrons should mark their calendar for the following special events:

  • Jungle Jim Wild About Balloons Magic Show the week of July 6-11 (registration required)
  • Imagination Blast Off and Virtual Storytelling with Rona Leventhal the week of July 12-19
  • Musical Storytime ZOOM with Ruthanne Paulson on Fridays July 24 & August 14 at 10 am (registration required)
  • Snakes of New England & the World with Rick Roth & Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Virtual Program on Saturday, July 25 at 10 am
  • Creative Movement for Kids with Sarah Slifer of MAGMA on ZOOM Saturday, August 8 at 11 am (registration required)

SFL also has big plans for its Teen Patrons this summer. Students entering grades 6-12 are encouraged to track their summer reading on a custom form available on the library’s website to qualify for weekly prize drawings. From mid-July to mid-August, the library will also be offering weekly virtual gaming programs and creating interactive craft and self-care projects.  

Thanks to the generous support of The Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, program participation is free, and registration is now open for the children’s and teen programs.

For more information about the Sawyer Free Library’s “Imagine Your Story” Summer Programs, to register, or request books and materials for curbside pickup visit: or call 978-325-5501.

Sawyer Free Library launches GLOUCESTER READS: Many Readers, One Conversation Addressing Our Climate Crisis with the Hope of Building a Better Future

The Sawyer Free Library is inviting readers of all ages to be a part of something big this summer as it officially launches the first annual Gloucester Reads: Many Readers, One Conversation. This citywide collaborative reading program aims to unite and energize the community around the important issue of climate change through reading, discussion, and action.  

From Monday, June 22 through Tuesday, September 15, 2020, Gloucester Reads will explore the topic of Addressing Our Climate Crisis with the Hope of Building a Better Future. The inaugural reading program will feature two award-winning books, Falter by Bill McKibben and The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline.

Presented by the Sawyer Free Library as a part of The Civic Hub, and in partnership with Backyard Growers, Gloucester Education Fund, Manship Artist Residency + Studios, Maritime Gloucester, Ocean Alliance and TownGreen 2025, Gloucester Reads offers residents the opportunity to read about and discuss this important issue with local experts and learn more about what they can do to help combat climate change. Discussion groups will be held online during the month of July.

Gloucester Reads will culminate on Tuesday, September 15 with a live stream public presentation and Q&A with Bill McKibben, the award-winning author, and founder of, a global grassroots climate change movement. This event will be open to the public, with details forthcoming.

From June through September, copies of the books will be available at the Sawyer Free Library in print, ebook, and audiobook formats. For a complete list of Gloucester Reads programs, and for more information on climate change, visit

Join GMGI for a virtual Science Hour! Thursday, June 11th at 7:30pm

Looking for plans this Thursday night? Join GMGI for our virtual Science Hour!

Nina Overgaard Therkildsen, fisheries scientist, assistant professor at Cornell University, and GMGI Science Advisory Board member, will join us via Zoom on Thursday, June 11th at 7:30pm to discuss how she and her team use genomics as a tool for improving fisheries management.

Nina’s research aims to leverage the ongoing revolution in genomic analysis tools to help support sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation. Her talk will discuss the enormous potential of DNA as a tracing tool in a wide variety of ocean applications.

Invitation with details below.  RSVP to

GMGI Science Hour_Invite_6.11_OvergaardTherkildsen

Exciting News! Sawyer Free Library to Begin Curbside Pick up and Home Delivery Service on June 8th

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Public Library is pleased to announce its phased reopening plan will begin on Monday, June 8. The plan, approved by the Library director and board, lays out phases that move the library toward a return to a “new normal” for its operations.

Sawyer Free Library, which strives to provide a welcoming, enriching, and above all, safe environment for their patrons was closed in early March to the public as a precaution against COVID-19. Now, as conditions allow them to reopen, it is their goal to provide library services in the least restrictive manner possible while preserving library patrons and staff’s health and safety. 

“While we have and will continue to provide a lot of great services and programming online and through digital delivery, everyone at the Sawyer Free Library is anxious to get back to the business of serving our community in person,” said Assistant Library Director Beth Pocock. “However, the health and safety of our patrons and staff remain our top priority. Because of this, we are taking a phased approach to resume services, starting with contactless curbside pickup and home delivery, which I am happy to announce will begin on Monday, June 8.” 

SFL has put together the following steps for using the Curbside Pickup and Home Delivery services:  

  1. Patrons can reserve items online at or by calling the library at 978-325-5500. Beginning on June 8, you will receive a notification once the items become available. 
  2. Patrons will have seven days to pick up the item(s) during curbside hours 1:00-5:00 pm, Monday – Saturday.  Please call the library in the morning on the day you will be picking up your materials. Be sure to have your library card at this time. 
  3. Arrive at SFL’s parking lot between 1:00 and 5:00pm that afternoon. Remain in your vehicle, and SFL staff will approach your window from a safe distance to ask for your name. Open your trunk or a back door where they will deliver your next read to you in a secure paper bag. 

If you would rather have your reserved items delivered to your home, starting on June 8, you may call the library to arrange a contactless home delivery by library staff.  Both these services are only available for physical library cardholders, not digital library cardholders. Those that would like a physical card can now register for one online and the library will mail it to you.  Vist the libary website for more details about this service 

In addition to books, SFL is also making technology available as a part of its curbside pickup service. Patrons can schedule an appointment to borrow one of the library’s new full-sized Chromebooks or a Hotspot. These can only be checked out once per day and must be returned the same day. Patrons can schedule an appointment by calling the library, emailing, or using the Ask a Librarian instant messaging service on the library’s website. 

For those not sure what to read and during this time when browsing at SFL is not possible, the library staff is happy to recommend titles that fit your reading tastes. They have developed a Personalized Reading Recommendations form that patrons can fill out, submit online, or call into the library. From this, the staff will then recommend five titles to you within two business days. SFL Library staff is also available to identify print and electronic sources for those with specific information needs by using the Ask a Librarian service online or by calling the library.  

Those looking to return books, videos, or other library items they have at home can now do so as the library’s return bins are open. Customers can return items at the drive-up/walk-up drop boxes, which have 24-hour access without the worry of late fees as SFL is fine-free. It may take up to four days for returned items to disappear from library accounts, as materials will be in quarantine for this time before they are checked in by staff.

Before June 8, all SFL staff members returning to work to provide curbside and home delivery services, or to process returned materials and holds, will be trained on COVID-19 safety protocols and be issued PPE to support a safe environment.

Phase Two of the plan includes limited public access to the library, and Phase Three would restore full access. No dates have determined, and transitioning to these phases will depend on guidelines and restrictions from state and local officials. 

For detailed information about the Sawyer Free Library curbside and home delivery procedures and policies, and COVID-19 updates, please visit

Self-Care in Uncertain Times

Join the Sawyer Free Library for their weekly series of programs for easy self-care for these uncertain times. Led by some of Cape Ann’s best natural health care practitioners, learn simple ways to help ease stress, tips for better sleep, and better nutrition. These programs offer a free and engaging opportunity to come together, learn and have fun while doing it.

This Thursday, June 4 at 7pm MEGAN WOLFFE: Easy Yoga & Essential Oils Half hour presentation, followed by Q&A with the practitioner

Please register at on SFL’s Event Calendar

Then mark your calendar, Thursday, June 11 at 7pm for the final program with Greta Williams: Acupressure & Chinese Medicine

Black Earth Deal for Manchester Residents

Great Deal for Manchester Residents

Seaside Garden Club

June is Manchester Appreciation Month
Hello all, our goal at Black Earth Compost is to get people gardening and growing food at home and in the community.  The high quality compost is free to Manchester residents at the town compost site, all you can shovel.  Now we want to offer our home town our high quality Raised Bed Kits delivered to your driveway for $280 Only for Manchester residents in June; Normally $395 to everyone else.
        We will deliver the 4 walls, screws, soil and assembly instructions to your driveway.  Soil is bought in from central MA, tested for heavy metals, nutrients, etc and is made for growing food or flowers.  Beds are 4 x 8ft and 22 inches tall for less bending, assemble in 10 minutes and the lumber is bought from the Building Center. The $280 is our cost to blend, build and deliver.  This is meant to be a giveback…

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