One hundred poems came in on one day! Christy Russo says there’s still time to participate in the 2019 Poetry Without Paper contest at Sawyer Free Public Library

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library Poetry Without Paper Contest 2019 find out more here

deadline April 30, 2019

Fun fact: Christy Russo, Director of Childrens Services at the library, said that new Teen Librarian Haley created the word cloud for this year’s flyer from winning poems submitted in 2018.

 

Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27

Sawyer Free Library Gloucester Massachusetts_20190306_© catherine ryan

Keep What Works at the Library – Keep What Works at the Library”, Martha Bowen letter to the editor, Gloucester Daily Times, March 23, 2019

Keep What Works at the Library LTE by Martha Bowen Gloucester Daily Times_March 23 2019.jpg

UPCOMING MEETINGS THIS WEEK

  • ON Tuesday       March 26, 2019 Library Trustees meeting from 5:30-7:30PM
  • ON Wednesday March 27, 2019 there is a Library (new) Building Committee meeting from 4pm – 6pm. The monthly meetings sometimes follow the traditional schedule of meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm, and sometimes they have been/will be combined with Trustee meetings, etc. Do confirm ahead: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019 02/26/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm SFL location if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings.

Since the last meeting February 26, 2019

 

City Hall from Sawyer Free Gloucester MA_20190306_© catherine ryan

library event page March 25 2019
website 3/25/19

Continue reading “Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27”

Gloucester Poetry Without Paper and Rockport Paperless Poetry contests

2017 Poetry Without Paper celebration youth poetry_20170615_hosted by John Ronan and Christy Russo_Sawyer Free Public Library Glou© catherine ryan.jpg
Christy Russo and John Ronan host the 2017 Poetry Without Paper youth poetry ceremony 

 

2019 poetry contests for children and teens:

Gloucester Poetry Without Paper Contest co-founded by Christy Russo and John Ronan through Sawyer Free Public Library is now in its 17th year! Submissions are due March 1 – April 30th. Read all about it here: https://sawyerfreelibrary.org/poetry-without-paper-contest/

The deadline for Rockport Poetry’s Paperless Poetry Contest is midnight March 31. Submissions can be sent by email: rockportpoetry@gmail.com. Sharon Chace is Rockport Poet Laureate. Read more here. 

National Poem in Pocket Day for 2019 is April 25

Sawyer Free Library new building presentation Tues. February 26

architecture of Sawyer Free Library Gloucester MA_comprised of three buildings_winter 20190224_©Catherine Ryanphoto caption: three buildings of Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free public library, winter 

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Note schedule change – architect presentation with new building committee and library trustees is Tuesday February 26.

  • ON Monday February 25, 2019 Saunders House Stewardship Committee, 10:30AM-noon
  • ON Tuesday February 26, 2019 there is a Library (new) Building Committee meeting 5:30 PM sharp – 7:30 PM. Please note schedule change, again. The monthly meetings announced were said to follow the traditional schedule of meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm, but that has not happened as meetings have been combined with Trustee meetings, etc. Do confirm ahead: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019 02/26/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm SFL location if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings.
  • ON Wednesday February 27, 2019 the fundraising committee for the new building may be meeting but I’m fairly certain it’s not at 4-5am– just a little typo on the events calendar. Maybe it’s 4-5pm

Fundraising committee.jpg

Catch up (click link to select)

 

Sawyer Free new building plans, Prudence Fish weighs in, and public meeting for net-zero green sustainability concerns Feb 5th 2019

Besides the architectural firm, library staff, and library Trustees (including those serving on the New Building committee and the Saunders House committee) there were just a handful of people present for the January 30, 2019 Sawyer Free Public Library new building presentation. There will be monthly Building Committee (“BC”) progress meetings as follows: 2/27, 3/27, and 4/24.

 

sparsely attended presentation mostly architectural firm_ library trustee_ new building and saunders committee members_20190130©catherine ryan
photo caption: Sawyer Free Public Library, Matt Oudens presentation, January 30, 2019, Options 3 & 4 (quite small audience included members of the library Trustees, new building committee, Saunders House committee, and a few residents)

 

The architect stated that the current building was horrible and doing nothing for us, that the new building would improve the look, mediate between old and new, and most importantly provide a strong presence on Dale Avenue. Indeed, The driving goal stated by the Trustees and building committee is to make a statement building that claims a greater presence on Dale Avenue.

I feel that Sawyer’s impact via Saunders and from Dale Avenue (and the back) are elegant. Do we need another City Hall? The library already has a strong individual design identity and at different scales. There’s a possibility for enhancement, but I’m less confident with examples presented by this team. They continue to describe the library in negative terms. They did not consider honoring or determining the delirious, exceptional qualities of this library’s already enviable assets, civic center balance, and Gloucester.

New building projected to cost 30 million + and is All staircase / books begone

Preliminary plans Option 3 and Option 4 were touted. Unlike prior reveals, these plans do include and illustrate the cherished historic Saunders House, the beloved Rando Memorial Garden (described as “the random garden could be preserved”), and a setback from the street (Dale Avenue). One allowed preservation of the north side space that’s there and sensitively sited by Monell.

However, the new options continue to put forth a three story building dominated by an unwieldy progressive or processional staircase  (“usable bleacher seating”) and the children’s services on the top floor with an “occupiable terrace”– an absurd design flaw roundly dismissed by patrons, corporators and experts since first iterations were presented late 2016.  Since they’ve been working on this for years, and options 3 & 4 are only slightly different than what was initially proposed (the “components” were shifted but still there) why aren’t all the plans readied? The earlier plans* had the progressive staircase along the South side of the Monell building. *see below

The efficient Monell building can welcome and disperse 150+ guests for a lecture or presentation on its main floor without any elevator crush. Just as with homes, aged or injured appreciate that the main floor embraces a one level plan. The current entrance steps are few. Existing accessibility options are sufficient for any population. Similarly, bustling children’s services programming — like caregiver laptime– have multiple access options. There is never any stroller traffic jam at the elevator or entrances. We used to line up our strollers outside. As a mother of twins, access to the outdoors (North side and Dale) was a most welcome part of programs and sometimes necessary for “family time” (e.g. swift exit for overtired bawling!) Navigating a rooftop green space terrace and a purposeless overgenerous statement staircase with toddlers and a double stroller would have been my idea of a nightmare. I’m not sure patrons or staff would be excited to bring a group of toddlers on a roof or staircase for serious running around & playtime, but that’s not a problem on the ground floor. Prior to 2014 a couple of Trustees had spoken with me about a climbable public sculpture commission to enhance that outdoor space. It’s funny to hear it being described as dispensable.

Also confounding was the idea behind a glassed in children’s extra room: it would afford adults choices for seating or reading outside the space with the option of observing their charges signed up for some children’s programming. I found that a)creepy because it also underscores welcoming observation by anyone and b)depressing as it misses the point entirely of literacy and building community. I sought library programming to experience with my children and friends and foster connections. (I suppose it could be some type of babysitting amenity??)

  • New Sawyer library building preliminary plans _20190130_ options 3 and 4 not markedly different than options shown 2017 © catherine ryan

 

scituate mom carrying kid on stairs.jpg
photo caption: Scituate was one of two libraries (the old one “very dated and ugly inside not unlike this one…similarly required aerating”) shared as model examples. Note the mom carrying the kid on the dominant staircase. The second model example was Webster which looked similar to the new hospital builds in Burlington.

Prudence Fish reflects on the meeting

I wondered what others felt about the meeting. Prudence Fish writes:

“The meeting of the building committee last week concentrating on a rebuild plan for the Monell building initially gave the audience a certain amount of confidence and relief that a decision had been made to proceed with a plan that would retain the Monell building and bring it into the 21 century. Our bubble burst when the committee was asked if this meant demolition was off the table and were told that nothing was off the table.

This process has gone on for over two years. It will still be years before they break ground and even more years before a ribbon cutting. This process has become a painful never ending ordeal. Throughout this time the projected costs have escalated. The money spent on plans with no immediate end in sight is increasingly extravagant.
It goes without saying that the building should be as green as is possible. However, this is in a local historic district and is also in a National Register District. It is unlikely that the National Trust for Historic Preservation would ever approve or endorse the demolition of an existing 40 year old building in order to build a net zero or green building replacement.

It’s time to cut to the chase and move things along with common sense and a plan that is affordable and meets our needs within the walls of the Monell building.” – Prudence Fish reflecting on the January 30, 2019 meeting

Some Q & A from 1/30/19

*I think the consultants should transcribe the meetings and collect & consolidate prior feedback so as to avoid misstating comments such as no knowledge of the community’s green concerns or that the north side from their understanding is not used. The library Trustees can provide accessible links on the website and print outs for the meetings.

Question  Are nimble renovations, major adaptive reuse, or tear down more green? Is keeping the building the same size more green? Of plan options 3 & 4 which is more green? How about leaving the building pretty much the same? Why is there so much emphasis on more windows if green goals are desired? How can you talk about net zero when you demolish one building to build another? In the effort to meet programmable needs can sustainability needs be met?

Answer- According to the presenters, because the architectural firm is now realizing just how important green building is to the community, they encourage us to join the building committee for a public meeting Tuesday February 5, 2019 to delve into these questions. The architectural firm announced that it had not realized just how concerned Gloucester was with green builds and as such brought on a consulting expert to join their team. Emphasis on green design was a huge concern two years ago during every public meeting.  There will be a meeting about the new building and green design Tuesday February 5, 2019. 5:30PM

Question- Does plan 3 have more parking? Can a parking lot be added to the North side? (“North” side is the space between Central Grammar and the library. The few people present said please preserve this green space corridor which is consistent public feedback.) How does designing for more cars line up with green concerns?

Answer – Maybe. “We need to study everything further; The plans are very preliminary.”  (Three guests expressed preserving the North side green space.)

Question: What is the size of the new plan?

Answer- 26,000 to 27,000 but again these plans are preliminary. They believe the plans are within what’s allowable, but “no matter municipal amendments overrides zoning.” *known as Municipal Dover amendments

Question: Do the plans require more staff? Do the plans require more janitors?

Answer: staffing will likely be the same operationally. A new building will cost less to run and may require less staff by design. (Wait– more staff has been requested and is there proof to support those claims. More building can cost more…)

Question-Does presentation of plans 3&4 mean that tearing down Monell is off the table?

Answer. No. This process will take 3 or 4 more years and we’ll work with the architectural firm through each option in detail. Furthermore the building committee and architects stressed that a renovation would most likely be more money so the options presented tonight may be a moot point. Approaches of adaptive reuse (like options 3 & 4 presented at this meeting) “may be significantly more money!”

Question- where are deliveries, storage, trash and behind the scenes work accounted for in the plans? (I’d add where are archives, digitization crowd source options, etc).

Answer – the plans aren’t granular at this stage.

Question-Is the feasibility study due in May or June?What exactly are we fundraising for if the plans aren’t decided? What will be the demonstration for donors?

Answer- We do have to begin fundraising. (A fundraising firm has been contracted.) The building is estimated to cost more than 30 million based on the timeline.

 

 

Further questions

Where has the art gone? Can we bring the art back?

How will Saunders House be integrated and featured?

Are there any women on the new building committee? Do any of the members have children under 18 years of age? under 14 years of age? Have any of them had experience with managing an architectural build of this scale, one that’s open to the public and boasts enviable assets including historical properties, archives and collections, green space, and specific security concerns?

Where has the emphasis on books and literacy gone? Have the Trustees, committees and architects seen Once Upon a Contest selections from Cape Ann Reads initiative? Cape Ann Reads was co-founded by Library Director Deborah Kelsey. It’s my understanding that the trustees are driving this new build.

The most frequented and photographed library spaces at the Boston Public Library and New York Public Library continue to be the classic reading rooms. Retired New England patriots player and new children’s book author and program developer Martellus Bennett was inspired by the classic wrap around library as depicted in Beauty in the Beast, and Harry Potter fans of all ages admire its enviable repository environs. Is there something to learn from the Cape Ann Museum proposal for a new building targeting one year and under 5 million? Can a design competition be opened up, requiring build out completion in less than two years and under 5 million? Can immediate expansion and attention to bathrooms, renovation and expansion of children’s services, new staff hires, and maximizing lovely Saunders happen ASAP? What are the possibilities for any beneath ground (or beneath parking lot) solutions or connections as with the underground walkway between the National Gallery buildings?

You can peruse the library new building plan options offered on the architect’s website (when the staircase was on the south side). The architect is keen on pillow seating options on a wide staircase (dated High Line-esque without any presentation spot or view).

Matt Oudens selling Gloucester build on his site now

old plans
first options, big statement building with big staircase with pillows

Since 2013 How much money has been spent

  • on marketing
  • on the Saunders House
  • on the main building
  • on the new building pursuit

 

 

Upcoming meetings: Sawyer Free Library new building plans

Monnell architect_Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Public Library_Gloucester MA_20181128_104037 ©c ryan.jpg

photo caption: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free public library from Dale Avenue (beautiful Monnell and Saunders building)

UPCOMING MEETINGS

  • ON Monday Jan 28 there is Saunders House Committee meeting 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM LOCATION: Byers/Davidson Room according to the library’s calendar. Additionally, The Saunders House Stewardship Committee, meets at 10:30 am on the third Monday of every month; confirm locations on the day. January 2019 was moved to January 14th because it would have fallen on Martin Luther King day.

Saunders.jpg

  • ON Wed Jan 30 there is Library (new) Building Committee meeting 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Then monthly: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings–there was one scheduled at Dore & Whittier in December.

 

For your review – summary and scenes from the November 15, 2018 public meeting and recent headlines:

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (1).jpgphoto caption: Central Grammar apartments (left), City Hall (back), Sawyer Free library (right)

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (2)
photo caption: at the start of the 11/15/18 Library new building meeting – eight to ten tables set up, and mood boards on stands

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (4)
photo caption: Brad Dore introduces the design team November 2018 (eight including him) Matt Oudens raising hand in this photo presented his designs at the 2017 meeting

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (3)

Approximately fifty attendees –including the library board and staff plus eight consultants from the firm, Dore & Whittier Project Management and Architecture— convened on the main floor of Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library on November 15, 2018. Individuals from the Historical commission, Action Inc, Saunders House, Gloucester Green, a local middle school teacher, a Varian employee, library members and 3 teenagers were present.

I believe the light attendance was due to a feeling of repetition. The public meeting was billed as an opportunity to provide feedback to the library yet again. It turns out that the gathering was a required step in the next phase of the library building plans and as such was presented to be starting from square one. No matter how one tries to paint it, it’s not square one. “This is just a necessary step,” the consultants explained. “”It doesn’t matter.”

Since 2013, the library has facilitated and hired consultants to help with public forums related to the building and future plans. (Public and committee meetings, agendas, minutes, and strategic planning are requirements for grants and funding, not to mention big pursuits like new buildings or restoration). It is disconcerting that years of prior and extensive staff and public feedback are not aggregated and readied by the library board nor contracted consultants–especially as several in attendance were present at the January 11, 2017 meeting attended by 150+ that sent the building plans back to the drawing board.

contentious Jan 11 2017 meeting Sawyer Free.jpg
photo caption: Jan 11 2017 crowd  (paintings on view like the Lanes  since moved)

 

That contentious January 2017 meeting was preceded by the corporators* meeting two weeks prior where feedback recommended recording and sharing public comments for transparency and efficiency and many of the same concerns were expressed.

*I am a library corporator and can attest that project updates have not been shared (albeit annual meetings) Corporators are a devoted library audience and might help.

clerk recorder
photo caption: The official recorder for committee and municipal meetings in City Hall is a great model. 

 

In between the timing of that big 2017 meeting and this small 2018 one, the library pursued forums via ThinkGloucester facilitated by Gloucester Conversations for its strategic planning. At those forums, the library indicated that  results would be shared in the fall of 2018. I was not the only one expecting those results linked on the homepage and printed out for the November 15th meeting. They weren’t. Following the meeting, a board member kindly shared the findings: Sawyer Free Library thinkGloucester Project Report_final 2018

State funding support for library buildings is guided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners ( MBLC). In part because of the state’s toolkit funding process, the November 2018 meeting became a fresh start and first step, Phase 1. I was told that the architects and designers needed to hear feedback “first hand” which is reasonable until you establish that yes in fact most of them had been at that most well attended public meeting to date mentioned above (2017), and have been engaged by the library and worked with the library committees for years. Although that money is disassociated as part of the MBLC toolkit next phase, each purchase order (PO) for marketing/public relations (PR) and phases towards new building plans can affect the library’s bottom line, and take years.  When I find them, I will link to the library’s letter of intent, a list of costs for consulting to date (phases or not), building related work, marketing completed since 2013, and for the fine art removed.

In 2013 top concerns included new bathrooms, more staff, the Saunders building, art & archives, and the HVAC systems. Here we are six years later: I can say there has been no change in the bathrooms. The library needs more staff. Voices to preserve the John and Dorothy Rando memorial garden have arisen. The teenagers at the November meeting hoped for new lighting. Perhaps that’s an easy renovation. After six years, the library may have saved some money and developed outreach by conducting a local design competition, fixing the bathroom, and hiring staff. We may have move forward together to MBLC instead of what feels like a never ending “stage one”.

MBLC supports new builds that adhere to a best practice formula and adjusts as no two libraries or communities are exactly the same. For instance, specific additional square footage from a current footprint, varied “programmable” spaces, adequate parking and public input are guidelines. I would suggest that money be spent on clerks/recorders for the public meetings and the library should insist on that from their consultants (whether Dore &Whittier or not). I would hope that new input at every stage continues to be updated and evaluated. Why is the focus on “green” LEED not parsing the MBLC parking spaces requirements? The Boston Public Library did away with them–we should expect no less. Some rural or smaller communities may need larger library builds and new visions to create a statement cultural public gathering spot where there hasn’t been one. (Although I think that’s unlikely in MA.) Our extant library has a variety of gathering spaces. And Gloucester is blessed with an abundance of large, special public spaces that work in concert with the library. City Hall, Cape Ann Museum, Temple Ahavat Achim, the YMCA, and the Gloucester Meetinghouse UU Church are essentially library abutters and can pack hundreds.  The Legion, Rose Baker Senior Center and Maritime Gloucester are short blocks away. The library can move events to off-site locations when and if it’s mutually rewarding. Mostly it does OK in house. Gloucester’s population hovers 30,000 which is the same as it was at the time of the last expansion. Does our population require more space? According to sources in the paper and the meeting, the building plans remain many years out.  The Massachusetts funding model has decreased and according to the MBLC press release issued Nov 2018, “The longer a community goes without being able to start its project, the higher the construction costs will be.” At what point do the costs outweigh options like renting if building lifespans are warrantied to a few decades expectancy? If the process requires construction this costly, perhaps the state can reimburse communities more money, quicker, and/or develop other models?

You can read a range of reactions to the library’s November 15, 2018 meeting in an article by Ray Lamont in the Gloucester Daily Times: Sawyer Free Library plans still unclear,  November 19, 2018

Ray Lamont article above the fold_library building plans update_Gloucester Daily Times_20181120_©c ryan

 

And a follow up article Library debate: to raze or expand. Decisions needed before state funding kicks in, by Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times, November 29, 2018

Gloucester Daily Times Nov 29 2018 Library debate to raze or expand by Ray Lamont.jpg

 

Dore & Whittier was awarded the 197 million Newton North high school design and build, and multiple MBLC and MSBA contracts for the City of Gloucester. Here is a link to the complete project list published on their website (and photos below). You’ll need to go back and forth among the awarded category projects to separate work by town. (For instance, West Parish is listed but does not indicate “Gloucester” and the library work does not appear). The state sites don’t aggregate all phases either. The Massachusetts school PO status from March 2018 lists 3 awards: the East Gloucester Elementary School study, the GHS roof repair and the West Parish build.

 

 

 

at the back of Sawyer Free pano_20170129_©c ryan

 

The current website does not have a “button” or menu selection for new building plans. You can select from the calendar to see some of the meetings announced. You can select About to explore more about the board committees and some minutes and agendas. Some meetings are linked into the City of Gloucester calendar, too.

website Jan 21 2019.jpg

Round up of new library building coverage prior to November 2018: Continue reading “Upcoming meetings: Sawyer Free Library new building plans”

Mary Poppins visits the library!

Justine and Christy share Sawyer Free children’s services fun program from a versatile enrichment talent:

Mark your calendars: Mary Poppins Visits the Library Thursday, February 21, 2019

mary poppins courtesy sawyer free childrens programs

Sign up to read to Zyla the dog at Sawyer Free Library!

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library children’s services offers fantastic weekly programming. Zyla the Therapy Dog loves a good book! The next “Sign up to read” or sit with Zyla are January 29th, March 5th and May 14th. Looking ahead: there’s plenty of time to prepare for the annual Poetry Without Paper contest co-founded by Jon Ronan with Christy Russo, Director of Children’s Services. This year, national Poem in Pocket Day falls on April 25, 2019.

 

Coastal beauty: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library

Gloucester’s enchanting open spaces  – Sawyer Free library’s John and Dorothy Rando Memorial Garden at the front and side entrances

Sawyer Free_beautiful massachusetts public library _Gloucester MA_open space natural garden and ampitheater _20180530_105058.jpg

 

 

looking to City Hall from Sawyer Free _May flowers spring 2018_©c ryan

Fitz Henry Lane and other art removed from the library building (January 2018):

https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/down-the-lane-fitz-henry-lane-art-shuffled-from-gloucester-sawyer-free-library-to-cape-ann-museum/

Proposed building plans 2017 includes 1972 quest for what became lovely Monnell building:

https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/no-finer-place-for-sure-downtown-proposed-building-plans-sawyer-free-library-city-hall-whoa-in-the-news-plus-the-1973-appeal-led-by-joseph-garland-universal-access-and-archives/

 

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, & Mayor Romeo Theken

Two weeks to go. Kids- send in your poems: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway

IMG_20180409_160523

Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times: Continue reading “Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, & Mayor Romeo Theken”

Calling all grandparent caregivers! Sawyer Free library hosting a fascinating program with community partners just for you

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libary Childrens Services Tuesday April 24, 2018 5:30-7pm 

“Opening Doors, Opening Hearts: Grandparents raising Grandchildren Cape Ann: Guest speakers Deborah Doucette author of Raising our Children’s Children: Room in the Heart and Colleen Pritoni, Director of Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.”

This original & innovative event is hosted by Sawyer Free Library Childrens Services in collaboration with community partners like: Cape Ann Museum,  Cape Ann YMCA, Senior Care, The Open Door, Healthy Gloucester Collaborative, WIC, Pathways, NS MVP, and Backyard Growers.

IMG_20180409_160836

Plant a Poet-Tree! Sawyer Free Children’s Library Services April 20 poetry celebration

“April is National Poetry Month! Kids can celebrate by writing a poem & planting a tree! All supplies will be provided for this make & take program on April 20, 2018 from 2-3pm”

IMG_20180409_161227

Always busy, busy fun programming through children’s services at Sawyer Free Library

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, and Mayor Romeo Theken

IMG_20180409_160523

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway!

Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times:

“Students! Families! Grandparents, aunts and uncles! The annual Poetry Without Paper contest, sponsored by the Sawyer Free Library, will again open from March 1 to April 30. All students living in or attending school in Gloucester are eligible, from elementary to high school. This is the 16th year of the contest and hundreds of students participate each season, winners claiming prizes, a public reading, and a chance to be on TV. Spread the word! Watch for details at: www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.”

Mayor Romeo Theken broadcasts and celebrates National Poetry Month every April, Poetry without Paper, and Poem in Your Pocket Day which is April 26 in 2018. #pocketpoem

Poetry Without Paper posted at City Hall.jpg
Mayor Romeo Theken National Poetry Month 2018 poster at City Hall, Gloucester, Mass

O’Maley Innovation Middle School has it posted in several spots and it’s been included in newsletters since the contest opened. Good luck to all the writers!

 

Cape Ann Reads celebrates picture books Jan 27 City Hall #GloucesterMA

Cape Ann Reads invitation for aritsts and writers

Cape Ann Reads Children’s Picture Book Celebration reception and fair

Calling all children’s picture book fans! The four Cape Ann library directors and Mayor Romeo Theken hope you’ll join us for a very special Cape Ann Reads reception at Gloucester’s City Hall on Saturday January 27, 2018, to honor the scores of writers and artists that participated in the Cape Ann Reads contest. The party and pop-up portfolio/book fair will be open to the public from 12pm-4pm. There will be a brief awards ceremony at 1:30. Along with the medal and honor books, the jurors selected several more for special recognition. Breaking news: a group show of these will travel to all four communities in 2018 with support from the Bruce J Anderson Foundation, a Gold Sponsor.

Cape Ann Massachusetts can now boast the country’s FIRST ever picture book contest and programming hosted by four public libraries and wonderful community partners. The contest fostered the local children’s picture book network, and business in the region. Five books were self-published (or in the works) since the contest closed, reviewed and sold in local stores. An original Cape Ann Reads trophy by local artist, Jason Burroughs, has been commissioned and will be unveiled at the celebration.

SAVE THE DATE Cape Ann Reads celebration reception Jan 27 2018 (3)

Please contact capeannreads2016@gmail.com if you’d like to sponsor a prize or award–or any cafes or restaurants that want to showcase a small tray of light fare or coffee/tea–as there’s time to be included in the printed matter.

Exquisite Virginia Lee Burton art exhibition @GalleryA4 Takenaka Corporation Foundation in Tokyo Japan | loans from Cape Ann Museum and Sawyer Free Library

Watch this beautiful video tour to see a world class exhibition design in Tokyo for Virginia Lee Burton worthy of her legacy. The creative and smart installation looks stunning! The temporary summer show will be up through August. Gallery A4 is a public foundation established by Takenaka Corporation. Photos from Gallery A4 web site. 

There’s also an exhibition featuring the Art of Eric Carle up through July at the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. 

Gallery A4 Tokyo exhibit Virginia Lee Burton

a ‘must-see’ video of the installation

A4 japan exhibition vlb

Virginia Lee Burton in Gloucester

video caption: Virginia Lee Burton, children’s book author/illustrator, Folly Cove textile designer and founder, resided and worked in Gloucester, MA, where she created some of America’s most popular children’s books. She received the Caldecott medal in 1943 for The Little House. Other books include Katy and the Big Snow and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Excerpts from her Caldecott speech. Music: The Little House, 1926, by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. 

katy ghwalk
Find the link to PDF print out of Burton’s wonderful Caldecott speech

Virginia Lee Burton display at Cape Ann Museum 2011.

Virginia Lee Burton display at CAM 2011

Kirkus review and book launch at Charles Fine Arts for the new children’s story about Bobbi Gibb, first woman Boston Marathoner and artist

IMG_20170608_150512.jpgLast chance | last week to visit current group exhibition at

Charles Fine Arts 

Flowers and Elegant Objects

closes June 16, 2017

 

Group show features Bobbi Angell,   Liz Ayer,   Stephen Bates,   David Bareford,   Lorrie Berry,   Eli Cedrone,   Geoffrey Teale Chalmers,   Anne Winthrop Cordin,   Traci Thayne Corbett,   Yhanna Coffin,   Fran Ellisor,   Bobbi Gibb,   Paul George,   Ellen Granter,   Marjorie Hicks,   Christine Molitor Johnson,   Bonita LeFlore,   Nella Lush,   Marija Pavlovich McCarthy,   Tracy Meola,   Carole Porter,   Judith Monteferrante,   Katherine Richmond,   Jan Roy,   Rosalie Sidoti,   Tony Schwartz,   Charles Shurcliff,   Deb Wolf

Special Event June 13

Charles Fine Art is hosting a book launch Tuesday June 13 for the new children’s book about Bobbi, The Girl Who Ran, by Kristina Yee and Frances Poletti with illustrations by Susanna Chapman. The event is co hosted by Sawyer Free Library and The Book Store. Here’s the Kirkus Review:

Bobbi Gibb page

The Girl Who Ran kristina yee

IMG_20170608_150752 (1).jpg“In cooperation with Gibb herself, Poletti and Yee tell the story of the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, questioning authority with her feet.

The Boston Marathon had been taking place for 70 years when Bobbi Gibb, a white woman, steps illegally to the starting line in 1966, a hoodie covering her hair. Her road there is strewn with the land mines of bias, everything from “So unladylike” to the official comments on the rejection to her application: “Women cannot run marathons. It’s against the rules.” Poletti and Yee neatly evoke the joy some find in running, simply running. Gibb “ran with her pack, going higher and higher, / the world whooshing by, like the wind in the fire.” Such couplets are found every few pages, the last four words the refrain. Readers gain a sense of the experience through Chapman’s artwork, the light-footed energy of the watercolors slipping outside the pen’s fine line, a veil of wind trailing behind Gibb. Halfway through the race her ruse is up. She is boiling in her hoodie and confides to a fellow marathoner, a black man, that she is afraid of ejection. “We won’t let anyone throw you out; it’s a free road.” Well-told and illustrated, Gibb’s story speaks to not only women’s fight for equality, but the power of community.” 

Don’t miss the Alice Gardner art exhibition at The Bookstore of Gloucester | dozens of Fiesta books already sold!

The Bookstore of Gloucester
hosts
Alice Gardner | St Peter’s Fiesta Gloucester, Massachusetts
A solo exhibition featuring the original illustrations (gouache, pen&ink, some acrylic) for her NEW children’s picture book published ©2017 the 90th Anniversary of Gloucester’s St. Peter’s Fiesta!
Address: 61 Main Street. Gloucester, MA 01930
Exhibition dates: June 3, 2017 – Fiesta and beyond!
Bookstore phone: (978) 281-1548

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday June 17

The first St. Peter’s Fiesta book launch and debut reading will be held at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library as a special part of a celebration program for the 90th Anniversary Party of St. Peter’s Fiesta thrown by the library, The Bookstore and Caffe Sicilia on Saturday June 17, 10-11:15AM 

“After coming to Gloucester so much I finally said I have to get a studio so I can spend my days here!”

She did. Alice Gardner maintains a studio in downtown Gloucester, next to the Cape Ann Museum. She has lived on the North Shore for more than 40 years. St. Peter’s Fiesta is a subject Gardner has photographed, chronicled and painted for over a decade.

Gardner says that multiple programs and contacts stemming from the Cape Ann Reads initiative and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators were critical in getting this new book into production. “Just do it!” was a motivating topic from a Steven Pressfield talk sponsored by the latter. She did. She created an entire new body of some of the Fiesta moments that have touched her most, alive with color and completed in time to coincide with the 2017 90th year Anniversary. Gardner was also inspired by Anita Silvey’s Cape Ann Reads presentations. She said Silvey mentioned “calling all these celebrities for “Everything I need to Know I learned From A Children’s Book.” It made me think that. Why don’t I just call? I wanted to talk to the Mayor. I wanted to talk to many people…This is a Gloucester story. They all grew up with Fiesta. I did not. They became part of creating the book…”  Gardner’s generous acknowledgement narrative is given great attention in the design.

The new paintings on exhibit are not for sale, but you can see a small selection of Gardner’s joyous responses to the spirit of Fiesta in larger, earlier works at The Book Store; or call ahead and visit her studio. “I am inspired by public events that make people happy, they’re doing things where there’s a unique sense of place and culture.” Gardner painted a series inspired by Boston icons– like the Boston Common swan boats– for Massachusetts General Hospital’s Illuminations. She’s also captured the seasonal charm of Manchester by the Sea at Fourth of July.

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Studio next to Cape Ann Museum http://www.alicegardnerstudio.com/

The Bookstore has a substantial children’s book section The Bookstore of Gloucester Facebook link

Alice print exhibit at the books store for Sebastian Junger reading and Fiesta 2016 

Alice photos OF Fiesta featured on GMG