Calling All Young Inventors!

Join us this Sunday for a fun, STEM program at Hammond Castle Museum, the home of one of the nation’s greatest inventors of his time!

Check-in will begin at 12:30 and the program will begin at 1pm.
*This program is geared to children in late elementary school and early middle school grades.

Inventing has changed a lot over the last century since our founder, John Hays Hammond Jr. began his illustrious career, but many of the fundamentals remain the same. Hammond Castle Museum is delighted to partner with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in presenting a new event: Inventors Day.

The event is inspired by one of Hammond’s inventions: “Seleno,” the world’s first robotic dog, which was controlled by a beam of light. During this two hour-long STEM program, competitors will group into teams with the goal to construct their own light-controlled robot. Each team will be given a robot kit to assemble as well as additional components and electronics to modify and improve upon the core design. The teams will then compete in a series of scored challenges using their robots. Each member of the winning team will receive an award and special recognition across Hammond Castle Museum’s social media platforms as well as its website. Winners also may enjoy all the bragging rights they could want as they may consider themselves a member of the Museum’s exclusive list of inventors.

Reservations & Chaperone tickets are $10 each and available at: www.hammondcastle.org.

Author Talk with Simon Winchester: Tuesday, 9/20

Sawyer Free Library is pleased to host a virtual conversation with prolific British-American writer, journalist, and consummate adventurer SIMON WINCHESTER on Tuesday, September 20 at 2:00pm.

The NYT bestselling author will cover many aspects of his work across myriad fields of history, technology, and geology as well as the author’s personal expeditions, including his path to becoming the acclaimed author he is today of more than 30 titles, including The Professor and the MadmanPacificThe Perfectionists, and most recently, Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

Virtual Author Talk on Tuesday, September 20 at 2pm

About the Author: Beginning his writing career in journalism, Simon Winchester has found renowned success in the world of non-fiction and now works almost exclusively as an author.  Aside from his numerous books, Simon Winchester OBE has been published in The GuardianThe Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesNational Geographic, and Conde Nast Traveler among many others. Honored with several awards throughout  his career—Britain’s Journalist of the Year in 1971 among them—in 2006 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to journalism and literature. In addition, he received an Audie Award for Non-Fiction for The Perfectionists and was made an Honorary Fellow of St. Catherine’s College, Oxford in 2009.  

This is a virtual event, for link, register at sawyerfreelibrary.org. For questions, contact: moneill@sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5562.

Firebird Pops Orchestra returns to Hammond Castle Museum for a night of music from the silver screen this Friday evening!

Firebird Pops Orchestra returns to Hammond Castle Museum for a night of music from the silver screen this Friday evening!

A smaller, chamber orchestra division of FPO will perform creative existing and custom arrangements of iconic film scores on our seaside lawn. Conductor Brendan J. Kenney will lead the chamber orchestra through the sweeping, magical scores of films and tv series such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, The Avengers, Game of Thrones, The Wizard of Oz, and more!

General admission is $40. Tickets are available at www.hammondcastle.org.

As always, special event ticket holders are eligible for a 20% discount on self-guided tours prior to 3pm on the day of the ticketed event. Parking is free.

All proceeds from this program will support the restoration and preservation of the 13th century, French cloister archways which are located at the front of the museum.

Photo by CMO Photography Studios.

Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger and Multiply Your Impact – Author Talk with Liz Wiseman

Join the Sawyer Free Library on Thursday, August 25 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm for a virtual conversation with Liz Wiseman, New York Times Best Selling author, researcher, and executive adviser. Liz will talk about her latest book, Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger and Multiply Your Impact, and her other work. Register HERE for the link!

In Impact Players, Liz asks the question, why do some people break through and make an impact while others get stuck going through the motions? In every organization, impact players are indispensable colleagues who can be counted on in critical situations and consistently receive high-profile assignments and new opportunities. Managers know who these top players are, understand their worth, and want more of them on their team, whether on center stage or behind the scenes. 

Wiseman reveals the secrets of these stellar professionals who play the game at a higher level. Drawing on insights from leaders at top companies, Wiseman explains what the most influential players are doing differently, how small and seemingly insignificant differences in how we think and act can make an enormous impact, and why– with a little coaching–this mindset is available to everyone who wants to contribute at their highest level and do more meaningful work.  

Register HERE

About the author:  Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor who teaches leadership to executives worldwide. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Multipliers:  How the Best Leaders Make Everyone SmarterThe Multiplier Effect:  Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools, Wall Street Journal bestseller Rookie Smarts:  Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work, and Wall Street Journal bestseller Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact. She is the CEO of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. 

SAWYER FREE LIBRARY WILL MAKE THE MOVE TO MAIN STREET THIS FALL 

The Sawyer Free Library (SFL) is pleased to share that it has selected a temporary location for the Library during the upcoming renovation and expansion project. The construction project, which involves a renovation of the Library’s 1976 main building at 2 Dale Avenue and an addition of 15,000-square-feet, is expected to begin in early 2023 and take approximately eighteen months.

The Library’s Board of Trustees secured a multi-year lease for 21 Main Street in downtown Gloucester, the former space of Cape Ann Cinema and Stage. The SFL plans to move to its new temporary location this fall. 

“When 21 Main Street was proposed as an option for the temporary Sawyer Free Library, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Mern SibleyPresident of the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees. “Located downtown, just a few blocks from our current location, it has the space and the requirements our dedicated library staff need in order to continue serving our community’s diverse cultural, educational, and informational needs and interests.”

“The commercial real estate market is very tight in Gloucester with few available properties,” continued Sibley. “We feel fortunate to have secured a space that meets our specifications with only minor modifications needed. This temporary space presented itself at the right time, and it is one that we believe will serve the community best during this exciting and historic time for the Sawyer Free Library.”

In its new temporary home, the Sawyer Free Library will offer select in-person services, curbside services, outreach programming, and an enhanced level of online services. The approximately 3,600 sq. ft. at 21 Main Street will accommodate library services for both children and adults, as well as the Library’s local history research resources and Wellspring House’s client intake center. The space will have public computers, Wi-Fi access and study tables. The size of the space limits the quantity of materials onsite.  However, through the hold system, cardholders have access to thousands of titles and resources from storage in Saunders House and other NOBLE libraries.

The Library’s hours will remain the same, open six days a week, with the familiar faces of the Sawyer Free Library’s staff available to assist the public. The centrally located space on Main Street is handicap accessible and offers ample parking in the nearby city lot. 

SFL will continue to offer a robust schedule of programs for residents of all ages throughout the community and is looking at off-site locations in Gloucester’s public schools, preschools, community centers, municipal spaces, local cultural institutions, parks, and other outdoor spaces. It will also work with its many community partners to host collaborative programming.  In addition, the Library will continue to utilize and enhance its remote and online virtual programs.

“Community residents have come to expect a wide range of educational and informational services and programs from our library, and we intend on continuing to deliver on that promise,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict. “Our dedicated Sawyer Free Library staff is committed to making this temporary transition smooth for all. We are excited to share our expertise in new and creative ways. Our talented librarians, resources, and services that Gloucester looks to and relies on will continue to be there for them, whether it be in person in our temporary space, out in the community, or online. We are beyond excited for the 2025 Sawyer Free Library and all it will mean for our community.”

SFL will be working with a relocation service to facilitate the upcoming move of library collections, furnishings and equipment to the temporary location. The Saunders House will be used for library staff office space and onsite storage during the construction.  The exact dates and the specifics of the move will be forthcoming.

“In order for the 2025 Sawyer Free Library project to move forward on schedule, it’s imperative that the current Library is available to the construction company as soon as the project and financial approvals are in place,” said Sibley. “There is also an urgency to relocate before the winter in order to move the public and our collections and equipment into a safe space where they are no longer at risk due to the deteriorating conditions of the current building.”

When doors open at the 2025 Sawyer Free Library, the building will exemplify what a 21st-century public library can and should be in terms of architecture, sustainability, accessibility, use of natural resources and light, wayfinding, lines of sight, air quality, and public safety. The modernized and expanded Library will double in size with the addition. It will boast new community spaces, including a 110-seat community room with state-of-the-art science presentation technology, a dedicated room for teens, and a digital maker space with a film production suite and a sound recording studio. Additional features will include a Library History Center, a quiet Reading Room, and a 16-seat Conference Room.

The Sawyer Free Library recently announced the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners approval of the funding for a $9 million provisional construction grant toward the estimated $28 million historic project. In October, the Gloucester City Council is expected to vote on the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library’s request for a city loan to provide the financing for the project and allow the City to access the state grant. Gloucester’s public library is owned by the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, a nonprofit corporation, which will repay the loan through grants, corporate and individual donations. 

The Sawyer Free 2025 fundraising campaign is underway, with several large corporate gifts committed, the campaign continues to gain traction and is attracting donations both big and small. Sawyer Free 2025 continues to seek funding through individual and corporate donors, federal, state, and municipal government grants, and nonprofit foundations. The public is encouraged to learn more about the project by visiting sawyerfree2025.org.

 Artist rendering of the view from the northwest corner on Dale Avenue of the Sawyer Free 2025. Rendering by Oudens Ello Architecture provided by Sawyer Free Library 



Gloucester Education Foundation Summer Campaign

The GEF 2022 Summer Campaign is underway!

Our goal is to raise $60,000 this summer. With your support, GEF will catalyze new programs, sustain successful projects, and support students and teachers with creative ideas to make Gloucester Public Schools better and brighter!

Make a donation today!

Wondering what we’ve been up over the last school year?

Our FY22 Impact Report is out now!

Gloucester Students had a busy year! Check out highlights from live theater, elementary and middle school band, O’Maley Academy, GHS STEM and Vocational Programs… and so much more!

In case you missed it:

A Gloucester Public School and GEF-funded program was in the news!

On June 27, WGBH featured a story on climate change and how it is taught in Massachusetts public schools. Gloucester High’s AP Environmental Science class was prominently featured, including an interview with GHS teacher Amanda Pastel and students Cammi Cooper and Eliana Faria. GEF was proud to fund new labs for this class in 2022!

None of this would be possible without the generosity of our donors and their unwavering commitment to Gloucester students!

Shipwrecks of New England

Join maritime researcher, Jon Johansen for an evening discussion on “Shipwrecks of New England” at the Sawyer Free Library on Tuesday, July 14 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

The only easy mode of transportation back in the 1800’s and up until the advent of the automobile and truck was sailing and steam vessels that plied the coast and oceans of the world. Traveling at that time could be dangerous as many of these vessels came to grief along the shores of New England, New York and the Canadian Maritimes. This lecture will cover some of the major disasters starting with the loss of SPARROWHAWK at Orleans, MA in 1626 right up to the loss of the submarine U.S.S. THRESHER off Cape Cod in 1963. Some of the others include: ROYAL TAR (1836), LEXINGTON (1840), ARCTIC (1854), ATLANTIC (1873), CITY OF COLUMBUS (1884), PORTLAND (1898), GENERAL SLOCUM (1904), LARCHMONT (1907), EMPRESS OF IRELAND (1914), and MONT BLANC (1917).

Johansen is the publisher of Maine Coastal News, a monthly publication dedicated to covering the waterfront of the state of Maine. He has a lifelong interest in shipwrecks and maritime history.

The event is free and open to the public. The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue, Gloucester. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.

Sparrowhawk‘s sister-ship, Surprise

Why Libraries Matter: an evening with best selling author Eric Klinenberg on Thursday, July 14

Sawyer Free Library is hosting an evening with Eric Klinenberg, Carnegie Medal-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Palaces for the People, on Thursday, July 14 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Klinenberg’s work tells us about how physical places bind us and libraries — where everyone is welcome — can heal divisions and inequalities in our society.

Library Board Trustee and former City Councilor Jenn Holmgren will make opening remarks about Sawyer Free 2025. The author talk and a dialogue with the audience will be followed by a dessert reception in the Library’s outdoor amphitheater. 

This event is free and open to the public.

The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. For more information visit, SawyerFreeLibrary.org or 978-325-5500.

Eric Klinenberg, is the author of the award-winning book, “Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life.”



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