Frequently Asked Questions

Library Cards and Library Materials

How do I get a library card?

See our Getting a Library Card page for answers to all your questions about getting a card. 


How do I get books, DVDs, and other materials from other libraries?

There are several ways to get materials from other libraries. Check out our Request a Book page for more comprehensive information. 


Your card allows you to request material from any NOBLE library. Simply search all NOBLE libraries  in the catalog and place a hold using your library card number and PIN. Alternatively, our Information Services staff will be happy to help you place a hold in person or via phone.

You may also request materials from Massachusetts libraries outside of the NOBLE system through Commonwealth Catalog using your library card number and PIN. Alternatively, our Information Services staff will be happy to help you place a hold in person or via phone.


If you can't find what you're looking for in a NOBLE library or Commonwealth Catalog, one of our Information Services librarians will be happy to track in down for you. See our Request a Book page for the appropriate forms. 


How do I borrow electronic books and audiobooks?

First off, check out our Online Collections! You can find electronic books, audiobooks, graphic novels, television, and films and access them all from our catalog. If you see something you like, click on the title in our catalog. Underneath the Title and cover image of the listing you've clicked, you'll see a link that says "Access Title from OverDrive" or "Access for Gloucester Residents via Hoopla Digital".



Click the "Access from Overdrive" link, and you will be taken to the OverDrive interface and the book or audiobook you want to borrow. You'll see a button that allows you to borrow the title or place it on hold if it is not immediately available. If you are not logged into your library account, you'll be prompted to enter your card number when you try to borrow or place the title on hold. 


You can also access Overdrive on your Windows 10, Android, or iOS device with the Lbby App. Users with a Kindle Fire or Windows 8 operating system will need to use the original OverDrive App. Using either app, you may browse our online collections of books and audiobooks after selecting the NOBLE system as your home library. 



Click the "Access for Gloucester Residents via Hoopla Digital" link, and you will be taken to the Hoopla interface with the resource you wish to borrow. Click the blue "Borrow" button. There are no wait times or holds on Hoopla resources, so you will be able to borrow immediately.  Sawyer Free Library users may borrow five (5) items per month. 


If it is your first time using Hoopla, you will be prompted to create an account using your email address. When you log in, you will be prompted to enter your library card number. 


You can also access Hoopla from your iOS, Windows, or Android device, as well as Kindle Fire devices by downloading the Hoopla App. 


How do I borrow electronic magazines and newspapers?

Check our E-Magazines+E-Newspapers page for links to our magazine and newspaper databases as well as instructions for use. 


How do I renew my books?

If the items you've borrowed have renewals left and are not on hold, there are several ways to renew. You can sign into your account online to  view and renew the items you have checked out. Alternatively, give us a call at 978-281-9763 ext. 10, and we'll be happy to help renew your materials. 


You can renew electronic materials if they have not been placed on hold by signing into your OverDrive account. 


How do I get books delivered?

If you can’t get to the Library, we bring the Library to you! Check out our Home Delivery page to learn more.


How do I make a purchase suggestion?

If you think there's an item we should have, ill out the form on our Request a Book page or pick up one at the main desk. 


Using the Library

How do I request a meeting room?

You can reserve a room online or give us a call at 978-281-9763 ext. 21. We have several spaces that the public may reserve. Check out our Reserve a Room page to learn more about our rooms and the types of events they can host. 


How do I get to the library?

Check out our Hours and Directions page for comprehensive directions to our building and parking lot. 


How do I apply for exhibit space in the Matz Gallery?

Simply fill out the Request for Consideration form online or pick one up at the library. Check out the Matz Gallery page to see what's showing this month! Please note that the exhibition space is very popular, and it's not uncommon for there to be approximately six (6) month wait. 



Can I print something from my email or the internet at the library?

Printing is available from our public computers on the top floor by the Information Services desk. 


How much does printing cost?

Black and white printing is $0.10 a page.  

Color printing is $0.25 a page. 



Can I scan documents and pictures at the library?

Yes. Scanning is available on the top floor by the Information Services desk. You may scan directly to your email or to your USB drive. An Information Services librarian will be happy to assist you if necessary. 



Where can I make regular copies?

A copy machine is also available on the main floor near the circulation desk. 


Can I make color copies?

Yes. Color copying for standard 8.5"x11" and smaller documents is available on the top floor by the Information Services desk. 


How much do copies cost?

Black and white copies are $0.10 a page.  

Color copies are $0.25 a page. 


How can I pay to print?

You can pay for your pages with cash or check at the Information Services desk. 



Can I fax a document from the library?

Unfortunately we do not offer faxing services at this time. 



Is there a fee for using the computers?

No. Computers are free to use. If you print, then you will pay for your printouts. 


Where are the computers?

The computers are on the top floor by the Information Services desk. 


How do I log on to the computers?

Simply choose a computer that is free and enter your library card number to log on. 


I don't have a card. Can I still log on?

Sure! Just let someone at the Information Services desk know, and we'll print you a guest pass. 


Is there a limit to how long I can use the computer?

You can use computers for up to three (3) hours a day. 



Do you have public WiFi?

We do! Choose Sawyer Free Library on your devices to log on. There is no password or limit to use our WiFi. 

Are there quiet places I can work?

Our library is a busy space with lots of things going on! If you'd like a quiet space to work or read, we recommend using the tables placed at the windows around the perimeters of the main and upper floors. These tables offer access to power outlets and provide space for you to spread out. 


Can I work in the Teen Corner?

All guests are welcome to browse the teen collection and check out materials; however, the furniture and tables in the Teen Corner are reserved for teens only. This allows us to create a space that teens truly feel is there own, whether it's to do work as a home-schooled student or just to relax and play video games. 


Where are the restrooms?

Men's and Women's restrooms are located on the ground floor. Please ask for the key at the main desk. Be prepared to leave an item such as your library card, ID, or keys in exchange for the key. This is to ensure that you don't forget to return it!


Children's restrooms are located on the ground floor; you may ask for the keys at the Children's Services Desk. 


Are there water fountains int he library?

There are public water fountains on each floor where you can drink and fill your water bottle. 


Can I have food and drinks in the library?

Yes. Food and drinks are welcome in the library. We ask that drinks be in containers with lids. 


Where can I park?

Please see our Hours+Directions page for directions to the parking lot. There are also metered spaces on Dale Avenue in front of our building. 

How do I find a book or DVD or other library materials?

First, search our catalog. If you don't know the exact title or author, or if you simply want to search for a subject, you can enter a keyword or partial title. Once you've found something interesting, click on the title. You'll be taken a to a page full of information about that item, and if you scroll down, you'll find a location, such as FICTION. Our Library Map gives an overview of where materials are located. If you have any trouble finding something in one of the locations, let a staff member know. We'll be happy to assist you!


How do I find an old obituary in the Gloucester Daily Times?

Our microfilm printers and collections are on the upper floor by the Local History section. If you know the exact or approximate date of the obituary you are looking for and are comfortable using microfilm, you may come in at any time. If you need assistance, one of our Information Services librarians or our Archivist will be happy to get you started. 


You can also email with a request, and we will scan a copy for you. 

Form & Publications

During tax season, popular Federal and Massachusetts State tax forms are freely available to the public on the mezzanine level of the library. 

Massachusetts State Tax Forms & Publications
IRS Forms & Publications


Massachusetts State E-Filing Information
IRS e-File

Where to File Paper Returns

Massachusetts Tax Forms Filing Addresses
IRS Returns

Federal Tax Assistance

Tax Trails from the IRS
The IRS has set up interactive question and answer sessions to frequently asked federal tax topics.

Tax Assistance in Person

Due to a shortage of trained volunteers, the AARP will not offering tax assistance at the Sawyer Free Library this year. 

Tax assistance from AARP volunteers will be available at the Rose Baker Senior Center located at 6 Manuel F. Lewis Street, Gloucester, MA 01930. For more information call (978) 281-9765.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in Massachusetts
Find IRS locations where you can get face-to-face help with your taxes

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
Helps low- to moderate-income taxpayers have more discretionary income for everyday essentials, such as food and housing, by assisting with tax services and ensuring they receive applicable tax credits and deductions. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is available free to taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special attention to those 60 and older.

Help with Massachusetts Tax Questions by Telephone

(800) 392-6089 for tax questions, and to order forms or publications
(617) 887-6140 for TDD equipment

Help with Federal Tax Questions by Telephone

(800) 829-1040 for individual tax questions
(800)829-4933 for business tax questions
(800) 829-4059 for TDD equipment
(800) 829-3676 to order forms or publications