< Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library



The very heart of Gloucester is this both quiet and lively place where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to discover knowledge, find inspiration and foster our community. Over the past year the wide range of programs and services presented demonstrates the essential role the Sawyer Free Library plays in the intellectual, educational and civic life of Gloucester. As you read through the various committee reports, be assured the remarkable bounty of programs and services all happened due to the tireless efforts of staff, volunteers and community advocates.

The above is even more remarkable as it was accomplished in the face of continuing budget and funding cutbacks. I know of no other library in the Commonwealth who has had the dubious distinction of requesting a fifth consecutive waiver of our accreditation status. While the result of this request is unknown as of this date, it must not be option we should ever have to face again in the future.

Today, libraries encompass more than books and archives, no matter how essential those resources are not just for current scholars, but also for future generations of researchers and students. The digital revolution has altered how information is created and distributed, how people learn, and how they connect with one another. To this end the Board of Directors has embarked on a long-range planning project to identify and map how we will meet those needs and delivery systems in the years to come. You will be able to shape that future by participating in upcoming focus groups and surveys. We need to hear from all of you!

Finally, acknowledging and thanking the Library’s staff and legion of supporters is always a pleasure. It is difficult to comprehend how we would function without them. As you will see from this Annual Report, we are well on our way to reimagining and crafting the Sawyer Free Library of the future. After all, “Cutting libraries during a recession is like cutting hospitals during a plague." -- Eleanor Crumblehulme.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan Ciolino
President of the Board


The Gloucester Lyceum &
Sawyer Free Library and the
Gloucester Garden Club
sponsored a highly popular
lecture by Chris Leahy
on butterflies.