Shipwrecks of New England

Join maritime researcher, Jon Johansen for an evening discussion on “Shipwrecks of New England” at the Sawyer Free Library on Tuesday, July 14 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

The only easy mode of transportation back in the 1800’s and up until the advent of the automobile and truck was sailing and steam vessels that plied the coast and oceans of the world. Traveling at that time could be dangerous as many of these vessels came to grief along the shores of New England, New York and the Canadian Maritimes. This lecture will cover some of the major disasters starting with the loss of SPARROWHAWK at Orleans, MA in 1626 right up to the loss of the submarine U.S.S. THRESHER off Cape Cod in 1963. Some of the others include: ROYAL TAR (1836), LEXINGTON (1840), ARCTIC (1854), ATLANTIC (1873), CITY OF COLUMBUS (1884), PORTLAND (1898), GENERAL SLOCUM (1904), LARCHMONT (1907), EMPRESS OF IRELAND (1914), and MONT BLANC (1917).

Johansen is the publisher of Maine Coastal News, a monthly publication dedicated to covering the waterfront of the state of Maine. He has a lifelong interest in shipwrecks and maritime history.

The event is free and open to the public. The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue, Gloucester. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.

Sparrowhawk‘s sister-ship, Surprise

Gloucester Marine Railways with Viking Gustafson

On Thursday, June 9 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., learn more about Gloucester Marine Railways at the Sawyer Free Library.

Marine Railways Director Viking Gustafson will give a presentation on the marine railways in Gloucester in the Library’s Friends Room this Thursday evening.  She will then offer a tour of the railways on site in Rockport on Saturday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m.  

Both the presentation and the tour are free and open to the public. The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue. For more information visit, SawyerFreeLibrary.com or 978-325-5500.

“Ask A Muslim Anything” with Robert Azzi at Sawyer Free Library

On Thursday, June 2 at 6:00pm, join Robert Azzi at the Sawyer Free Library, for a conversation about being a practicing Muslim in small-town New England. The Exeter-based photojournalist, who is an Arab-American Muslim, has put together the program called “Ask a Muslim Anything” that he hopes will help reduce misunderstandings between people of different faiths.  As a part of it, he visits area communities to provide space for open questions about his faith, offering one man’s perspective and experience. Is there a question you’ve always wondered about Islam but never had the opportunity to ask? This is your chance.

Ask a Muslim Anything: Thursday, June 2 from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. The event is free and open to all to attend. For more information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.

Winslow Homer: American Passage – an evening with curator and author William R. Cross at the Sawyer Free Library

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is pleased to welcome curator and local author William R. Cross for a discussion of his book Winslow Homer: American Passages on Thursday, May 26 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  

Cross’ newly published book Winslow Homer: American Passage is a definitive biography of the painter. It studies Homer in the context of how his life as an artist was shaped by the turbulent, dramatic political times he lived through, from the Panic of 1837 to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War) comments that curator/author William Cross “has done an admirable job bringing to life this most American of painters. Finally, Winslow Homer’s brilliant work and fascinating life are united in one volume.” 

During this special presentation, Cross will discuss Homer and his art, illustrated with slides of images and photos collected from his research.  

William R. Cross is an independent scholar and a consultant to art and history museums. He served as the curator of Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869–1880, a nationally renowned 2019 exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum on the formation of Winslow Homer as a marine painter. Bill is a graduate of Yale College, magna cum laude, and received an MBA at Harvard Business School.  He and his wife live on Cape Ann. 

Winslow Homer: American Passage will be available for sale at The Bookstore of Gloucester, located at 61 East Main Street in Gloucester, for those interested in having it autographed at the event. 

This event is free and open to the public at the Sawyer Free Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. Registration is not required. For more information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Gloucester Genealogy Group – first meeting at Sawyer Free Library this Saturday

The Gloucester Genealogy Group will have its first meeting on Saturday, May 21 from 10 am – 12 pm at the Sawyer Free Library.

Local History Librarian, Julie Travers, will walk you through the very first steps for beginning your genealogy search using online resources available through the library. After a tutorial, you will be able to practice creating a family tree chart of your own. Beginners and experts are welcome to attend, as there will be time for sharing your own research after the tutorial. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop, however, the library will have several available for use during the workshop.   

The Gloucester Genealogy Club’s monthly meetings will consist of tutorials, how-to’s, and special presentations and events by expert genealogists. Keep an eye out for future meetings. 

This first meeting will take place in the Friends Room of the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-978325-5553. 

SFL’s “Books on Tap” with local author Billy Baker at Minglewood this Thursday night!

The Sawyer Free Library is kicking off a new author series, Books on Tap, a night of books, bites, and brew, with award-winning local writer BILLY BAKER on Thursday, May 12 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Minglewood Harborside in Gloucester.  

This first of many fun and engaging evenings of conversations with local authors, sponsored by the Library, is free and open to the public. Appetizers will be provided for attendees, and drinks and food will be available for purchase.   

Thursday, May 12 from 6-8pm at Minglewood

Boston Globe writer Billy Baker is the author of the hilarious, moving memoir We Need to Hang Out: A Memoir of Making Friends, which the New York Times called: “An entertaining mix of social science, memoir, and humor…” Joining Baker for the event will be his friend Kevin Phoenix, owner of Community Fitness Cape Ann. The two will discuss Billy’s book, what it’s like trying to balance work and family life, and the importance of friendship as we age.  The audience will be encouraged to join in on the spirited conversation.

Billy Baker is a staff writer for The Boston Globe, where he writes narrative features and humorous columns. A native of South Boston, he is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Tulane University, and the Columbia Journalism School. Baker has received the Deborah Howell Award for Writing Excellence from the American Society of News Editors and was a member of the Globe team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Billy resides on Cape Ann in Essex with his family. 

Sawyer Free Library’s first “Books and Tap” will be held in the event room at Minglewood Harborside, located at 25 Rogers Street in Gloucester. Registration not required. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5553.

Glo Con’ 22: What Day at the Sawyer Free Library!

The Sawyer Free Library wants to thank the community for helping to make GloCon’22 a HUGE SUCCESS! Fun was had by all! From overflowing workshops with local comic artist Mark Parisi, Art Haven, Graphic Novelists Leela Corman and Cathy J. Johnson to scavenger hunting for Pokemon and playing Mario Kart on the big screen to the exciting appearance of all things Star Wars and so much more – it was a day to remember!

Glo Con ’22 was an all-ages, all day event celebrating comics and graphic novels as art, literature and pop culture, and showcasing the library’s graphic novel and comic book collections.

Everyone should stay tuned as we can’t wait to do it again next year! Until then, be sure to visit, sawyfreelibrary.com to learn more about all the great programming and events taking place at the Library each and every week!

Cat in the Hat (Library Director Jenny Benedict) and Captain Picard (Mayor Greg Verga) at GloCon!
Star Wars Galore at Sawyer Free Library with a visit from 501st Legion! Even baby Yoda made the trip!

Not to miss GloCon’22 Workshops – this Saturday at the Sawyer Free Library!

Come check out Sawyer Free Library‘s first annual comic con event, Glo Con on Saturday, April 30 from 10am – 3pm! We’ve got artists, authors, crafts, workshops, cosplayers, snacks, a photo booth, MarioKart on the big screen, and other superhero/comics/graphic novel activities all fun for the whole family!  Visit: SawyerFreeLibrary.org for all the details!

Be sure to sign up ahead of time for these cool workshops:

10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Make Your Own Comics! Come have fun while drawing your own comics! In this workshop, students will play silly drawing games, generate ideas for their own characters, and start to write their own comic book stories. All levels of experience are welcome! The workshop is run by Cathy G. Johnson, Providence-based writer and artist of the graphic novel The Breakaways. REGISTER HERE.

10:30 a.m. – Storytime: We Dig Worms – Young children and their families can enjoy a fun science-filled story time with author and illustrator Kevin McCloskey. No registration needed.

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Cartooning Workshop with Mark Parisi Recommended for grades 2-7, but all ages will enjoy this fun event with Marty Pants author Mark Parisi. There will be lots of funny cartoons, live drawing, writing and drawing tips and an author Q & A.

Mark is a Gloucester native and the cartoonist behind the comic panel Off the Mark, which is syndicated nationally and appears in The Gloucester Times. He has also authored and illustrated humorous middle-grade books. Mark will be signing books after his presentation.  No Registration Needed.

1:00-3:00 p.m. LightSaber Training – Dabble in the Dark Side or learn how to fight it with the 501st Legion! No Registration Needed.

2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Your Story Matters – Explore storytelling through writing and drawing exercises with Leela Corman, the Providence-based, award-winning artist, cartoonist, and author of the graphic novel Unterzakhn. This program is best for teens and adults.  REGISTER HERE

And that is just the start! From MarioKart, oversized Mad Libs, and a Pokemon Scavenger Hunt to cool crafts, fantastical prizes, graphic novels, and comic books, it will be a day filled with fun activities for all ages to discover.

The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. All Glo Con 2022 presentations and activities are free and open to the public. To register or for more event information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.