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.

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

Sawyer Free Library’s “Technology on the Horizon” series to host Patrick Flanagan, founder of OceanLab

On Monday, June 28, 6:30-8pm, the SAWYER FREE LIBRARY will present the second talk in their informative series  “TECHNOLOGY ON THE HORIZON,” which spotlights individuals and organizations on the North Shore working with critical or emerging technologies.

Most of the ocean is remote, deep, dark, cold, and extremely high pressure. So how do we help more people explore it?

Join PATRICK FLANAGAN, founder and director of OceanLab, in a virtual discussion of technologies that make exploration of the ocean more accessible to all. Learn about the evolution of technologies that allow organizations like OceanLab dive deep into deepest depths of our oceans. 

Click HERE to register to receive the Zoom link for the live presentation.

Sawyer Free Library Welcomes Clawdia the Library Lobster

It is a big cause for a shellabration at the Sawyer Free Library as they announce their newest staff member, CLAWDIA THE LIBRARY LOBSTER!

Patrons should be on the lookout for Clawdia sharing the latest Library news and program updates and even helping out at the service desk! So swing by the Sawyer Free Library and give her a wave one day soon!


For more information about the Sawyer Free Library and its programs, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

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