Sawyer Free Library to host presentation “Gloucester Urban Renewal” by historian Beth Welin

The Sawyer Free Library will be hosting the first two-part series: “Urban Renewal in Gloucester,” presented by Beth Welin, local historian and director of Manchester Historical Museum, on Saturday, October 23 at 2 pm.

See images of old Gloucester and learn about the city’s history and redevelopment. Attendees are encouraged to share personal memories throughout the presentation.

Part two of the series will be Saturday, November 6 at 2pm. Registration is not required but mask are for all that attend.

For more details, go sawyerfreelibrary.org

CHESS IN THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY AMPHITHEATER THIS SATURDAY, 10/9

Make the right move and join the fun with CHESS IN THE AMPHITHEATER, this Saturday, October 9 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm outside in the Sawyer Free Library Amphitheater located at 2 Dale Avenue.

This fun and educational program will run through the month of October. It is open to players of all levels, ages and abilities. Weather permitting, those interested are welcome to gather in the Library’s Amphitheater anytime between 11 am and 1 pm to learn and play chess with the last games beginning at 12:45 pm. No reservations or advanced signup is needed.

The weekly Saturday sessions provide a unique opportunity for people to learn how to play chess in a welcoming environment that emphasizes learning something new and having fun, including the fundamentals and tips for playing a better game. For more experienced chess players looking to play a match, there will be several boards and pieces with time clocks. All chess players will be paired with a partner who will challenge and engage them at their skill level. 

For more information about Chess in the Amphitheater and other programs at the Sawyer Free Library,  visit: www.sawyerfreelibrary.org or like SFL on social media:  Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sawyerfreelibrary/and Instagram at instagram.com/sawyerfreelibrary/   

Dan Connell, Author Talk and Book Signing at the Sawyer Free Library on 9/23 at 6pm

The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to welcome local author, Dan Connell for an author talk and book signing on Thursday, September 23 from 6-7pm at the Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester.

The author will be discussing his book, Against All Odds, which has just been re-released with a new update and a reappraisal. First published in 1993, Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution  is a firsthand account of Eritrea’s 30-year fight for independence from Ethiopia.  Copies of the new edition of his book will be available.

The East Gloucester resident, Dan Connell, a former journalist and aid professional, has reported on Eritrea for five decades for numerous print and broadcast media. He is a two-time MacArthur Foundation grantee, the author of five books on Eritrea, including Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution (1997); Rethinking Revolution (2002); and a two-volume Collected Articles on the Eritrean Revolution (2003, 2004). His reports and commentary have been carried by the BBC, Voice of America, AP, Reuters, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Le Monde, Foreign Affairs, The Nation and others, and he has consulted for numerous aid agencies and human rights organizations. He is currently a lecturer in journalism and African politics at Simmons College, Boston.

This program is co-hosted by the Global Book Forum and the Gloucester Lyceum.

Click here to Register

Author Dan Connell

Against All Odds is a firsthand account of Eritrea’s 30\-year struggle for independence from Ethiopia, which it won in 1991 with little outside support after defeating successive U.S.\- and Soviet\-backed regimes and overcoming drought and famine while working to unify and reform the society from which it derived its strength. A 1997 Afterword captures the optimism generated by these achievements. But a New Reappraisal recounts its slide into despotism after renewed conflict with Ethiopia and the dark years of isolation and repression that followed, the hopes raised by a 2018 peace pact and then dashed by another round of war. It concludes with reflections on how to break this cycle and begin the democratic transition for which so many fought and died.

Friends of the Sawyer Free Library ANNUAL ART AUCTION- The Bidding Has Begun!

THE ANNUAL ART AUCTION sponsored by the FRIENDS OF THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY is now on display in the Matz Gallery located in the main lobby of the Sawyer Free Library throughout the month of September!

Come In, Enjoy and Bid on the exceptional works of art, including paintings, drawings, and mixed media, all generously donated by talented artists throughout the Cape Ann community including: Jeff Weaver, Ray Crane, Peter Tysver, Carol Loiacono, David Curtis and Coco Berman.

The Bidding Book is available through September 30 in the Gallery for silent bids. The top bid from the September bidding will be the beginning bid for the Online Auction being held October 1-5.  

Please note, this year’s live auction has been moved online due to health precautions. Details are forthcoming.

Selections of art work being auctioned to benefit the Sawyer Free Library.

All proceeds from the Art Auction benefit the Sawyer Free Library. So be sure to bring your family, friends, neighbors and more along with you to the Matz Gallery this month, to preview the beautiful art, and bid on your favorites!

For more information about the Art Auction and the Friends of the Sawyer Free Library go to sawyerfreelibrary.org

SmartChoice™ at The Open Door Modernizes Pantry Shopping

New Online Ordering System Returns Agency to Shoppers

GLOUCESTER — A new online ordering system at The Open Door has expanded choice more than ever before for client shoppers.

SmartChoice™ at The Open Door launched this June and allows clients to place a weekly grocery order that matches any special dietary needs they may have as well as their taste. Clients select from featured items, fruit and juices, vegetables, protein and dairy, ready-to-eat items, grains and cereal, baking, snacks, condiments, special dietary items, pet supplies, household supplies, health and hygiene products, baby food and supplies, and miscellaneous items.

Once clients sign into SmartChoice™ at The Open Door at FOODPANTRY.org/order, they can use the above menu to create their weekly grocery order. (Image Courtesy of
The Open Door)

“When people choose their own groceries, we know they’re getting the food they’ll eat and enjoy to thrive,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “We’re proud to have this new resource for our clients.”

Before the online ordering system became available, The Open Door provided bags of pre-selected groceries for clients starting in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. This was done through a Curbside, No-Contact model used at both the Gloucester and Ipswich food pantries, and protected the health and well-being of clients, volunteers, and staff alike while also expanding the nonprofit’s capacity to meet increased need. While the curbside model was necessary to feed more people, it left shoppers with less personal choice.

At the height of the pandemic, The Open Door met a 40% increase in need for food resources, and continues to meet ongoing need.

Today, clients are still picking-up their groceries at either site or receiving deliveries if they qualify for The Open Door grocery and meal delivery program. However, SmartChoice™ at The Open Door brings more choice to the table than ever before. It accounts for every item available in The Open Door’s inventory, working seamlessly in partnership with the warehouse. Grocery orders are managed by the Fulfillment Center, where staff and volunteers package grocery orders Monday through Friday.

Volunteer Laurie Fenton prepares a grocery order placed via SmartChoice™ at
The Open Door. (Image Courtesy of The Open Door)

Translation services are available over the phone in many languages. Those without internet access, with questions, or who prefer to place their order by phone are welcome to do so by calling 978-283-6776.   

About The Open Door


The mission of The Open Door is to alleviate the impact of hunger in our community. We use practical strategies to connect people to good food, to advocate on behalf of those in need, and to engage others in the work of building food security.

Founded in 1978, The Open Door is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit and community food resource center for low-income residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Topsfield, and Wenham. In 2020, The Open Door helped stabilize the lives and health of 9,681 unduplicated people from 4,703 households through the distribution of 2.46 million pounds of food, amounting to 2.05 million meals. Requests for food assistance during this pandemic year were up 27 percent.

Programs of The Open Door include two food pantries (located in Gloucester and in Ipswich), 12 Mobile Markets, Community Meals, SNAP Application assistance and Advocacy, Medically Tailored Groceries, Nutrition Education, Therapy and Counseling, Food Rescue, Summer Meals for Kids, On Your Mark Job Training and Internships, Holiday Baskets, Senior Soup & Salad, (NEW) SmartChoice™ at The Open Door and (NEW) Grocery and Meal Delivery. Second Glance, the thrift store of The Open Door, provides revenue for the organization, referrals for people in need, and recycles textiles and other materials.

For more information, visit FOODPANTRY.org.  

###

 

Sawyer Free Library honors legacy of Gloucester’s Local Civic Leader Janis Davidson Stelluto

On Tuesday morning, August 10 the Sawyer Free Library hosted a ribbon-cutting to commemorate their amphitheater’s new awning in memory of one of Gloucester’s preeminent and beloved public citizens, the late Janis Davidson Stelluto.

Dr. Michael Stelluto, Janis’ husband, her family, friends and colleagues, along with the Sawyer Free Library leadership, came together to mark the official opening of the Library’s now shaded expanded outdoor space. Gloucester’s Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thenken , former chair of the City Planning Board Jack Clarke, President of Library Board of Trustees Mern Sibley and Library Director Jenny Benedict offered remarks prior to the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Through the Stelluto family’s generosity, the Library was able to bring to fruition the installation of a state-of-the-art awning over its amphitheater as a lasting tribute to their family matriarch Janis Davidson Stelluto, who dedicated herself to serving the Gloucester community for over two decades. Among many other organizations, Janis Stelluto served in leadership roles at the Sawyer Free Library for more than twenty years.

Sawyer Free Library Amphitheater Awning Dedication and Ribbon Cutting with Stelluto Family
Stelluto Family joined by Jack Clarke, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thenken, Library Director Jenny Benedict

Shaded by the new awning, the Sawyer Free Library’s outdoor amphitheater located on Dale Avenue now serves as an inviting venue for Library programs, public performances, including theater and musical performances, art exhibits, lectures, and community activities. 

“We are very grateful for the Stelluto family’s generosity,” said Mern Sibley, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees’ President.  “Janis made it her life’s work to find ways to improve our Gloucester community, all the while seeing beauty in the world. It only seems fitting that the awning has been installed in her memory, creating a welcoming space where people can take advantage of all that the Library offers while enjoying being outside.”

“The awning has created a welcoming outdoor gathering space for Sawyer Free Library’s summer programs which are open and free to the community,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict.  “From children’s storytimes and adult book club gatherings to family concerts, we have found with the new awning, the sky’s the limit to what we can do!  Stay tuned because we have big plans, and we can’t imagine Janis Stelluto would want it any other way.” 

The Sawyer Free Library is open throughout the summer, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library’s New Public Computers

The Sawyer Free Library is excited to share that it has 8 newly upgraded public computers which are now available to the public on the Main Floor of the Library. 1-hour sessions are available with a 2-hour daily limit.

Be sure to head to the Library to do some job hunting, explore the its online Gloucester history resources, research their vast databases, and much more!

Sawyer Free Library’s summer operating hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

For more information about the technology available and all the library’s programs and resources visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5501.

Adult Book Bingo at the Sawyer Free Library

Get in on the summer fun at the Sawyer Free Library with ADULT SUMMER READING 2021: BOOK BINGO!

From now until September 1, 2021, those 18 and older can keep track of the books they read on the Sawyer Free Library’s downloadable custom bingo card by writing the title and author in the matching square.

Each completed horizontal, vertical or diagonal line enters you into a raffle to win $25, $50, or $75 Cape Ann Gift Certificates.

Thanks to the generous support of The Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, program participation is free, and registration is now open for this and all family summer reading programs. Check out all the fun activities, events and reading challenges for children and teens too!

Sawyer Free Library’s summer operating hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

For more information about the “Summer at the Sawyer Free Library,” or to register for programs, visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5501.

Live Music in the Amphitheatre: “Knock on Wood” performs at the Sawyer Free Library

Come one, come all and be ready to have some fun!

Join the Sawyer Free Library this Saturday, June 19 at 11:00 am outside in the Amphitheatre for live performance by musical group “KNOCK ON WOOD

Knock on Wood is a high-energy, family-friendly acoustic folk-rock duo, featuring singer-songwriter Howie Newman on guitar, lead vocals and harmonica. Howie is joined by Joe Kessler, one of the top fiddlers in the area. They also play mandolin and sing backup vocals. The duo performs Classic Rock covers and funny original songs (suitable for all ages). It’s a very lively show with great musicianship, nice vocal harmonies and a little humor here and there.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Gloucester Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

For more information visit 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/.