Restoration carpenter Steve Goodick uses a hand saw as he works outside the Saunders House.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CHILDREN'S LIBRARY
"Reading makes all other learning possible. We have to get books into our children's hands early and often."
GLOUCESTER LYCEUM AND SAWYER FREE LIBRARY
The then Senator Obama’s impassioned statement advocating early literacy, and the importance of reading speaks to the heart of our mission in the Sawyer Free Children’s Library. This year children’s librarians reached out to the community through public programming, including storytimes, cultural events, and one-on-one, to share their knowledge of books and reading in as many ways as possible. 2008-2009 was a year of change and challenge. Catherine Talty, Children’s Librarian for twenty years, retired in March. Her presence has been greatly missed. Jeanne Anderson, Bookmobile and Children’s Library Assistant, joined her in retirement in April. Jeanne will be especially remembered for her pre-school storytimes.
Programming highlights include Halloween Stories with Lucille LePage, Audubon programs, and Carole Finn’s Stories of Dr. Seuss. Yetti Frenkel presented a Nature Haiku Cardmaking workshop, and Rick Roth brought the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team.
As summer approached, part time Library Assistants Jean Dugan, Justine Vitale and I were determined to continue the annual summer reading program. Volunteer Mary Mitchell returned from an injury to help with book prep. We created an electronic mailing list to reach a wide number of patrons, including pediatricians and pediatric dentists who are posting children's programming notices in their offices. Jean and Justine were instrumental, as always, in creating summer reading lists, helping to plan summer programming, and assisting the large numbers of patrons. When Miss Frizzle landed the Magic School Bus in the Friend Room on June 23, we joined the audience of 110 parents and children in their excitement. Working together, we were able to produce a full summer of programs. Christine Garcia-Akers was librarian on board for the Whale Watch, and volunteer Rebecca Aliberte worked on our collection and did a weekly storytime. We continued to reward children with new books for reading during the summer. We also participated in a new reading incentive program sponsored by the Topsfield Fair. “Read and Win” participants had to read (or be read to) 200 pages to receive a packet of prizes from the fair. 163 children registered for the program. Not only did we meet the summer’s many challenges, but our summer reading participation tripled from the previous year.
The Children’s Library looks forward to another year of change and challenge. I was deeply honored to accept the position of Children’s Librarian this September, and we will add an Assistant Children’s Librarian position to our staff. As we work this year to assimilate new groups and ideas to reshape our department we will work to extend our community outreach and enrich our children’s collection.
Christy L. Rosso