Calling All Teens !! There is still time to be a part of SFL’s TEEN SUMMER READING PROGRAM

The summer may be winding down BUT it is not too late for local teens and tweens to participate in the Sawyer Free Librarys TEEN SUMMER READING PROGRAM!

Just read ANY type of book, magazine, graphic novel, or audiobook – they all count! Then just complete and submit a form on the Library website https://sawyerfreelibrary.org/teen-services/  to be entered into a weekly prize drawing. 5 local gift cards are drawn weekly on Fridays. At the August 30, 2020 conclusion, all entries will be eligible to win the grand prize a Hydroflask! There will be 3 Grand Prize winners!

The more you read and participate, the better your odd not to mention the more fun you will have!

Fun things happening this July for kids of all ages at the Sawyer Free Library (virtually of course) 🎈🚀🎼🐍☀️ 📖

Don’t miss out on the fun this summer at the Sawyer Free Library!

Remember to register the kids for Jungle Jim Wild About Balloons Magic Show! 🎈✨ Starting July 6th, he will be entertaining us all week! The Library will send you the show link & you can watch it when you choose! He is super entertaining 🤹‍♂️ for any kind of weather!

The fun continues all month with these special events:

  • 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 (registration required)

Thanks to the generous support of The Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, program participation is free and open to all!

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: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5501.

Sawyer Free Library Announces New Library Director

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library‘s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Library Director. Following an extensive national search, Janet (Jenny) Benedict, MLIS, MA, BJ, will succeed Deborah Kelsey, who is retiring. Ms. Benedict will officially join the Library on Monday, July 6.

Ms. Benedict comes to Sawyer Free Library with diverse work experiences over nearly 25 years, including most recently nine years as the Library Director and CEO of the West Vancouver Memorial Library in British Columbia, where she left a legacy of innovation and cultural excellence. 

“I am honored to be joining the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library at this time in its history. This is an exceptional opportunity to lead an organization that is so vitally important to the community it serves. It’s a privilege to build on an established foundation of excellence and plan for the library’s vibrant future, “ said Ms. Benedict on her appointment. “I am eager to engage with the library Trustees, staff, patrons and volunteers, as well as city leaders and residents, to learn about the community and to make Gloucester my new home.”

“The Board of Trustees is delighted to welcome Ms. Benedict to the Sawyer Free Library as the new Director,” said Mern Sibley, the Library Board’s President. “Her experience, leadership, enthusiasm, and impressive record of success will bring new energy and vision to this important role. “We are confident that the staff and community will feed off her passion and embrace Jenny as she guides the Library into the future and helps us realize our plan of a 21st-century library for Gloucester.

“As mayor of Gloucester, I am looking forward to working with the new Library Director, Jenny Benedict. I met with Jenny briefly, and I am pleased with the Library Board’s selection of her for this position. I am happy to know that she has an understanding of our community and its heritage and culture, and I think that she will be a great addition to what is already a strong library,” stated Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. 

As Director at West Vancouver Memorial Library, Ms. Benedict transformed public services and oversaw multiple capital projects to extend the historic facility’s lifespan and address existing and new space needs. Achievements included the introduction of innovative programming, the expansion of local community partnerships, and the launch of The Lab, an innovative digital learning space designed for active participation and social interaction. During her tenure, she also successfully increased financials awards to the Library with over $6 million in capital funding to sustain the historic facility. In 2019, she was recognized for her outstanding leadership in library advocacy, innovation, and contribution to the library community and awarded the Association of British Columbia Public Library Directors Award of Excellence.

Benedict’s previous positions included Interim Director and Deputy Chief Librarian of the Hartford Public Library in Connecticut. She led and directed the development, implementation, promotion, and assessment of adult and youth public services, collections, and programs for Hartford’s Main Library, nine branches, and a bookmobile, attracting over 800,000 in-person visits a year. Additionally, Benedict served as a Librarian at the Bel Air Branch of the Harford County Public Library system in Maryland.

Benedict holds a Masters of Library and Information Science and a Graduate Academic Certificate in Advanced Management in Libraries and Information Agencies from University of North Texas. She earned a Master in English at the University of Houston and a B.J. in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. 

An opportunity for members the community to meet Ms. Benedict will be announced. Watch the library website, sawyerfreelibrary.org, for details on the virtual event. 

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: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5501.

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 http://www.sawyerfreelibrary.org 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 info@sawyerfreelibrary.org, 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 sawyerfreelibrary.org.

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 sawyerfreelibrary.org on SFL’s Event Calendar

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

The Sawyer Free Library welcomes new Board President and Trustees

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library (SFL) is pleased to announce that Marion (“Mern“) Sibley has been elected President of the Library Board of Directors. She succeeds John T. Brennan, who has been Board President for the past three years and will be leaving to become the President of the Sawyer Library Foundation. Mern Sibley joined the Sawyer Free Library Board of Trustees in 2017 and recently served as its Vice President. She formed and Chaired the Saunders House Stewardship Committee (SHSC), which is committed to ensuring that the venerable Saunders House, built in 1764, is restored, preserved, and fully accessible to the public to enjoy as an essential part of the Library. Sibley said, “I am excited to get started in my new role. I am fortunate to have much good groundwork laid by the collaboration between John Brennan, our hardworking past President, and our energetic, imaginative Library Board. These will be challenging and critical years for the Sawyer Free Library and our city.” She added, “Our Library is a key partner in sustaining the educational, economic and civic health of our community in a time of dramatic change and uncertainty. In Gloucester, we have something great in the Sawyer Free Library, and our Board and our Library staff want to make it even better.”

After being away for twenty-eight years, Ms. Sibley, a Gloucester native, proved you can go home again and returned to her old East Gloucester neighborhood in 2002. She credits her early experiences growing up in this fishing town for giving her a love of nature and its complexities, leading Sibley to embark on a career in biology. After a long career in research and process development at New England Biolabs in Ipswich, MA, she retired in the fall of 2016. Finding herself with more time to get involved in her community, Ms. Sibley was drawn to the work ongoing to maintain and improve the Sawyer Free Library. “For me, the Library has always been a place to study, to find resources, to meet people, and sometimes, to just sit and daydream. It is a haven for people of all ages and from all walks of life – providing free programs and resources that improve lives across our great city and beyond,” said Sibley.  “And I believe, now more than ever, with schools closed, programs cancelled and everything seemingly on hold, SFL and its committed librarians continue to demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness, and the essential role the library plays to so many during this time of unprecedented community need.”

Joining Sibley as a part of the leadership team of Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library Board of Trustees will be the newly elected Vice President Fran AliberteAnne-Marie Anderson will serve as Secretary, with Joe Grella remaining as the Treasurer, and Budget, Finance, and Investment Chair.  Also, Melanie Murray-Brown and Neil Glickstein were elected as the newest members of the Library’s Board of Trustees. 

Melanie Murray-Brown, who has been a volunteer on the Library’s Corporate Communications Committee for many years, is the Director of Development of Backyard Growers. The longtime Gloucester resident brings to the Board over 20 years of experience working with mission-driven nonprofit, community, and government organizations.

Neil Glickstein is a retired science teacher who moved to Gloucester in 1979, where he and his wife, who is also an educator, raised their two sons. Upon moving to Cape Ann, he first directed an aquaculture training program in Gloucester Harbor. He then began his long and fulfilling teaching career at several secondary schools, colleges, and schooner training programs, including Governor’s Academy, Waring School, Endicott College, and, most recently, GMGI’s Gloucester Biotechnology Academy.

SFL board members have a variety of experience and backgrounds, including finance, business management, research, writing, legal, and marketing. SFL board members volunteer their time and talents and have three-year staggered terms.

GLOUCESTER’S HOUSING: FROM CRISIS TO OPPORTUNITY – a community symposium November 16th from 2–5:00 p.m. in the historic 1806 Meetinghouse

The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation hosts this civic event to explore the topic of housing, its relevance to the City of Gloucester and Cape Ann, and the challenges and opportunities it presents for the future. Through a program of speakers, panels, and audience interaction, presenters will address the question of how Gloucester’s lack of reasonably-priced housing is holding the city back. Discussions will explore how creative, green, and maritime economies might offer solutions.

PROGRAM

SEGMENT I  2:00 – 2:50

GREETING: Charles Nazarian, President, Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation

OVERVIEW: Sandy Ronan, VP/Events, Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation

PANEL DISCUSSION, Sandy Ronan-Moderator:

Subject: “How is the lack of housing holding Gloucester back?”

Shawn Henry -Gloucester Planning Board

Robert J.Gillis, Jr. – President, Cape Ann Savings Bank

Ken Riehl – CEO, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

David Houlden – Gloucester Housing Authority

SPEAKER:

Peggy Hegarty-Steck – President and Executive Director, Action, Inc.

Subject: Cameron’s project – zoning/funding challenges

BREAK: 10 minutes

SEGMENT II  3:00 – 3:50

RESIDENT STORIES, Kathleen Williams-Moderator:

Clare Higgins – SeARTS

RuthPino – Realtor

David Calvo –Woodcarver/sculptor

Angela Sanfilippo– Executive Director, Gloucester Fisherman’s Wives Association

Rob Newton -Cape Ann Community Cinema Stage

Katie O’Leary – Wellspring, Homeless Prevention Case Manager 

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION:

Andrew DeFranza -Harborlight Community Partners

BREAK: 10 minutes

SEGMENT III  4:00-5:00

SPEAKERS:

Carl Gustin -Economic Development and Industrial Corporation

Tom Balf – Founder and Principal, OceanVest, Merging the Maritime, Green, and Creative Economies

PANEL, (addressing written questions from the audience) Jeremy Melvin-Moderator:

Jen Holmgren – City Councilor

David Houlden –Gloucester Housing Authority

Andrew DeFranza – Harborlight Community Partners

Robert J. Gillis – President, Cape Ann Savings Bank

Kirk Noyes – Gloucester Development Team

CLOSING  5:00

SUMMATION: Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken

The three-hour program is free and open to the public. People are encouraged to attend as much of the program as they like. Ten-minute breaks with refreshments between segments will allow audience members to interact with presenters and engage in informal conversations with each other.

The Gloucester Meetinghouse, home of the Unitarian Universalist Church, is located at the corner of Church and Middle Streets. The accessible side entrance is at 10 Church Street. Event parking is available on the green and at additional parking lots nearby in the Historic District. For more information on this program and for the full 2019-20 event schedule, please visit www.gloucestermeetinghouse.org.