Sawyer Free Library presents Self Care in Uncertain Times: Hiking Cape Ann on 3/8 at 7pm

Join the Sawyer Free Library on Monday, March 8 from 7-8pm when Taylor Ann Bradford, local reporter, certified backpacking guide and author of the weekly column: Woods to Writing Desk, will share her favorite hiking trails throughout Cape Ann, give tips on best practices and share some of her favorite tales from the trails.  Registration is required for this fun and engaging live Zoom program, space is limited. Register here.

For more information on the many programs offered by the Library, free to the community, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Sawyer Free Library Program “What She’s Reading” Shares Women Leaders of Gloucester’s Must Read Books for Women’s History Month

In celebration Women’s History Month, the Sawyer Free Library asked several of Gloucester’s cultural, civic, and community women leaders to share books that they love or have inspired them, written by fellow women. The results are a mix of close to 100 titles, including classics, new discoveries, and more. To see the full list of What She’s Reading at SawyerFreeLibrary.org. Recommended books are available at Sawyer Free Library or are easily ordered from libraries in their consortium.  

Illustration by Jane Mount


Mark your calendar, the Sawyer Free Library is hosting a virtual screening of the documentary “Left on Pearl” presented by The 888 Women’s History Project on Saturday, March 20 from 2-4pm. This special viewing will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Susan Rivo and Iftach Shavit. “Left on Pearl,” tells the inspiring story of the highly significant but little-known event of the 10-day occupation of the Harvard-owned 888 Memorial Drive by grassroots feminist organizers during a 1971 International Women’s Day protest. With contemporary interviews, archival photos, and TV news footage, this lively documentary follows the movement as women vocalized the necessity of equal pay and access to child care, birth control, and many of the hopes, triumphs, conflicts, and tensions of Second Wave feminism.  Registration through Library website for this event is required. 

For more information about these programs and other Women History Month activities at the Sawyer Free Library visit: SawyerFreeLibrary.org

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 https://sawyerfreelibrary.org

Sawyer Free Library will be closed on Tuesday, March 2 for the day

The Sawyer Free Library will be closed on Tuesday, March 2nd for a professional development day. 

Both in-person and curbside services will be unavailable until the following day, Wednesday, March 3rd at 10am. 

We are excited to use the knowledge and skills we develop to further improve our services at the Library!

If you expect to need computer services on this day, consider borrowing one of our Chromebooks and wireless hotspots or reach out to us for information about other services in the community. 

Don’t forget that our databases, eBooks, and other online resources can be accessed 24/7 at www.sawyerfreelibrary.org

Antarctica: Lessons from the Bottom of the World presented by the Sawyer Free Library on Saturday, 2/20 at 2pm

Join environmental attorney, diver and photographer Michael Carvalho, for a Live Zoom presentation about his arctic exhibition to Antarctica in 2018, “Antarctica: Lessons From the Bottom of the World,” on Saturday, February 20 from 2 to 4:00 p.m. Registration is required in order to receive the Zoom link. Register here. 

Illustrated by his breathtaking photography he will discuss the developments in Antarctica, the rising sea levels and its impact locally. According to experts, temperatures in the Antarctic region are rising due to “heat-trapping gas pollution,” which has serious global consequences. Gloucester, like all coastal regions, is vulnerable to increasingly extreme weather.

Since obtaining his open water scuba certification in 1978 in Rockport, Carvalho has completed more than 2,500 dives on six continents.

Carvalho is the former chairman of the board of directors for the National Council for Science and the Environment. In 2019, he represented the United Nations Environment Program for North America as a delegate at the UNEA-4 Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. He is currently a member of the board of directors for Salem Sound Coastwatch and a trustee with the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust.

This free virtual lecture presented by the Sawyer Free Library to foster civic engagement and discussion on issues facing the community. For more information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org.

School Vacation Week Fun with the Sawyer Free Library: Winter Hibernation presented by Hands on Nature

How do your favorite animals spend the winter? On Thursday, February 18 at 10:00 a.m., children and families will have fun finding out during an interactive virtual program presented by Hands on Nature. Learn all about hibernation, how animals look for shelter and the amazing adaptations they have for surviving through the harshest temperatures in New England.

This is a virtual event hosted by the Sawyer Free Library. Please register online for the Zoom link which will be sent by Children’s Services. Click here to register. Space is limited.

After the program, families can continue the fun by making a cozy hibernation den for a favorite small stuff animal using materials from around the home including a small paper bag, glue, scissors, crayons and cotton balls or dried leaves. 

A View from a Different Lens: Sawyer Free Library to host a presentation on Race Amity on Thursday, Feb 25 at 7pm

Race Amity: advancing the discourse on race through friendship.

On Thursday, February 25 from 7:00-8:30pm, the Sawyer Free Library will be hosting a Zoom presentation of WGBH’s powerful documentary series “American Stories: Race Amity and The Other Tradition.”  This presentation will include a brief introduction to the film by Dr. William H. Smith (creator, executive producer, and writer of the series), a reading from the book “Race Amity: A Primer on America’s Other Tradition,” a viewing of the film “Race Amity: America’s Other Tradition,” a commentary by Dr. Smith, and a Q&A Session. Register here!

By sharing healing, inspirational stories of the power of race amity, the documentary explores the moral counterweights to the tradition of racism in America and how we can move together towards unity and love. Created by WHS Media Productions LLC, the film discusses the “better in us” perspective needed in the current climate of disunity across racial, religious, and political lines.

“This grand Race Amity Project is a timely work that speaks to our hearts and souls! I am blessed to fully support it.” – Rev. Dr. Cornel West, Professor Harvard Divinity School, Social Commentator   

This virtual event is FREE and open to the public. Advanced registration is required to access the Zoom link. Please register on the Library Calendar at sawyerfreelibrary.org.  

Dr. William H. Smith is the founding executive director of the National Center for Race Amity. He is the creator, executive producer, and writer of the series, “American Stories: Race Amity and The Other Tradition” and the producer and co-writer of the award winning Invisible Soldiers: Unheard Voices.  

Sawyer Free Library’s Winter Wellness Series: GRETA WILLIAMS to discuss Natural Health and Acupressure on 2/11 at 7pm

The Sawyer Free Library is presenting an engaging and informative virtual educational series to help patrons learn ways to support their health and wellness this winter-and all year long.

Thursday, February 11 at 7 pm: Learn about the benefits of Natural Health and Acupressure with GRETA WILLIAMS, Licensed Acupuncuturist. Register for vitural event at SawyerFreeLibrary.org.

Be sure to also mark your calendars for these upcoming classes in the Winter Wellness series:

Monday, February 22 at 7 pm: Gentle Yoga, Stretch and Meditation with Janet Green Garrison, Certified Yoga Instructor (M.Ed., R.Y.T., CADAC)

Monday, March 8 at 7 pm: Learn about Hiking Cape Ann with Taylor Ann Bradford

For all programs, register on the Library Calendar at SawyerFreeLibrary.org. The Zoom link will be emailed to you.

Winter Wellness Series hosted by the Sawyer Free Library: Self Care in Uncertain Times

The Sawyer Free Library is presenting an engaging and informative virtual educational series to help patrons learn ways to support their health and wellness this winter-and all year long.

The program featuring some of Cape Ann’s best certified natural health care practitioners, offers the community an opportunity to connect virtually while discovering the benefits of yoga, meditation, acupressure, natural heath and energizing local hikes. 

Thursday, February 11 at 7 pm: Learn about the benefits of Natural Health and Acupressure with GRETA WILLIAMS, Licensed Acupuncuturist. Register for vitural event at SawyerFreeLibrary.org.

Be sure to also mark your calendars for these upcoming classes in the Winter Wellness series:

Monday, February 22 at 7 pm: Gentle Yoga, Stretch and Meditation with Janet Green Garrison, Certified Yoga Instructor (M.Ed., R.Y.T., CADAC)

Monday, March 8 at 7 pm: Learn about Hiking Cape Ann with Taylor Ann Bradford

For all programs, register on the Library Calendar at SawyerFreeLibrary.org. The Zoom link will be emailed to you.