News From The Friends Book Shop…

The Friends of the Sawyer Free Library want to thank all our wonderful “friends” who donated, sorted or purchased books over these past 10 years since we opened for business. The Friends Book Shop will be  closing temporarily for the renovation and expansion of the Sawyer Free Library, which is tentatively slated to begin in early 2023 and reopen again in 2025.

Please note, that as now, book donations will no longer be accepted.

Here are a few key dates to keep in mind:        

July     1-31            Bonanza book sale will be held – 50 % off all books!!!

Mid -August           Book Shop will cease operations until the SFL reconstruction is completed in 2025.

Please stop by the Book Shop to stock up on your summer reading while we still have an abundant supply of  “gently used books”.  We appreciate your many years of support and look forward to seeing you in our new library location in 2025.  

If you have questions, please email us at  friendsofsawyer@gmail.com.

Rendering of 2025 Sawyer Free Library courtesy of Sawyer Library Foundation

Sawyer Free Library Celebrates Summer with a Slate of Cool Offerings for All Ages  

Library kicks off summer reading fun with a family friendly concert on June 28 at 11AM

The Sawyer Free Library (SFL) will officially be the hottest place to be this summer! 

The Sawyer Free Library is excited to announce the launch of its annual “Summer at the Library,” offering free programs for all ages to entertain, spark, and encourage a lifelong love of reading and learning. From innovative reading challenges to ukulele lessons and shark week adventures to book discussions, author talks, and much more, there’s something for everyone.  The summer fun kicks off on Tuesday, June 28 at 11:00 am with a family-friendly concert featuring Elijah T. Grasshopper’s Rainbow Dance Party in the Library’s outside amphitheater.

Family Concert at Library on Tuesday, June 28 at 11AM

The theme for this year’s annual summer reading challenge, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path,” encourages readers of all ages to explore new worlds and experiences in books that expand their imaginations. The Library’s innovative incentives and activities encourage kids and teens to stay active and read for fun and help them avoid the black hole that is the summer slide, when critical skills learned during the school year are lost over the summer. 

“Learning for kids and teens goes on all year round at Sawyer Free Library, and we know how important free ways to keep learning through the summer are for families,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict. “Summer is the perfect time for all ages to read, create, engage and have fun discovering new interests and exploring new topics. We hope all children and families make the Sawyer Free Library a regular stop this summer.”

To get started, young people and their families can pick up their “Welcome to Summer Reading Packets” Summer Reading and Activity Log at the Library, which has program information, the event calendar, activities, and fun summer treats. Children can stay on top of their summer reading with their “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” time-tracking reading logs. Then from June 28 to August 6, after reading for 500 minutes (or are read to), they win prizes, including tickets to the Topsfield Fair. People can register in person or online for the program.  

Highlights of Summer at the Library programming for children include (with all details sawyerfreelibrary.org):

  • Learn to play campfire songs on the Ukulele with Julie Stepanek on July 5 and enjoy musical story time with Ruthanne Paulson on Friday, July 22, and August 19. 
  • Move your body with Creative Movement in the Library’s Amphitheater on July 7 and be wowed by Jungle Jim’s Camp balloon magic on Wednesday, August 3. 
  • Children can get an up-close look at exotic and native animals on zoom presented by Wildlife Encounters Ecology Center on Tuesday, July 12, and then learn about the snakes of the world with Rick Roth on Saturday, July 23.
  • Kids can get their hands dirty on select Thursday mornings with Backyard Growers while learning about gardening and planting in the Children’s Library garden. 

And all are invited to a midsummer celebratory outside concert featuring the two bands, “Ants on a Log” and “Bee Parks and the Hornets,” in collaboration with Rockport and Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Libraries, on Saturday, July 30.  

SFL has big plans for middle school kids and teens this summer too. Students entering grades 6-12 are encouraged to track their Summer Reading on the custom form available on the Library’s website to qualify for weekly prize drawings and the grand prize drawing of two whale watch tickets, courtesy of Cape Ann Whale Watch. There is also a full summer schedule of weekly programs, including Stem-tastic Thursdays, Science Saturdays, Tween Nights, Gaming Club, Summer Reading Help, and much more. 

Due to last year’s success, SFL is once again giving adults the chance to get in on the summer fun with Adult Book Bingo 2022. From now until September 1, 2022, those 18 and older can keep track of the books they read on the Library’s downloadable custom bingo card by writing the title and author in the matching square. Each completed horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line enters you into a raffle to win $25, $50, or $75 Cape Ann Gift Certificates. In addition to the programs the Library always offers adults—technology training, job search help, author talks, etc.—there will also be summer-themed special programs available.

Thanks to the generous support of the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and the Gloucester Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Mass Cultural Council, program participation is free. Registration is now open for all children, teens, and adult programs.

Sawyer Free Library’s summer operating hours beginning on June 18, will be Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 8am to 6pm, Thursday 10am to 7pm, Friday 10am to 5:00pm and Saturday 10:00am to 1pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

For more information about the “Summer at the Sawyer Free Library” and to register for programs, visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5500.

Sawyer Free Library and Gloucester Stage to host Edith Wharton: Between the Sheets (and the Pages)

A special evening celebrating author Edith Wharton and the complicated splendor of the 20th Century Gilded Age on Thursday, June 30th

The Sawyer Free Library, in collaboration with the Gloucester Stage Company, is hosting a special event, Edith Wharton: Between the Sheets (and the Pages), on Thursday, June 30 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Library located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. 

The evening will explore some lesser-known aspects of the life of celebrated novelist Edith Wharton’s (House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome), including her passionate affair with Morton Fullerton in Paris.  

Massachusetts Playwright Anne Undeland will discuss the correspondence between Wharton and Fullerton that inspired her award-nominated play, MR. FULLERTON, BETWEEN THE SHEETS, a turn-of-the-century tale of unbridled passion set to be staged by the Gloucester Stage Company. Professor M.M. Dawley of Boston University will speak about Wharton’s work and how, under the surface, the Gilded Age, and Wharton herself, were not that innocent. Actors from Gloucester Stage will then present a scene from the production which will open on July 1 and run through July 24.

Light refreshments will be offered in the Library’s amphitheater to conclude the event. The special evening is free and open to the public.  For more information, visit Sawyer Free Library.org and for information on the play, visit gloucesterstage.com.

Thursday, June 30th at the Sawyer Free Library

Talking About Death Won’t Kill You – A Discussion About End-of-Life Options 

The Sawyer Free Library will host an important presentation about end of life options on Saturday, June 18, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. A nurse and a subject matter expert will explore the end-of-life choices, and ramifications, available to individuals.  The pending legislation in Massachusetts about Medical Aid in Dying will be explained and a status report on the bill will be given.  The nonprofit organization, Compassion and Choices, will discuss their work on behalf of all wishing to chart their end-of-life path.  An extensive list of resources, will be provided.

The event will take place on the Main Floor of the Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. It is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5555 or contact: compassionandchoices.org or 978-325-5500.

2022 Poetry Without Paper Award Ceremony Celebrating 20 years of Creativity

The Sawyer Free Library hosted the 2022 Poetry Without Paper Contest winners Thursday evening, June 9th.

Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso, PWP Winners Olivia Hogan Lopez, Kathleen Rowe Joyce, Jack Frishsen, Emma Wilt, Esme Sarrouf, Riley Cavanaugh, Aleena Brown and PWP Judge John Ronan

The award-winning students read their poetry to a standing-room-only crowd filled with friends and family and then recognized for their achievements. John Ronan, former Poet Laureate of Gloucester, and Christy Rosso, the Sawyer Free’s Children’s Librarian, presented the awards. Ronan, who serves as one of the contest judges and co-conceived the contest 20 years ago, stated, “I believe that there are probably future Nobel Poet Laureates among tonight’s winners. The caliber of creativity and writing this year was outstanding. We should be proud of all the students that participated.”

The Sawyer Free Library’s Poetry without Paper Contest has celebrated thousands of local students’ outstanding writing for the past 20 years while engaging the community’s youth in the art form and encouraging them to use poetry as a creative expression.  

Winners were chosen from each age group: high school, middle school, and elementary school. First-place winners in all categories received $150 Cape Ann gift certificates, second-place winners a $100 gift certificates, and third-place winners a $50 gift certificate with Honorable Mention awarded a poetry book. All winning poets receive a certificate and an invitation to appear on 1623 Studio’s production, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan.

The 2022 Winning Poets:

High School:      

First Place: “Tears of the Chrysanthemum” by Olivia Hogan-Lopez, GHS, 12th Grade

Middle School:    

First Place:   “Ascending like Icarus” by Emma Wilt, O’Maley, 8th Grade

Second Place:  “The Wrong Picture” by Esme Sarrouf, Homeschool, 8th Grad

Third Place:  “Cracked, but Never Broken” by Aleena Brown, O’Maley, 7th Grad

Honorable Mentions:  “The Owl” by Riley Cavanaugh, O’Maley, 7th Grade

“Where I’m From”, Emily Rattray, O’Maley, 7th Grade

Elementary School     

First Place:  “Magical Books”, Kathleen Rowe-Joyce, West Parish, 3rd Grade

Second Place: “Fifth Grade”, Gabriella McKearney, Plum Cove, 5th Grade

Third Place:  “Friends” by Elizabeth Olson, Beeman, 5th Grade

Honorable Mentions: “Lost” by Bianca Numerosi, Plum Cove, 4th Grade

“Gravity” by Jack Frithsen, West Parish, 2nd Grade

Celebrate Black Music: A Soul Conversation at the Sawyer Free Library with Schuyler Traughber

On Thursday, June 16 from 5:30 – 7:00pm, the Sawyer Free Library is hosting a presentation by local author and long-time music industry insider Schuyler Traughber on Soul Music’s history in pop culture focusing on a “Study of the Soul Music Environment” by Harvard Business School for CBS/Columbia Records in 1972. “The Harvard Report” has contributed to a powerful era, musically, while controversially contributing to the demise of Stax Records in the mid-1970s and Motown being sold to Boston Ventures/MCA Records in the 1980s, enriching corporate America’s distribution-control of Black Music.

 Schuyler Traughber has worked as a road musician, arranger, producer and label executive for We Produce/Stax Records, CBS Records, Motown Records as well as U.S. Business Rep for King Records/MCA, Tokyo. After fifteen years as a Music Business/Management faculty member at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Sky currently resides in Gloucester and is co-author of an upcoming book: “POWER 101, The Harvard Report, Soul Music, & The American Dream.”

The event will take place on the Main Floor of the Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. It is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5555. 

Sawyer Free Library to host Nick Sullivan, author of  “The Blue Revolution” on Wednesday, June 15 at 6 pm

The Sawyer Free Library will be presenting an engaging and informative evening with Nick Sullivan -the author of The Blue Revolution on Wednesday, June 15, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

The New Bedford author will discuss his research and ideas on the “Blue Revolution, the rapid development of aquaculture in recent years. He will offer a new way of thinking about fish, food, and oceans by profiling the people and policies, transforming a challenged seafood industry into one that is fueled by fishermen, locavores, and local seafood supply chains interested in sustainable, traceable, quality seafood. He will share how the practices of 30 years ago that perpetuated an overfishing crisis are rapidly changing and the global challenges to preserving healthy oceans.

Sullivan is a writer and editor who examines the impact of business and technology on international development. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Maritime Studies Program and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Emerging Market Enterprises, both in the Fletcher School at Tufts University. The Blue Revolution is his fourth book.

The event will take place on the Main Floor of the Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. It is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5555.  

Gloucester Marine Railways with Viking Gustafson

On Thursday, June 9 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., learn more about Gloucester Marine Railways at the Sawyer Free Library.

Marine Railways Director Viking Gustafson will give a presentation on the marine railways in Gloucester in the Library’s Friends Room this Thursday evening.  She will then offer a tour of the railways on site in Rockport on Saturday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m.  

Both the presentation and the tour are free and open to the public. The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue. For more information visit, SawyerFreeLibrary.com or 978-325-5500.