Hayley Reardon kicks off Sawyer Free Folk Showcase on Thursday, June 1!

Critically acclaimed local singer songwriter Hayley Reardon to perform at SFL @ 21 Main Street on Thursday evening!

Sawyer Free Library is excited to announce its Sawyer Free Folk Showcase this summer, a series spotlighting local singer-songwriters. The showcase will be held on the first Thursday of the summer months at its 21 Main Street location in downtown Gloucester. The first one is this upcoming Thursday, June 1, with Gloucester-based singer-songwriter Hayley Reardon from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

Hayley will perform a 45-minute set of her music followed by a brief discussion about her approach to songwriting and lyrical composition. The evening is free and open to all to come and enjoy.  No registration is required.

Hayley Reardon is a critically acclaimed folk-pop artist and a storyteller in the truest sense of the word. Her songs are postcards from an artist brave enough to take the road less traveled. Raised in Massachusetts, Reardon dove headfirst into music at 15 and honed her craft for over a decade, sharing the stage with acts like Lori McKenna, Rodney Crowell, and Anaïs Mitchell, among others. Her raw artistry boasts a lyrical and melodic weight far beyond her years. Her music has been described as “brilliantly moving folk/pop with a lyrical depth and soul” (Performer Magazine) and “a melancholy little masterpiece” (American Songwriter Magazine). She recently made a splash with her single, “Losing From Within,” grabbing the attention of Spotify Editorial Playlists like Fresh FolkFolk PopMorning Coffee, and Today’s Singer/Songwriters. Her latest EP, In The Good Light, was recorded in Barcelona with Catalan collaborator Pau Figueres (one of Spain’s finest guitarists). Having recently made her home here in Gloucester, Hayley wowed audiences at the 2023 Singer/Songwriter Challenge at Machaca, winning first prize and making a memorable impression on the Cape Ann music scene.

The Sawyer Free Library is honored to have her perform for its first Sawyer Free Folk Showcase series. 

For more information, visit the calendar at sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5571. 

Learn Baby Sign Language at Sawyer Free Library on May 15

Sawyer Free Library is pleased to offer Baby Sign Language with Baby Keands on Monday, May 15 from 10:20 – 12 noon at 21 Main Street in downtown Gloucester.

Learn about the benefits of signing with babies from Sheryl White of Baby Kneads. During this free class, caregivers will learn how to teach American Sign Language to their little ones, practice several signs and more.

This event will be held at Sawyer Free Library at 21 Main Street. Register at sawyerfreelibrary.org. Questions? Contact: jvitale@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Memoir Series: Author Talk with STELLA NAHATIS 

As a part of May’s Memoir Month, the Sawyer Free Library is pleased to welcome local author Stella Nahatis on Thursday, May 11 at 5:30 to discuss her newly released memoir, Taxi to America: A Greek Orphan’s Adoption Journey. All are welcome to attend this special event at the Library located at 21 Main Street in downtown Gloucester.   To register click HERE or for more information, visit, sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Stella’s journey from Thessaloniki, Greece, to America begins with a pre-dawn taxi ride that she and her sister share while the coffin holding a loved one rides along in the taxi’s trunk. Orphaned and separated from her younger sister “for her own good” as the culture dictated at the time, Stella ends up being adopted by a Greek couple that had emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts. At age 11, she overcomes multiple losses and cultural differences to find a place in her new homeland while finding ways to stay connected to those she loved in Greece.

This story of resilience and perseverance follows Stella’s journey of becoming an “Amerikanaki” and eventually reconnecting with her sister, who had stayed in Greece with her own set of adoptive parents. Even as Stella embraces her new life and culture in America, she rebuilds her loving relationship with her sister after an eight-year separation. Later in life, the sisters take another taxi ride together, this time to recover important details of their birth parents’ life stories that mirror the determination to survive and thrive that marks their own.

To register, or for more information, visit, sawyerfreelibrary.org.

The SFL Romance Book Club, “Ladies Night In”

The SFL Romance Book Club, “Ladies Night In,” resumes on February 23rd at 5:30 p.m. at Sawyer Free Library @21 Main Street.

You won’t want to miss this meeting’s book, “Duchess If You Dare” by Anabelle Bryant. Copies of the novel are available now at the Library to check out.

To register for this event, click HERE or visit SawyerFreeLibrary.org.

To learn more about the free programs at the Sawyer Free Library, visit SawyerFreeLibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library: Conversations with Award Winning Authors in February

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.

To receive the link for this free online event register at sawyerfreelibrary.org

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.

To receive the link for this free online event, register at sawyerfreelibrary.org

SAT Strategy Session and Practice Test

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. 

To register click HERE.

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.

Click HERE to get access to the test.

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

For questions about The Princeton Review Strategy Session and Practice Test, please contact Sawyer Free Library’s Community Librarian Meg O’Neill at moneill@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library at 21 Main Street

SAWYER FREE LIBRARY AT 21 MAIN STREET IS OPEN! Come visit us in our new welcoming space!

Here you will find most all of the in-person library services you have come to depend on, including:

  • An ample selection of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and music CDs for all ages, including adult new releases and bestsellers.
  • Comfortable chairs to read the Library’s selection of current magazines and daily newspapers.
  • Children and teen spaces.
  • Local history research resources.
  • Public computers, printing and copying services, Wi-Fi access, and study tables.
  • Free and discounted museum passes.
  • Digital Devices to Go.
  • Your favorite Sawyer Free Librarians and so much more!

Through the hold system, cardholders can request items from the Library’s full CD, DVD and audiobook collections. Cardholders continue to have access to thousands of titles from other NOBLE libraries that will also be delivered to the new space.

Our new temporary space, is open for all to use and enjoy! Located on the second floor, it is handicap accessible by elevator.

So come by, and say hello! We can’t wait to see you soon at 21 Main Street!

For more details visit, SawyerFreeLibrary.org

FAQ’s on the Sawyer Free Library Temporary Move

The Sawyer Free Library (for now) closed its doors at Dale Avenue to the public on Friday, September 30 at 5pm, and will reopen at our temporary location on Monday, October 24 at 8am, located at 21 Main Street (above Mystery Train). We look forward to serving you at the temporary space while the construction phase of our new library is underway! 

To follow is all you need to know about the move and what to do with your materials during our three-week closure. For even more information, please visit SawyerFreeLibrary.org.