Sawyer Free Children’s Library is dedicated to offering programs that enrich and entertain children of all ages, from story times to science. Our staff, Assistant Children’s Librarian Lisa Ryan, and Library Assistants Justine Vitale, Eileen Smith, and Mari Martin, work to encourage literacy and reading, and participate in a variety of programs. Along with staff involvement, The Constance T. Rhinelander Children’s Performance Fund has enabled the Library to continue to educate and inspire children by supporting our programming, and their support is gratefully acknowledged. Highlights of this year’s programs, which were attended by a record 8,211 children and families, include the following:
* Audubon Ark Farm Friends brought animals into the library to meet toddlers.
* Captains Courageous crafts were offered by library staff.
* Staff presented a Harvest Festival Story Time and crafts.
* The book Harold and the Purple Crayon inspired a family program to hear the story, play games with Harold, and make purple crafts.
* White House magician Mike Bent entertained 100 families and children for Middle Street Walk.
* Betsy Reid led Friendship Yoga for 80 children.
* Gloucester’s Gary Backstrom presented a rock-and-roll family sing-along.
* Skippy Finds Adventure was a hands-on, interactive program bringing local history to life with maritime artifacts and a real dory brought by the staff of the Schooner Adventure.
* The Cat in the Hat came to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
* Eileen Smith started a new monthly story time on Saturday mornings: Dads and Donuts.
* We hosted the Gloucester Public Schools Art Show in the Children’s Library.
* We offered Screen-Free Week Spring Crafts.
* We initiated a series of parenting/caregiver classes with a CPR class by Beauport Ambulance.
* Staff received STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) training from the Boston Children’s Museum and began using STEM in pre-school Story Times.
* We visited every public school and St. Ann’s School to read to our city’s children and distribute this year’s summer reading materials: “Dig into Reading.”
* Mari Martin started a new monthly Pajama Story Time.
* Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel was a story trail from a digger at the library to Cape Ann Museum, where children painted their own “Mike” pictures.
* Children could “Be an Archaeologist” with archaeology stories and digging for Dogtown artifacts at Cape Ann Museum
* Storyteller Mary Jo Maichak brought excitement with The Bookworm Bop.
* Stuffed animals had sleepover fun at the library.
* Mona of Critters ‘n Creatures came with animals that dig and burrow.
* Jungle Jim’s balloon show was Wild about Reading for over 100 children!
* Staff received STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) training from the Boston Children’s Museum to help children and families with kindergarten readiness.
* Quarterly Craft Workshops created by children’s staff were attended by 350 children.
* We purchased new computers and shelving for the Children’s Library.
New This Fall
We had presentation tables at all of the public school open houses in September. Our goal was to encourage new library card enrollment for Library Card Month, and to further school collaboration.
New Children’s Staff Nina Lamb and Anthony Asaro joined Heather Falk as Children’s Library Pages. When Anthony left for employment elsewhere, Aislinn Vitale became our new page.
Volunteers Grace Poirier and Rebecca Aliberte continued in their work on our collection. Mary Mitchell prepared books and materials. Nancy Morgan joined us in crafts preparation. Their volunteer efforts make a great difference to the Children’s Library, and they are very much appreciated every day.
The Children’s Library lost a kind and special friend in Tom Byers this year. He and his wife Ann have been interested participants in our Children’s Library for many years. Their friendship and dedicated support of our programs has been very meaningful. One tangible example has been the many artistic flyers Tom created for our programs, which were highly praised for their fine graphic design. Ann and Tom also gave the Children’s Library gifts of paper and other materials for crafts and decorations, which we continue to use. Tom Byers enriched our library and touched our lives in a wonderful way. He was also my personal friend, and he is greatly missed.
It was a great loss to the families, children, and the city that St. Ann’s School closed this year. For St. Ann’s, we were their official school library. On a less formal note, we had formed many friendships with students and teachers. While wishing them well in their new schools and as they move forward with new endeavors, our staff misses them very much.
On behalf of the Children’s staff I want to express our warmest appreciation for our community’s continued support of the Children’s Library programming and services.
Christy L. Rosso
Head Children's Librarian
October 21, 2013
* Providing us with feedback about the job we are doing, be it well done or deficient in some
* Advocating for our needs especially at budget time when we are trying to plead our case
* Being more fully informed of the library’s mission, activities and goals so you can better inform the populace. You can do this by being