Lyceum Committee

2012 - 2013


A digger and dump truck work at excavating the new Sawyer Free Library parking lot.

The Lyceum Committee meets at the Sawyer Free Library on the first Monday of every month. Members are Carol Ackerman, Barbara Braver, Jill Carter, Susan Oleksiw, Christy Park, Bob Quinn, Patsy Whitlock, Mary Weissblum, Library Director, Carol Gray, and Assistant Director, Freyja Sanger.


The Lyceum is the program arm of the Sawyer Free Library. During this past year the Lyceum Committee has worked to carry out the stated mission of the Lyceum, which is “to enrich the lives of the people of Cape Ann.” We believe the programs of the past year, enthusiastically received by the community, have indeed fulfilled our ambitious mandate. To give a sense of Lyceum offerings, a listing of some of the programs of the past year is included below.


We continued the popular author’s series launched in 2012 which features conversations with and presentations by authors: Words Beyond Words: Behind the Page. In collaboration with the Temple, we hosted Anita Diamant who spoke of her novel Day after Night, which was based on the resettlement of Holocaust survivors. Other authors included Anna Solomon, author of The Lobster Mafia, who gave us insights into her creative process and read from her work; Julia Glass, who read from her latest novel and described something of the path that led her to writing fiction; and Betsy Morris, author of Bitter Passage.


Those hoping to see their work published were aided in that direction by a program on the “how-tos” of self-publishing.


In celebration of poetry month, our annual poetry-writing contest, Poetry without Paper, recognized the poetic efforts of students who live in Gloucester for the winning poems, which they submitted electronically.


Musical events were also featured among our programs this year, including a performance by the woman’s a capella group Leven, as part of the Middle Street Walk, and an evening of cabaret on Valentine’s Day featuring Library staffer Mari Martin.


As a celebration of Women’s History Month (March) we featured a panel of successful local businesswoman billed as “women making local history.”


An educational evening on the Gloucester wind turbines gave attendees a wealth of information about how they came to be and their positive benefits for the city. Kevin Gardener spoke of, and demonstrated, the creation of New England stonewalls. Ted Widmer spoke on his book The Kennedy Tapes. A panel gave an insight in learning about our ancestors in a program titled Genealogy 101. Dr. Richard Sagall offered medical wisdom on staying healthy. A memorial reading of the Gloucester novels of Jonathan Bayliss served to honor this Gloucester author.


We trust this brief report will show Lyceum programs are varied, and that the Committee strives to serve a broad audience.


Respectfully submitted,

Mary Weissblum
Chair, Lyceum Committee
October 21, 2013