It will be a whale of a time at Gloucester City Hall on Friday afternoon, March 31st, when the Sawyer Free Library hosts Whale Watch Naturalist Cindy McInnis and her life-sized inflatable whale from 3:30–5:30 pm, in Kyrouz Auditorium, as part of its Young Gloucester Scientist’s Club.
Young Scientists will have the opportunity to step inside Nile, the 43-foot long and 30-foot wide inflatable humpback, and learn how whales are similar and different from humans in this interactive program. They will learn about Nile’s migratory path, how many calves she’s had, and how researchers came to this information. Artifacts such as baleen, teeth, and bones will be available for children to see and feel as a part of this interactive program.
The Whalemobile program is suitable for 2nd-8th graders, ages 7 and up. It is free and open to all to attend, although registration is required for each young scientist planning on stepping into the whale. Please register on the calendar page of the SFL website. People can sign up in half-hour intervals starting at 3:30 pm and ending at 5:30 pm on the calendar page of SawyerFreeLibrary.org. The event will take place in Kyrouz Auditorium on the second floor of Gloucester City Hall located at 9 Dale Avenue.
The Young Gloucester Scientists Club is a monthly club for 4th through 8th graders, which takes a hands-on approach to learning, building community connections, and encouraging local youth to actively think like scientists by observing, questioning, and experimenting with the world around them.
In addition to monthly field trips in the community, circulating Kits and library-produced Digital Content provide children with fun learning activities to do at home and in-person family programming that introduces them to Gloucester Community members with careers across a variety of STEM fields.
Festive Celebration on Tuesday, March 14 at SFL @ 21 Main Street
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the Sawyer Free Library @ 21 Main Street is hosting a “Literary St. Patrick’s Day Party” on Tuesday, March 14, from 5 to 7 p.m.The evening is free and open to all to come and enjoy!
Local harpist Moira Kelly will open the evening at 5:15 p.m. with a lively and interactive performance of traditional Celtic music.
Then at 6:15 p.m., Massachusetts author Robert T. McMaster will introduce his latest novel, Rose of Glenkerry: A County Wicklow Mystery. He will present via Zoom, which will be broadcast at the Library for viewing. Both a mystery and a touching love story, the book is set amid the incomparable scenery of Ireland’s County Wicklow. Bob will read excerpts from his book, accompanied by images and music of the Emerald Isle.
McMaster is a native of Southbridge, Massachusetts, with family ties to Ireland. He has also authored The Trolley Days Series, set in Massachusetts in the World War I era, and a biography of pioneering dinosaur scientist Edward Hitchcock, All the Light here Comes from Above: The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock.
A conversation with New York Times bestselling author David Epstein as he chats about his most recent book, Range: Why Generalist Triumph in a Specialized World.
What’s the most effective path to success in any domain? It’s not what you think.
Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.
David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, juggling many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.
Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.
About the Author: David Epstein is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World and of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, both of which have been translated into more than 20 languages. His writing has been honored by an array of organizations, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, to the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Center on Disability and Journalism, and has been included in the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. His story “Following the Trail of Broken Hearts,” on sudden cardiac death in athletes, was chosen as one of the top 100 stories of the last 100 years by Columbia Journalism alumni. He has master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism and lives in Washington, DC.
A delicious chat with celebrity chef Jernard Wells which will leave you starving for more as he discusses his newest cookbook, Southern Inspired: More Than 100 Delicious Dishes from My American Table to Yours.
Delicious and inventive recipes that remix the traditional flavors and classic dishes of Southern food and celebrate African-American culinary contributions to tables worldwide—from the host of CLEO TV’sNew Soul Kitchen. After growing up in Mississippi, Jernard Wells brought the familiar dishes and bold flavors of the South along his culinary journey to become a chef, restaurateur, and TV host. With Southern Inspired, Jernard continues his journey—retracing the steps of generations of African American cooks whose creations have contributed to global kitchen tables since slavery. Southern food defines American food at large, and Chef Jernard takes it to a whole new level while still honoring its roots. Chef Jernard also brings in flavors from the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, always with his signature Southern flair. This cookbook shares 100 recipes that are approachable for both beginners and more experienced cooks.
About the Author: Jernard Wells is an Award Winning TV Host/Celebrity Chef/Bestselling Cookbook Author. He is the host of “New Soul Kitchen” & “New Soul Kitchen Remix” on CLEO TV and is well-known for appearing on numerous cooking shows on Food Network & Cooking Channel over the last decade. Wells has worked with Tyler Perry, NBA Allstar Brandon Ingram, Lady Antebellum, Tom Joyner, New Edition &BBD. He has been featured on “Today Show“, “Good Morning America”, PEOPLE, “Steve Harvey Morning Show“, “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show”, ESSENCE, “Daily Blast Live”, USA Today, Lifetime, Oprah Winfrey Network to name a few. The James Beard House Honored Chef is affectionately called “The Family Chef” because he loves using food to promote positive family images. He and his wife of 25 years have 9 children and live in the Atlanta area.
New York Times bestselling historical fiction author Pam Jenoff will take us on an exciting trip through time as she shares the details of her newest book, Code Name Sapphire, where a woman must rescue her cousin’s family from a train bound for Auschwitz in this riveting tale of bravery and resistance.
It’s 1942 and Hannah Martel has narrowly escaped Nazi Germany after her fiancé was killed in a pogrom. When her ship bound for America is turned away at port, she has nowhere to go but to her cousin Lily, who lives with her family in Brussels. Fearful for her life, Hannah is desperate to escape occupied Europe. But with no safe way to leave, she must return to the dangerous underground work she thought she had left behind.
Seeking help, Hannah joins the Sapphire Line, a secret resistance network led by a mysterious woman named Micheline and her enigmatic brother Mateo. But when a grave mistake causes Lily’s family to be arrested and slated for deportation to Auschwitz, Hannah finds herself torn between her loyalties. How much is Hannah willing to sacrifice to save the people she loves? Inspired by incredible true stories of courage and sacrifice, Code Name Sapphire is a powerful novel about love, family and the unshakable resilience of women in even the hardest of times.
About the Author: Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam moved to the State Department. Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She now teaches law school at Rutgers.
Pam is the NYT bestselling author of The Woman With The Blue Star, The Lost Girls of Paris, The Orphan’s Tale, The Kommandant’s Girl, The Diplomat’s Wife, The Ambassador’s Daughter, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach, The Winter Guest, The Things We Cherished, Almost Home, and A Hidden Affair. She also authored a short story in the anthology Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband, three children, dog, cat, lizard and bird.
Who: Gloucester families, friends and children of all ages.
Suggested donation $5/family at the door; no family will be turned away for lack of funds.
What: A day of hands-on, low-tech play for all ages, hosted by Gloucester Education Foundation and run by a powerhouse team of community and student volunteers!
The Power of Play centers around fun family activities, and is designed to be welcoming to a broad spectrum of ages, ability levels, and learning styles. This year’s event will also feature some special activities from regions around the world that are present in our Gloucester community.
It would take us all day to name all of the awesome activities at Power of Play, but here are a few: collaborative art projects, fort-building, oobleck-making, sand play, capoeira, an invisible ink scavenger hunt, games from around the world, an infant/toddler exploration zone, and LOTS more.
The Power of Play is hosted by Gloucester Education Foundation and sponsored by Cape Ann Savings Bank, Sawyer Free Library, and Seashore Comfort Solutions.
Gloucester Education Foundation drives innovation, inspires creativity, expands student opportunities, and empowers educators to strengthen teaching and learning in the Gloucester Public Schools. Learn more at www.thinkthebest.org
SFL’s Young Scientist Club will be meetingthis Friday, February 24th from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Sawyer Free Library @ 21 Main Street.
This month’s meetings features the work of Kate Sampson, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Turtle Stranding and Disentanglement Coordinator and Sphero Robots. The program is suitable for students 4th – 8th grade. Register HERE.
The Sawyer Free Library is please to present talks with bestselling authors in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. To register for these upcoming virtual events, visit sawyerfreelibray.org.
Tastes Like War: An Author Talk with Grace M. Cho
Thursday, February 16, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
An insightful chat with award-winning author Grace M. Cho who discusses her memoir, Tastes Like War: Part food memoir, part sociological investigation.
Grace M. Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. They were one of few immigrants in a xenophobic small town during the Cold War, where identity was politicized by everyday details—language, cultural references, memories, and food. When Grace was fifteen, her dynamic mother experienced the onset of schizophrenia, a condition that would continue and evolve for the rest of her life.
Part food memoir, part sociological investigation, Tastes Like War is a hybrid text about a daughter’s search through intimate and global history for the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia. In her mother’s final years, Grace learned to cook dishes from her mother’s childhood in order to invite the past into the present, and to hold space for her mother’s multiple voices at the table. And through careful listening over these shared meals, Grace discovered not only the things that broke the brilliant, complicated woman who raised her—but also the things that kept her alive.
About the Author: Grace M. Cho is Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of Staten Island. She received a PhD in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center and an MEd from Harvard School of Education. Her work crosses disciplinary boundaries and seeks to engage popular audiences. From 2005 to 2007 she was a contributing performance artist for Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the Forgotten War, a collaborative art project based on the oral histories of Korean War survivors and their children. Her participation in Still Present Pasts influenced the form and content of her first book, Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy and the Forgotten War (University of Minnesota, 2008) which combined fiction, performance, autoethnography and sociological research. It won a 2010 book award from the American Sociological Association for its innovative methodology. Her second book, Tastes Like War, was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the winner of the 2022 Asian Pacific American Literature Award for Adult Nonfiction.
Author Talk with Sadeqa Johnson: Award-Winning Author of Yellow Wife and The House of Eve
Tuesday, February 28, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
An invigorating conversation with highly acclaimed author Sadeqa Johnson who will be speaking about her brand-new novel, The House of Eve!
In The House of Eve, Fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on track to becoming the first in her family to attend college, in spite of having a mother more interested in keeping a man than raising her daughter. But a taboo love affair threatens to pull her back down into the poverty and desperation that has been passed onto her like a birthright.
Eleanor Quarles arrived in Washington DC with ambition and secrets. When she meets the handsome William Pride at Howard University, they fall madly in love. But William hails from one of DC’s elite wealthy Black families, and his parents don’t just let anyone into their fold. Eleanor hopes that a baby will make her finally feel at home in William’s family and grant her the life she’s been searching for. But having a baby—and fitting in—is easier said than done.
The lives of these two women collide in the most unexpected way as they both face life altering decisions. The House of Eve is a fast-paced, harrowing story that hinges on what it means to be a woman and a mother, and how much one is willing to sacrifice to achieve her greatest goal.
About the Author: Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of four novels, including Yellow Wife. Her accolades include the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the USA Best Book Award for Best Fiction. She is a Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and a Tall Poppy Writer. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and three children. To learn more, visit SadeqaJohnson.net.
SAT Strategy Session: Thursday, February 16 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The Princeton Review will be presenting a Free, Virtual SAT Strategy Session open to all Gloucester community members on Thursday, February 16 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. In this presentation, students are given some simple, basic strategies that will make sure scores improve on their next practice or official exam.
SAT Practice Test: Saturday, February 18 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
The Princeton Review will presents a free, virtual SAT Practice Test on Saturday, February 18 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Registrants will receive a link to an online classroom and further instructions upon registration to be able to take the test from the comfort of wherever you have internet! Be prepared with a calculator and scrap paper to work out the questions. A quiet space free of distraction is highly recommended.
For those who need internet access or a laptop, visit the Sawyer Free Library at 21 Main Street in downtown Gloucester to check out a WiFi Hotspot, Chromebook or the many other Digital Devices available to cardholders. Details available at sawyerfreelibrary.org
The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to announce some exciting additions and promotions to the staff at the start of this new year.
Meghan O’Neill has recently joined SFL as a new Community Librarian with a focus on serving newcomers and the Gloucester High School teen community. Joella Allen is the new Digital Services Librarian responsible for managing digital learning programs and digital resource access through SFL’s website. In addition, Joann Dunajski has been promoted to the newly created position of Customer Experience Supervisor, and Leah Svensson to the role of Community Librarian.
“I am thrilled to say that there are two more dynamic reasons to visit the Sawyer Free Library at 21 Main Street with the addition of Joella and Meg to our dedicated and talented staff. I am also delighted to share the news of the well-deserved promotions of Joanne and Leah,” stated Jenny Benedict, the Sawyer Free Library Director. “Their collective experience and knowledge strengthens our great staff team and brings new enthusiasm for achieving our goals.”
Meghan O’Neill brings her extensive library experience, having worked in school, college, and public libraries, to her new position as a Community Librarian at SFL. “I am happy to have joined Sawyer Free Library and to be in Gloucester,” said O’Neill about her new role. “I’m committed to equity and accessibility, outreach with various community partners, and uplifting voices through programming and enhanced online services.”
She comes to SFL after serving over a decade as the Librarian at the Pingree School in Hamilton, MA. Previously, she served as a librarian at The Buckley School in California. O’Neill holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of California Los Angeles, a Master’s of Arts from Dartmouth College, and a Bachelor’s of Art from Bishop’s University in Quebec.
SFL’s newDigital Services Librarian, Joella Allen, shared, “I am excited to join the Sawyer Free Library and help our patrons of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds with their technology needs. I’m looking forward to the exciting spaces and technology coming in the next few years and the programs we’ll be able to offer!”
Joella grew up in California before leaving to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and English at Johns Hopkins University. She completed her Master’s Degrees in Library and Information Studies and Archival Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, where most recently Allen worked for a health technology start-up doing privacy and information security.
Already a familiar and welcoming presence at SFL, Joann Dunajski has been promoted to the newly created Library position of Customer Experience Supervisor. With her extensive Library services experience and passion for serving the public, Joann is now responsible for supervising and maintaining the daily operations of the primary public service desk and collection circulation, providing customer service in person and remotely, and most importantly, creating a welcoming environment for people of all ages.
After two years serving as a Library Assistant at SFL while she worked toward her Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Rhode Island, Leah Svensson has been promoted into the position of Community Librarian.
SLF invites the community to meet Joella and Meg and say hello to the friendly and talented staff at the Library’s new sun-filled space at 21 Main Street, downtown Gloucester. While there, learn about the Library’s in-person and digital services, resources, programs, and events. SFL@21 Main Street is open Monday through Wednesday, 8am to 6pm, Thursday 10am to 7pm and Friday and Saturday, 10am to 5pm or 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.
Join in on the “So Salty” Fun at the Sawyer Free Library at 21 Main Street in downtown Gloucester on Saturday, January 21:
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. “Snacks by the Sea with The Open Door”
The Sawyer Free Library and The Open Doorwill present a cooking demonstration of a salty snack for families. Throughout the day, we will celebrate local food traditions with a display of our historic cookbooks and recipes in the Local History collection.
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. “Sea Shanties and Maritime Heritage Through Folk Music“
Come listen, sing, engage, and celebrate maritime heritage and community with local musician and teacher Olivia Gale, who was born and raised in Gloucester. Join the fun as Olivia leads an exploration of history, story, and performance of sea shanties, nautical ballads, and other folk music written about the sea.
Both events are free and open to all ages to come and enjoy!
These Sawyer Free Library events are a part of the 2nd Annual Gloucester’s So Salty Festival taking place throughout Gloucester Saturday, January 21 and Sunday January 22, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Celebrate the fish city’s recognizably salty character with local cultural institutions and businesses during the 2nd Annual Gloucester’s So Salty festival led by the Cape Ann Museum in partnership with area cultural institutions and businesses. Inspired by the annual Salem’s So Sweet event, this two-day event will include ice sculptures, live music, salty treats, free kids’ art activities, and much more.