Sawyer Free Library Kicks-Off Annual Appeal

The Sawyer Free Library has launched its 2021 Annual Appeal campaign,“Charting the Course.” Letters with appeal information are in the mail to over 1,500 Gloucester households. The goal is to raise $50,000 during this year-end campaign, which provides the Library with much-needed annual support. 

The Library relies on this yearly fundraising effort to provide a wide range of new collections and resources, technology, innovative programming, and critical services to respond to the changing needs of the Gloucester community.

“The Sawyer Free Library’s mission is to be a place of learning, innovation, and creativity to support the community we serve. During this challenging time, we have learned that whether our Library services are delivered in a physical location or digitally, they’re not just “nice-to-haves” – these services are vital to our community,” said Mern SibleyPresident of the Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees

This year a record number of Sawyer Free Library users from near and far connected, learned, and experienced moments of comfort and joy, in-person and online. The Library offered hundreds of hours of responsive programming and learning opportunities for all ages. Strategic investments were made in the Sawyer Free’s digital device program, increasing the number of laptops, e-readers, tablets, and Wi-Fi hot spots available to patrons, especially those who needed connections for education and jobs. Its vast collection of e-books and audiobooks and online resources were also dramatically expanded.  Many new innovative and reimagined services emerge in response to the evolving landscape, including Digital Devices to Go, Job Seekers Resource Program, the Student Study Hall, Gloucester Connection, and more.

“Private support strengthens the Sawyer Free Library’s capacity to innovate and adapt to change, especially now as we move ahead and help our Gloucester community recover, rebuild and renew safely,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict. “Supporting the Annual Appeal makes the difference in helping job seekers, keeping kids on track for school success, assisting digital learners in finding their way in the online world, connecting newcomers and lifelong residents to current information about community services – and so much more.”

Donations to the Library’s Annual Appeal may be made by check to the Sawyer Free Library, Annual Appeal, P.O. Box 415, Gloucester, MA 01930, or online at www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.

SAWYER FREE LIBRARY to host ANNUAL MEETING on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library Corporation will be hosting its Annual Meeting on Wednesday evening, November 10, at the Sawyer Free Library from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. The Corporator’s sign-in begins at 6:00 pm.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend this informative evening, although only Corporators can vote.

Masks are required, and for those interested in participating remotely, a zoom link is also available. 

The meeting will start at 6:30 pm with welcoming remarks by the President of the Board of Trustees, Mern Sibley, and the Mayor of Gloucester Sefatia Romeo Theken, followed by Library Director Jenny Benedict reporting on the current state of the Sawyer Free Library. 

Since the 2019 Annual General Meeting, plans for the 2025 Sawyer Free Library and Saunders House have been further developed. Principal architect Matt Oudens of Oudens Ello Architecture will be presenting at this meeting the latest designs for revitalizing and reimagining the buildings through a renovation of the existing building and a 15,000 sq. ft. addition. 

In addition the Mary M. Weissblum Volunteer Award is given each year in honor of one of the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library‘s (SFL) outstanding volunteers. This year, the prestigious award will be presented in memoriam to Sharon Pablo for her two decades of service to the Library. She served on the Board of Directors in several capacities and then continued to be actively involved with the Library. 

The Sawyer Free Library’s Annual Meeting will be from 6:30–8:00 pm on the main floor of the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. For more information and the Zoom link, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Panel Discussion with All Five 2021 Agatha Award Nominees for Best First Novel on 11/3 at 7pm

Virtual Presentation: This Wednesday, November 3,  7:00 PM – 8:15 PM 

Meet the country’s best new mystery writers in this all-star panel discussion featuring all five nominees for this year’s Agatha Award for Best First Novel — Esme Addison (A Spell For Trouble); Tina deBellegarde (Winter Witness); Mary Keliikoa (Derailed); Erica Ruth Neubauer (Murder At The Mena House); and Laura Jensen Walker (Murder Most Sweet).  Bestselling, award-winning author Catriona McPherson will serve as moderator.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Tewksbury Library. Presented by Sawyer Free Library in collaboration with a number of Massachusetts libraries.

REGISTER HERE

For more information go to SawyerFreeLibrary.org or call 978-325-5500

Virtual Event with 2021 Agatha Award Nominees

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

Reading Together! Book Clubs at Sawyer Free Library

For those of us to like to socialize, the act of reading can feel a bit solitary. Fortunately, the Sawyer Free Library offers a range of book clubs to help make reading more of a social activity where you can connect with like-minded book lovers!

To join the fun, all you need is a library card! Book clubs’ featured books are available at the Sawyer Free Library’s Main Desk or, for most, download the eBook from OverDrive, Libby, or Hoopla.

Current groups include:

GLOBAL FORUM BOOK GROUP, Thursday, October 21, 6:30 pm at the Library Mezzanine

Join a lively discussion on international relations & history each month, moderated by Librarian Beth Pocock. October’s book is “Facing the Mountain” by author Daniel James Brown which tells the unforgettable story of the Japanese-American men who volunteered for the US Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team and displayed incredible courage on the brutal battlefields of Europe. Yet back home, their parents were being put in camps and stripped of their livelihoods, and fighting an equally brave battle in the courtroom. Peter King, director of the University of Mass Boston’s Asian American Studies Program, will join the group to discuss the book and the history of Asian-American prejudice on the Eastern seaboard.

Visit the Library or call to check out the book. Registration required, space limited.

BOOKS N’ BREWS, Tuesday, October 19, 6:00-8:00 pm
Here is your chance to get together, have an adult beverage, enjoy a meal and have a rousing discussion about the month’s great read. Books n Brews meets the third Tuesday evening each month, moderated by Librarian Mari Martin.

October’s Book is “The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter. The group will be meeting in person, place TBA. If the weather is inclement, the meeting will be over Zoom. Registration is requested. Email questions to mmartin@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

COOK-A-BOOK, Tuesday, November 9, 1:00 pm
Do you love to cook? Do you love to talk about food? Do you love to share food? If your answer is YES, then the Sawyer Free Library’s Cook-a-Book Book Club is for you! The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 1 pm in person in the SFL Amphitheatre or via Zoom if inclement weather.

Check out a cookbook from the Library or use a recipe from home and then get cooking. Bring your creation to the meeting for everyone to enjoy. The group will discuss the different recipes, what worked or didn’t in the preparation, cooking, and delicious things. Register online. Please email questions to mmartin@sawyerfreelibrary.org

Sawyer Free Library also has BOOK CLUBS TO GO!
The Library provides the books and the discussion questions so you can start your own book group. All you need to provide is a group of friends! Each kit contains 10 print copies, a large print copy or audiobook if available, and a reader’s guide of discussion questions. One member of your group will reserve and pick up the kit through our online booking system and distribute the books to everyone in the group. When your meeting is over, just collect all the books and return the kit to the Library. When you check out a kit, be sure to find a 25% discount coupon to use at The Cave so you can bring wine, cheese, and chocolate to your meeting. Go to sawyerfreelibrary.org to see and reserve the full list of titles available.

Local Author and Activist Kate Ranta to Speak At Sawyer Free Library putting a spotlight on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Local Author to share her story of turning abuse and tragedy into transformation and triumph 

The Sawyer Free Library will present “Killing Kate: A Story of Turning Abuse and Tragedy into Transformation and Triumph,” Thursday, October 14, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Manchester-by-the-Sea author KATE RANTA emerged from a severely abusive relationship to become a national leader in raising awareness about domestic violence. She will read passages and autograph copies of her book, “Killing Kate,” and engage in questions and answers about her first-hand experience of domestic and gun violence and her journey to empowerment in the aftermath. 

This important event hosted by the Sawyer Free Library is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Copies of the book “Killing Kate” will be available. Face masks are mandatory for those attending. The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. 

For more information about the event or other Sawyer Free Library offerings, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org.  

If you or someone you know may be at risk, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788.

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.

“Chess in the Amphitheater” at the Sawyer Free Library

Chess is more popular now than ever! Are you looking to learn the basics of the game, for a partner to play, a challenge, a new move? Then you’re in luck! Kicking off this Saturday, September 18, the SAWYER FREE LIBRARY is hosting CHESS IN THE AMPHITHEATER, a new weekly program from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm each Saturday through October.  All ages and abilities are welcome!

Sawyer Free Library’ Weekly “Chess in the Amphitheater” begins 9/18

The weekly Saturday sessions will offer an opportunity for people to learn how to play chess 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. 

Chess in the Amphitheater will be led by Gloucester’s own Kim Genereux, an avid chess player herself and a passionate supporter of both amateur and professional level chess. 

This new program 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.

For more information visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org