< Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library



The Children’s Library: a Focus on Literacy

As the Children’s Library, we are dedicated to working with children and families in the community to provide opportunities for learning and cultural enrichment. An important aspect of our mission is the promotion of literacy. This year, through a generous gift from the Friends of the Library, the Children’s Library added Awe, a stand-alone computer with educational software that aligns with national standards in literacy for Pre-K – Grade 2 education across the curriculum. The popular computer fosters self-paced learning and discovery toward a blended teaching approach. New computer furniture was purchased to allow children to use the computers with more ease and comfort. We have also added books and materials in support of “Reading Streets,” the Gloucester Public Schools’ elementary reading program. Children’s staff represented the library at Gloucester Public Schools Kindergarten registration to present parents with library card registration materials. We continued to sponsor several book clubs at the library. In June, staff visited every city elementary school, St. Ann’s, and The Charter School, doing book talks, presenting the annual summer reading program, and distributing library registration materials to 1,730 students. Using the American Library Association program “Every Child Ready to Read” as a model for literacy-based programming, children’s staff held more than 80 story hours for 2,227 children and families this year at the library.

Our summer reading program annually includes a reading incentive program in which children receive the “prize” of a new book of their choice. The books are the gift of anonymous donors. This spring we also added the gift of a book bag, journal and pen, generously donated by the Friends of the Library. The bags are given whenever a new library card is issued to a child. This has been an exciting surprise to new Children’s Library members.

This year we sponsored programs based on literature and legends such as Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, Woodland Cinderella, and Pocahontas. Another component we have added to our regular monthly calendar are the Lego and Science Clubs. Each is part of the Children’s Library initiative to support content area learning. We have also made significant additions to our collection, particularly in mathematics, to encourage literacy skills across the curriculum.

As we said farewell to Jean Dugan and Szilvia Vanderberg this year, our Children’s Library staff welcomed two new part time members, Eileen Smith and Mari Martin. Jean retired from her work with our Children’s Library after 9 years. Szilvia had been with us for 2 years. These remarkable librarians will be greatly missed.

Lisa Ryan and Justine Vitale continue to collaborate in all ways to make the Children’s Library team an outstanding one. Heather Falk and James King are exemplary library pages. Our volunteers, Rebecca Aliberte, Gary Backstrom, Rosalyn Gold, Heather Falk, Mary Mitchell, Grace Poirier, Cara Stockman, and Junie Van Dyke are truly dedicated people.

We are grateful for the continued support of our community, and for your involvement and interest in our Children’s Library.

Respectfully submitted,

Christy L. Rosso
Children's Librarian


A family reads together on the popular cushion "Blueberry" in the Children's Library.



A Lego Club participant is
photographed with her model
"A Whole Different Island."


The exciting Toe Jam Puppet Band filled
The Friend Room to jump start our
Summer Reading "Dream Big, Read"
program this June.


The Science Club combined
fun and learning
with Red Cabbage
Science experiments