Sawyer Free Library Honors Long-time Volunteer with Prestigious Community Award

Each year, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library recognize outstanding volunteers for their efforts and dedication to the Library. As a part of the Sawyer Free Library’s Annual Meeting, the Mary M. Weissblum Volunteer Award was presented to lifelong Gloucester resident Rebecca Aliberte. She was honored with the community award for her leadership, tireless dedication to the Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, and countless hours volunteering in the Library’s children’s room.


“Volunteers are essential to the work of our Library, and so every year, we seek to celebrate one of our most exceptional volunteers. This year we have chosen to honor the wonderful Rebecca Aliberte,” said Assistant Library Director Beth Pocock in presenting the award.  


Rebecca has volunteered in the Library’s children’s room for over ten years. On any given day, one might find her doing various tasks to help ease the load of the library staff from cutting out crafts to organizing books story time. In addition, Rebecca served as the President of the Friends of the Sawyer Free Library for three years. Under Rebecca’s leadership, the all volunteer group, made significant contributions to enhance the Sawyer Free Library, including purchasing equipment and funding a wide variety of library programs for all ages.


The annual volunteer award was established in 2016 by the Library’s Board of Trustees and named after Mary Weissblum, who served the Library tirelessly over four decades. 


For more information about volunteering at the Sawyer Free Library, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or come in and say hello at its new downtown location at 21 Main Street in Gloucester.

Rebecca Aliberte being honored by the Sawyer Free Library with the 2022 Mary M. Weissblum Volunteer Award.

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.”



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.

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.

Book Launch Celebration for ‘Sea Gull and the Sea Captain’ at the Sawyer Free Library and Cape Ann Museum

From New York Times, bestselling author and National Book Award Nominee Sy Montgomery comes the sweet, brightly illustrated true story of a seagull and a sea captain who became friends over the course of four summers. 

To celebrate the release of THE SEAGULL AND THE SEA CAPTAIN, the Sawyer Free Library, Cape Ann Museum, and The Book Store of Gloucester are hosting a celebration on Saturday, June 4, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The afternoon will feature the book’s author Sy Montgomery, illustrator Amy Schimler-Safford, and special guest Gloucester’s own, Schooner Lannon Captain Heath Ellis, who was the true-life inspiration for the story! 


Heath, the president of Schooner Sails, made headlines in 2019 when he made friends with a seagull who would visit him on his sailboat! Author Sy Montgomery heard this news and was inspired to write a picture book which became THE SEAGULL AND THE SEA CAPTAIN.


This Saturday, June 4, at 1:00 pm, Author Sy Montgomery will do a reading and a book signing at the Sawyer Free Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue. Copies of the book will be available for sale. After the reading, participants are invited to the Cape Ann Museum at 2:00 pm for a ‘The Seagull and the Sea Captain’ -themed kids art activity. It promises to be a fun-filled afternoon for everyone! 

For more information, visit SawyerFreeLibrary.org or call 978-325-5500. 

Book Launch on Saturday, June 4 at Sawyer Free Library

The Grill is Hot at the Sawyer Free Library!

Yes, you can become the envy of your neighbors by becoming the ultimate grill master!

All you have to do is join the Sawyer Free Library on Wednesday, July 21 from 2:30-4:30pm for a fun and informative live and in-person event and learn all you need to know about Summer Grilling from local Farm-to-Table Chef Justus Dunton.

Chef Dunton has worked in premier and starred restaurants from Boston to Costa Rica. He has created his own company, Dagger Board Hospitality that brings farm-fresh, hand forraged, and delicious food to our local community through his pop-up dinners and teaching programs.

Weather permitting, we will meet outside in the Sawyer Free Library amphitheater.

Register here as space is limited!

For more information, go to SawyerFreeLibrary.org

PAGE 2 STAGE Book Club: a Sawyer Free Library and Gloucester Stage Collaboration

The Sawyer Free Library and Gloucester Stage Company have teamed up once again to offer the Page2Stage Book Club. This innovative collaboration is a unique take on the traditional book club that focuses on literary works associated with performances from Gloucester Stage Company’s exciting 2021 season. The summer’s theatrical performances will be taking place outside at the beautiful and historic Windhover Performing Arts Center in Rockport from June through September.

Page2Stage gives participants opportunities to deepen and expand their experience as audience members through pre-show facilitated discussions about each play’s subject and related content, including biographies, novels, and timely periodicals. 

The four selected literary works for this season’s Page2Stage series are available now at the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester

The program begins on Thursday, June 17 at 5:45 pm, discussing Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by New York Times best-selling author Cheryl Strayed, before Gloucester Stage’s production of Tiny Beautiful Things at 7:30pm.

Page2Stage Book Club: June 17

Then on Thursday, July 8, the book club will discuss the book, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Doyle prior to seeing the production of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

On Thursday, August 12, the Book Club will discuss Anthony Bourdain’s memoir, Medium Raw, then will enjoy the regional premier of the play, Seared. 

To bring the summer series to a close on Thursday, September 9, the group will discuss an article from The Atlantic, The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehesi Coates prior to seeing the New England premiere of Reparations, a poignant new play by James Sheldon where personal revelations lead to laughs, tears, and coming to terms with racial injustice and personal betrayal. 

This year with Page2Stage Book Club, discussions will happen before the show at Windhover Performing Art Center located at 257R Granite Street in Rockport.

The book group is free to join with discount theater tickets for registered members. There is no charge to participate in the group, but registration is required. Register for one or more groups at www.sawyerfreelibrary.org. Discounted show tickets of $25 will be available to participants by calling the Gloucester Stage Box Office 978 281-4433.

For more information about Page2Stage visit:  sawyerfreelibrary.org or gloucesterstage.com/community-events/.

Gloucester Literary and Art Trivia Night hosted by the Sawyer Free Library

How much do you know about the of Gloucester? The Sawyer Free Library wants to know! Join the Local History Librarian, Jacklyn Linsky, for a night of Gloucester Trivia focused on the community’s rich literary and art history.

Register here as a team or by yourself, all are welcomed. Community teams are encouraged!

If you have any questions please feel free to email Jacklyn at jlinsky@sawyerfreelibrary.org.  Zoom link will be provided.

For more information about this and other great community programs offered by the Sawyer Free Library visit, sawyerfreelibrary.org.

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.