Sawyer Free Library Announces New Staff to their Team

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library (SLF) is pleased to announce the appointment of four new additions to its staff. Julie Travers has recently joined SFL as a new Community Librarian. Katelyn Rivela is the new Library Assistant in the Children’s Room, and Leah Svensson is the new Library Assistant at the 1st Floor Service Desk. Annemarie Sanfilippo was recently appointed to the position of Administrative Assistant. Also, Joann Dunajski was promoted to a newly created position, Library Public Technology Assistant.

“I am beyond pleased to welcome such an exceptional and experienced group of professionals to our dedicated and talented staff at the Sawyer Free Library,” stated Jenny Benedict, the Library Director. “Their innovative thinking, commitment to the community, and boundless enthusiasm will only help us better support our patrons of all ages, diverse and growing needs and connect them with ideas, information, the world of imagination, and each other.”

The recent vacancies at SFL arose due to three long-serving staff retiring, one taking a promotion at another library and one deciding to stay home with her infants.

New SFL Staff (Left to Right) Leah Svensson, Julie Travers, Joann Dunajski, Katelyn Rivela, and Annemarie Sanfilippo

Julie Travers brings her extensive library experience in adult fiction collection management and programming for diverse populations to her new position as Community Librarian. “As a lifelong lover of libraries, I’m so excited to contribute to the already vibrant library culture that exists here in Gloucester,” said Travers.” I look forward to bringing individuals across the community together for literacy and learning and developing the Library’s fiction collection.” She comes to Gloucester from the Swampscott Public Library, where she was the Head of Circulation. In addition, Julie coordinated innovative library programming in response to community needs, including the popular Librarians by the Sea Podcast and the Swampscott: Life in Quarantine project. Julie will be the Library’s community contact for newcomers and English language learners and work in partnership with Wellspring, Action Inc., Gloucester Housing, and Gloucester Public Schools

Children’s Room Library Assistant, Katelyn Rivela, comes to SFL from the Bigelow Free Library in Clinton, Massachusetts where she was an assistant children’s librarian. Before that, she worked as a substitute teacher in the Hudson Public Schools. She has worked with children of all ages and is passionate about fostering literacy through programming and readers’ advisory. She said, “My favorite part about the Sawyer Free Library is the sense of community felt between the staff and all the patrons. I hope to continue to make the Library feel like a fun and safe space that allows our wonderful patrons of all ages to keep exploring their passions, curiosities, and imaginations!”

A recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Leah Svensson, the Sawyer Free’s new Library Assistant, has extensive experience and education in writing, editing, public relations, content marketing, social media, and literary analysis. Having grown up in Gloucester, Leah says, “I’m thrilled to become part of the Sawyer Free Library, a place that was a big part of my childhood, and have the opportunity to share my passion for literature while contributing to the supportive and enthusiastic atmosphere that the Library emanates.”

Annemarie Sanfilippo has recently stepped into the Library’s Administrative Assistant‘s vital role, where her support of the Library Director and Assistant Director is indispensable. A Gloucester native, she is thrilled to be back working in her hometown. Annemarie previously was an office manager for 14 years at Endicott College. “The opportunity to work at the Sawyer Free Library feels like somewhat of a homecoming for me,” Annemarie shared. “I am so pleased to be working with such joyful, engaged colleagues and helping to build on the Library’s outstanding service to my own community.”

Already a familiar and welcoming presence at SFL, Joann Dunajski has been promoted to Library Public Technology Assistant. Joann has extensive experience in teaching technology and a passion for serving the public. Her patience, encouragement, and humor have been proven to be a winning combination, supporting even the Library’s most reluctant learners. Besides providing one-on-one instruction for consumer and library applications, Joann will deliver basic technology instruction online. She will also configure and maintain the Library’s Digital Devices To Go collection. “I’m incredibly enthusiastic about this new position. I have always had a passion for technology, and I look forward to assisting our patrons in using public computers and routine use of various applications on the computers,” said Joann. “I also help maintain and promote the Library’s ever-growing digital device collection, including Chromebooks, Hotspots, eReaders, App Sampler Tablets, and PressReaders.” 

Just as a reminder, the Sawyer Free Library is open for select onsite services, six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, except for Thursday, when it is open from 12 to 7 pm. Visitors are requested to keep their visits to 30 minutes or less, and all visitors will be required to wear masks, practice physical distancing and all public spaces have limited capacities. The Library’s online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at