Sawyer Free Library’s Technology on the Horizon: Big Data in Small Slices Presentation on Thursday, April 29

The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to announce the launch of “Technology on the Horizon,” an informative series that spotlights individuals and organizations on the North Shore working with critical or emerging technologies.

Throughout the year, the Library will be hosting local industry leaders who will share their knowledge, insight, and the economic implications of their work in a way that is accessible to all. The series is intended to inspire and inform individuals about new and exciting innovations happening in our community and the possibilities of new career paths in Technology. The live virtual presentations are free and open to the public with advance registration through the Sawyer Free Library’s website.

The series will kick off with “Big Data in Small Slices” on Thursday, April 29, at 7 pm. Data analysis and visualization expert, author, journalist, and resident of Rockport, Dianne Finch-Claydon, will share how data visualization can be used to combat climate change, better our world, and even help your career. Her newly published book, Big Data in Small Slices: Data Visualization for Communicators, which has been called an invaluable resource for anyone interested in storytelling using data, is available now to checkout at Sawyer Free Library. Click here to register and to receive the Zoom link.

For more information about the “Technology on the Horizon” series and the Library’s other programs and offerings, please visit sawyerfreelibray.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

Sawyer Free Library presents Digital Photography Basics with Skip Montello on Saturday, April 17

Skip Montello

Do you have a digital camera and need to learn how to use it? Do you already use your camera but want to know how to take better pictures? The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to offer a digital photography basics class with professional award-winning photographer SKIP MONTELLO on Saturday, April 17, from 2-4 pm.  The virtual presentation is free and open to all. Register here for Zoom link.

During the presentation, Skip will introduce the different camera controls and what they do. He will share his knowledge of digital photography basics, including equipment, components of light exposure, elements of composition, and more.

Skip Montello is a photographer working and living in Rockport, Massachusetts. He is an exhibiting member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony, Rocky Neck Gallery, Rockport Art Association, Newburyport Art Association, and the Griffin Museum of Photography.

His passion for photography developed during his career at the Polaroid Corporation, where he spent more than 30 years as a photographic scientist, engineer, and technology leader.

Over the years, Skip has moved from film-based media to digital. He has a deep love for the area in which he lives and finds himself inspired by the ocean. When not photographing, he is a sport fishing charter captain, sailing instructor, and outdoor writer.

Skip’s photography has earned numerous awards at Rockport and Newburyport’s art associations and the worldwide Nikon Small Wonders Competition. He has exhibited in several solo exhibits, and his work is held in private collections in the United States and Europe.

To register or for more information about this and other programs at the Sawyer Free Library visit, sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library’s “Poetry Without Paper” Contest taking submissions through April 30th

Each spring, hundreds of young students throughout Gloucester are inspired to express themselves through poetry and prose thanks to the annual Poetry Without Paper Contest sponsored by the Sawyer Free Library.

Organized by Sawyer Free Library‘s Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso and acclaimed poet and former Gloucester Poet Laureate John Ronan, the contest is an opportunity for local school children of all ages to showcase their writing and creativity in a supportive environment and win top prizes.

With the competition in full swing culminating on the last day of National Poetry Month, April 30, children and teens who live in Gloucester or attend Gloucester schools are encouraged to submit 1-3 original poems on any theme to the Library. Participants can choose to set their poems to video, images, and or music. Each poem may be no longer than 30 lines, be the student’s own work, and previously unpublished.

Winners will be chosen from each age group: high school, middle school, and elementary school. First-place winners in all categories receive $100 Cape Ann gift certificates, second-place winners received $50 gift certificate, and third-place winners receive a poetry book. All winning poets receive a certificate, present their poems at a Spring awards ceremony and receive an invitation to appear on 1623 Studio’s production, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan. All winning work will also be published online by the Library.

The poems must be submitted through the Library website at SawyerFreeLibrary.org by April 30. For questions, contact the Children’s Librarian at crosso@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library's “Poetry without Paper” Marks its 18th Anniversary
2019 Poetry Without Paper Winners

Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring House Launch “Gloucester Connection” Website

The SAWYER FREE LIBRARY and WELLSPRING HOUSE are pleased to announce the launch of GLOUCESTER CONNECTION. This innovative multi-lingual website (gloucesterconnection.org) connects the greater community to Gloucester’s vast social services for education, health care, housing, and much more. The new free-to-use web platform is an easy-to-navigate centralized online directory and calendar that consolidates information from local organizations, services, and events for residents, visitors, and service providers, prioritizing accessibility by making it available in over 100 world languages.

Recognizing the need to streamline access to critical local resources, the Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring House, with contributions from Action Inc., Gloucester Housing Authority and Gloucester Public Schools, came together to align their efforts —and created the Gloucester Connection. Social Capital, Inc. was hired to develop the site.

The group identified and enlisted over fifty Cape Ann social service organizations, both public and private, to participate, organizing their information into six categories: Basic Needs, Youth Education and Programs, Adult Education and Job Training, Housing, Transportation, and Health and Wellness. The Gloucester Connection resource partners collectively provide access to a wide variety of direct services from how to register kids for public school, sign up for MassHealth, find information and applications for housing, and information about Cape Ann transportation, where to find English classes, and more.

Through Gloucester Connection, users can directly contact the resource for assistance. Participating organizations can also access similar information and look up individual organizations’ pages to determine their services and update their own offerings, programs, and events. Lastly, the website features a community calendar where all Gloucester Connects’ resource partners can share events, programs, and new initiatives with the public.

“Every day, at the Sawyer Free Library, we aim to improve the lives of people in our community with the power of information. Gloucester Connection is a direct expansion of our core mission,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict. “There is a wide range of social services available throughout Cape Ann, but trying to find what exactly you are looking for can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to Gloucester or English is not your primary language. With Gloucester Connection, we hope to change this with a welcoming platform that easily connects people to the resources and social services they need in a language they understand. From legal services, shelters, school and library services to mental health resources and more listed on the site, each organization acts as a lifeline for those in need on Cape Ann. We are proud to be a part of and sponsor such an important collaboration that directly supports our community.”

“We want community members to have easy access to the resources and services they need, whether they have just arrived or have lifelong family ties in Gloucester,” said Melissa DimondPresident and CEO of Wellspring House“Gloucester Connection helps people get clear and current information for any number of life circumstances. For example, we see firsthand at Wellspring House the manychallenges immigrants face as they adapt and get acclimated in their new community. Our collective hope is that the Gloucester Connection will help make this transition easier. It is part of what it means to be a welcoming community.”

Cape Ann based non-profit organizations or resource-focused agencies are invited to join Gloucester Connection to help strengthen the resource network for Gloucester residents. Those interested in registering with the platform may contact Sawyer Free Library Community Librarian Julie Travers, jtravers@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Gloucester Connection is sponsored by Sawyer Free Library with key support from Wellspring House. To access services or to learn more, visit www.GloucesterConnection.org

The Life and Poetry of Mary Oliver presented by the Sawyer Free Library on April 8th

Join the Sawyer Free Library in celebrating National Poetry Month for explore the Life, Natural World & Poetry of Mary Oliver, presented by Andrea Brandeis on Thursday, April 8 from  7 – 8:30pm.

Mary Oliver was one of America’s most treasured poets, whose honors include the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her poetry explores the interconnectedness of spirituality and the natural world. This virtual program is intended for anyone– from beginner explorers of poetry to experts. This program will be held via Zoom.  

Register here for the event. The Zoom link will be sent out 15 minutes before the presentation begins. If you register after that, there may be a small delay.

For more information on all the the programs being offered at the Library, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Sawyer Free Library presents screening of “Left on Pearl”documentary in celebration of Women’s History Month on Saturday, 3/20

Celebrate Women’s History Month with activists marching through Cambridge for women’s rights in the award-winning documentary LEFT ON PEARL! Join the Sawyer Free Library for a virtual documentary screening followed by a filmmakers’ panel on Saturday, March 20 from 2-4pm.

Register here for the link to the film and presentation. The film will be made available to registrants a few days before the presentation if you’d like to watch it in advance.


Also be sure to check out the What She’s Reading at SawyerFreeLibrary.org this month. The Library asked several of Gloucester’s cultural, civic, and community women leaders to share books that they love or have inspired them, written by fellow women. The results are a mix of close to 100 titles, including classics, new discoveries, and more. The complete list is on the website, with recommended books available at Sawyer Free Library or easily ordered from libraries in their consortium.

What She’s Reading” at the Sawyer Free Library

For more information about these programs and other Women History Month activities at the Sawyer Free Library visit: SawyerFreeLibrary.org

Don’t forget to register for GLOUCESTER TRIVIA NIGHT this Thursday, March 11 at 6:30pm

How much do you really know about Gloucester? Join the Sawyer Free Library’s Local History Librarian as she hosts a fun competitive evening of GLOUCESTER TRIVIA, this Thursday, March 11 from 6:30-7:30pm and find out!

Register here as a team or by yourself, all are welcomed.  Zoom link will be provided. Community teams are encouraged. Winners are entitled to indefinite bragging rights!

For more information visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5500.

Register TODAY for Gloucester Trivia Night hosted by the Sawyer Free Library

Sawyer Free Library presents Self Care in Uncertain Times: Hiking Cape Ann on 3/8 at 7pm

Join the Sawyer Free Library on Monday, March 8 from 7-8pm when Taylor Ann Bradford, local reporter, certified backpacking guide and author of the weekly column: Woods to Writing Desk, will share her favorite hiking trails throughout Cape Ann, give tips on best practices and share some of her favorite tales from the trails.  Registration is required for this fun and engaging live Zoom program, space is limited. Register here.

For more information on the many programs offered by the Library, free to the community, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org