Finding Practical Solutions to Ending Food Waste: A Panel Discussion hosted by Sawyer Free Libary and Backyard Growers

Did you know 33% of all food produced globally is lost or wasted? Food waste is central to some of the key challenges facing the world today, including hunger and poverty, climate change, health and wellbeing, and the sustainability of agriculture and oceans.

To bring attention to this growing global problem, the Sawyer Free Library and Backyard Growers are co-hosting a virtual panel discussion around the topic of food waste on Thursday, April 28, from 6-7 pm.  The live virtual presentation is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

Moderated by Lara Lepionka, Founder & Executive Director, Backyard Growers, the program will provide both broad knowledge and a local perspective of the issues of food waste, along with some actionable steps individuals can take to help make a difference in its reduction. 

The program panelists include Andrew Brousseau, Partner, Compost Manager, Black Earth Compost, Brittany Peats, Program Manager, MA Food System Collaborative, and Gary Sprague, Food Acquisition and Distribution Manager, The Open Door.  Each panelist will have the opportunity to talk about their community organization’s focus and practical recommendations to address the critical issue of food waste in our community.

Following their remarks, there will be a moderated Q&A session.  For more information on the Finding Practical Solutions to End Food Waste Panel Discussion and the Library’s other programs and offerings, please visit sawyerfreelibray.org

Sawyer Free Library presents Digital Photography Basics with Skip Montello on Saturday, April 17

Skip Montello

Do you have a digital camera and need to learn how to use it? Do you already use your camera but want to know how to take better pictures? The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to offer a digital photography basics class with professional award-winning photographer SKIP MONTELLO on Saturday, April 17, from 2-4 pm.  The virtual presentation is free and open to all. Register here for Zoom link.

During the presentation, Skip will introduce the different camera controls and what they do. He will share his knowledge of digital photography basics, including equipment, components of light exposure, elements of composition, and more.

Skip Montello is a photographer working and living in Rockport, Massachusetts. He is an exhibiting member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony, Rocky Neck Gallery, Rockport Art Association, Newburyport Art Association, and the Griffin Museum of Photography.

His passion for photography developed during his career at the Polaroid Corporation, where he spent more than 30 years as a photographic scientist, engineer, and technology leader.

Over the years, Skip has moved from film-based media to digital. He has a deep love for the area in which he lives and finds himself inspired by the ocean. When not photographing, he is a sport fishing charter captain, sailing instructor, and outdoor writer.

Skip’s photography has earned numerous awards at Rockport and Newburyport’s art associations and the worldwide Nikon Small Wonders Competition. He has exhibited in several solo exhibits, and his work is held in private collections in the United States and Europe.

To register or for more information about this and other programs at the Sawyer Free Library visit, sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring House Launch “Gloucester Connection” Website

The SAWYER FREE LIBRARY and WELLSPRING HOUSE are pleased to announce the launch of GLOUCESTER CONNECTION. This innovative multi-lingual website (gloucesterconnection.org) connects the greater community to Gloucester’s vast social services for education, health care, housing, and much more. The new free-to-use web platform is an easy-to-navigate centralized online directory and calendar that consolidates information from local organizations, services, and events for residents, visitors, and service providers, prioritizing accessibility by making it available in over 100 world languages.

Recognizing the need to streamline access to critical local resources, the Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring House, with contributions from Action Inc., Gloucester Housing Authority and Gloucester Public Schools, came together to align their efforts —and created the Gloucester Connection. Social Capital, Inc. was hired to develop the site.

The group identified and enlisted over fifty Cape Ann social service organizations, both public and private, to participate, organizing their information into six categories: Basic Needs, Youth Education and Programs, Adult Education and Job Training, Housing, Transportation, and Health and Wellness. The Gloucester Connection resource partners collectively provide access to a wide variety of direct services from how to register kids for public school, sign up for MassHealth, find information and applications for housing, and information about Cape Ann transportation, where to find English classes, and more.

Through Gloucester Connection, users can directly contact the resource for assistance. Participating organizations can also access similar information and look up individual organizations’ pages to determine their services and update their own offerings, programs, and events. Lastly, the website features a community calendar where all Gloucester Connects’ resource partners can share events, programs, and new initiatives with the public.

“Every day, at the Sawyer Free Library, we aim to improve the lives of people in our community with the power of information. Gloucester Connection is a direct expansion of our core mission,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict. “There is a wide range of social services available throughout Cape Ann, but trying to find what exactly you are looking for can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to Gloucester or English is not your primary language. With Gloucester Connection, we hope to change this with a welcoming platform that easily connects people to the resources and social services they need in a language they understand. From legal services, shelters, school and library services to mental health resources and more listed on the site, each organization acts as a lifeline for those in need on Cape Ann. We are proud to be a part of and sponsor such an important collaboration that directly supports our community.”

“We want community members to have easy access to the resources and services they need, whether they have just arrived or have lifelong family ties in Gloucester,” said Melissa DimondPresident and CEO of Wellspring House“Gloucester Connection helps people get clear and current information for any number of life circumstances. For example, we see firsthand at Wellspring House the manychallenges immigrants face as they adapt and get acclimated in their new community. Our collective hope is that the Gloucester Connection will help make this transition easier. It is part of what it means to be a welcoming community.”

Cape Ann based non-profit organizations or resource-focused agencies are invited to join Gloucester Connection to help strengthen the resource network for Gloucester residents. Those interested in registering with the platform may contact Sawyer Free Library Community Librarian Julie Travers, jtravers@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Gloucester Connection is sponsored by Sawyer Free Library with key support from Wellspring House. To access services or to learn more, visit www.GloucesterConnection.org

MARCH Drive-Thru Food Pantry!

Let food be one less thing to worry about. The Open Door is hosting a Special Drive-Thru Food Pantry on Saturday, March 13, at The Open Door on Emerson Avenue in Gloucester from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Bags include all the basics and milk, eggs, meat, fruits and veggies, coffee, olive oil, baking mixes and more.

The Drive-Thru Food Pantry is open to anyone who registers–it might be your first time, or you may have already used the pantry. We are asking for a registration so we know how many people are coming. https://bit.ly/3i0wqrI (FOODPANTRY.org) 978-283-6776

Don’t forget to register for GLOUCESTER TRIVIA NIGHT this Thursday, March 11 at 6:30pm

How much do you really know about Gloucester? Join the Sawyer Free Library’s Local History Librarian as she hosts a fun competitive evening of GLOUCESTER TRIVIA, this Thursday, March 11 from 6:30-7:30pm and find out!

Register here as a team or by yourself, all are welcomed.  Zoom link will be provided. Community teams are encouraged. Winners are entitled to indefinite bragging rights!

For more information visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5500.

Register TODAY for Gloucester Trivia Night hosted by the Sawyer Free Library

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

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.

THANK YOU! Sawyer Free Library’s Annual Appeal Campaign Goal Reached and Surpassed!

Thanks to the community’s incredible generosity, the Sawyer Free Library not only reached, but greatly exceeded its 2020 year-end fundraising goal! 


This year the Library was thrilled to welcome many new contributors and grateful that several returning donors increased their giving. No matter the amount, your support means so much, especially during a year that has been challenging for all. 


YOU, the community is at the core of our work. With your help the Sawyer Free Library has met this uncertain moment with certainty, expanding digital services, helping readers of print books to embrace e-books, giving parents resources to support at-home learning, connecting job-seekers with local networking opportunities, bringing world-renowned speakers into homes and so much more.  

Thank YOU for making it possible!


Your support of the Sawyer Free Library empowers individuals, strengthens families, and makes our great community a better place to live, for which we are deeply grateful. 

Drive-thru Food Pantry

Let food be one less thing to worry about. The Open Door is hosting a Special Drive-Thru Food Pantry on Saturday, January 16, at Pathways on Emerson Avenue in Gloucester from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Bags include all the basics and milk, eggs, meat, produce, coffee, olive oil, baking mixes and more.

The Drive-Thru Food Pantry is open to anyone who registers–it might be your first time, or you may have already used the pantry. We are asking for a registration so we know how many people are coming. https://bit.ly/3i0wqrI (FOODPANTRY.org) 978-283-6776

A few days left to help the Sawyer Free Library reach its year-end goal!

Before we turn the page on 2020 (not a second too soon), please consider giving to the Sawyer Free Library Annual Fund!

Your support empowers individuals, strengthens families and makes our community a better place to live. 

Sawyer Free Library is more than a place to find books; it is a place to connect, learn and grow, both within the walls of our building and beyond to your home, office or on the go. The Library provides resources for job seekers, support for language learners, early literacy programs for young children and their families, assistance with new technology, and help to navigate the increasingly complex world of online information.

Support Gloucester’s Sawyer Free Library

If you haven’t yet please donate today and help ensure that the Library continues to evolve to meet the needs of our community in the new year and beyond. 

You can help the library grow by making a tax-deductible donation online today to the

2020 Sawyer Free Library Annual Appeal!