The Friends of Sawyer Free Library continued to work this past year to fulfill our stated mission. The mission "to promote goodwill within the general community and the library community though community service to the Sawyer Free Library and advocacy for better services for the general community" serves as the guiding principal for our work. Every task we perform for the library is to help make each library patron's experience at the Sawyer Free Library as positive as possible.
This past year, the Friends continued to purchase museum memberships so library members can utilize passes to visit these museums for free or at a reduced rate. Some of the museums for which we purchased membership are Boston Children's Museum, Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Mass. State Park Pass, Museum of Science, New England Aquarium and the Peabody Essex Museum. The Friends Board also subscribed to Constant Contact so that the Library can keep its patrons aware of happenings at the library. The Board also purchased upholstery to refurbish the damaged seat coverings. One of our members, Carol Kelly, along with some of her loyal friends upholstered the seats at no cost to the library.
The Friends Board also donated $1,000.00 for the purchase of books to enhance our Gloucester History collection. The Friends awarded the first $1000.00 Scholarship to Cathy Russo, a 2013 graduate of Gloucester High School. Her essay on the subject "What the Library Has Meant to Me throughout My Life" was an excellent illustration of the importance of libraries to a child from early childhood through the high school years.
The Board continued to strengthen the Books for Homebound under the leadership of members Joan Gilson and Jane Mead, who have established with their band of volunteers reading clubs at both Seacoast and The Golden Living Nursing Homes. They continue to read to those patients who are unable to leave their rooms.
The Board is also happy that we were able to assist in the building project with the purchase of a Book Drop to be installed in the new parking lot. We are also purchasing an automatic book check out system to make our patrons' experience both efficient and speedy. The Library Director, Carol Gray, with the help of her Staff is investigating the system so that it will work best for the members of Sawyer Free library.
The Board is able to do this work through our fundraising. The major source of our funds is the membership fees and donations received from the members of Friends of Sawyer Free Library. We especially thank those who are able join at the Benefactor level. The other major source of funds is the proceeds of our annual book sale. We were able to raise $2,500.00 at our sale this past spring. Another source of funds is the merchandise (zippered bags, T-shirts, Mural note cards and Mural calendars) we sell at the checkout desk. We urge each of the Corporators to join the Friends of Sawyer Free Library so we can continue to assist Carol Gray and her dedicated staff to make Sawyer Free Library the best local library in Massachusetts.
President of the Friends
October 21, 2013