BOARD OF THE FRIENDS OF THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY
Peter Jenner, co-chair
Lauren Johnson, co-chair
Betty Nicastro, Secretary
Maureen Burke, Treasurer
Kelli Ann Backstrom
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE FRIENDS OF THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY
Lady Bird Johnson once said “Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the
town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.” We believe this as well. Friends are
ardent supporters of the Library and well represent the City of Gloucester. We range in interests,
life experiences and age - our youngest Friend is 5 years old! We support the Library because the
Library supports our interests, be that in literature, the arts, civic engagement, general research or
We continue to fund the Books for Babies program sending parents of every newborn in
Gloucester a package of books, reading tips and early literacy information. By reading to their
babies and becoming regular library users themselves, parents help their babies develop language
Friends provide Library users with free and deeply discounted museum passes to many of finest
museums in the area including the Children’s Museum, the Museum of Science, the Essex
Shipbuilding Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. These passes are very popular and in
This year we financed some more of the sorely needed back office renovations. We were also
pleased to participate in the Gloucester Reads program by purchasing copies of Joe Garland’s
Lone Voyager to help satisfy the demand for this popular reading initiative.
Our membership continues to increase and many members responded this year by joining or
renewing their membership at our new benefactor level. Benefactors have allowed us to
supplement the Library’s modest book budget.
The Friends produced a T-shirt with a wonderful image from one of the Fitz Henry Lane
paintings in the Library’s collection. We partnered with a company called Bookwear, who
produced the T-shirt and compressed it into a replication of a small paperback book. The shirts
have been selling well and have been spotted all around the city.
Our book and bake sale was again very successful and we had a great turnout for the Friends
Only Thursday night sale. Friends took advantage of this pre-sale event and left with bags bulging
with books. The annual plant sale hosted by Sharon Pablo netted over $900.00 for the Library.
We funded an appreciation event for the well deserving Library staff and are committed to doing
so every year.
In addition to providing funds for library projects we are a resource that can provide individuals
and services for library functions and ongoing activities of the library. Our focus is on providing
delivery services for home-bound library patrons and will concentration our efforts on expanding
this program and welcome your interest in assisting us in this endeavor.
The Friends share the vision of the Library’s board that we can and should invest in our Library
and hope to make significant contributions this year.
Peter Jenner and Lauren Johnson, Co-chairs
Friends of the Sawyer Free Library
The Report of the Treasurer
The Friends are pleased to report that our income was in excess of $10,000 this year. The popular
book and bake sale plus the plant sale generated income of $3000 an increase of $700 and the
sale of book bags, book darts and our Fitz Henry Lane T-shirts generated 1285.00. The balance
of our income came from membership contributions.
Our expenses also increased. The cost of museum passes was $3,100 and fund raising expenses
increased, as we invested in items which will be available in the coming year as well. We funded
the "Gloucester Reads" program and made other contributions to the library.
Even with additional expenses, our treasury increased by approximately $2800. It is the generous
support of the current membership of the Friends that we have to thank for this increase.
Maureen S. Burke
Friends of the Sawyer Free Library